Online Galleries

Sites that give generous space to photo exhibits.

A Gallery for Fine Photography
As its name suggests, this New Orleans gallery exhibits and sells the work of renowned photographers, both historical and contemporary. The site provides an impressive roster of 19th, 20th and 21st century work available for sale, while the gallery hosts work from well established to up and coming artists.

American Museum of Photography
This virtual museum seems to achieve a balance between the curatorial research and critical content that goes into physical exhibitions and the succinct writing and image driven nature of web exhibitions. The site includes several intriguing exhibitions dealing with different aspects of the complex and profound impact of photography on American society, history and culture. All images are drawn from the virtual museum’s real life collection of over 5000 historical prints.

Blue Earth Alliance
Blue Earth Alliance holds that “Photographers are the eyes and conscience of society,” and as such the Alliance uses the knowledge and experience of its network of members to foster significant documentary projects on cultures, the environment and social issues. The user-friendly archive is searchable by photographer, title or project issue. Despite the relatively small images on the site, the impact of these select photo projects is clear, as is the importance of this active non-profit to the world of documentary photography.

Blue Eyes Magazine
The editor’s passionate belief of the power of documentary photography is mirrored in Blue Eyes’ selection of photo essays and reportages, which cover both major events and quiet moments from the world over. Work that has “a point of view and something to say” is welcome for submission.

Camera Club of New York
Founded in 1884, the Camera Club of New York has a very long history of supporting the art of photography by offering its members photo and darkroom classes, 24-hour access to darkrooms, an ongoing lecture series, both physical and online gallery space, and the support of a like-minded community. The Club also offers an attractive darkroom residency for emerging artists, and also hosts an annual photo contest that is typically juried by a single, well-established photographer whose comments about the entries are published on the site.

Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleavland Museum's site provides a substantial gallery of meticulously described digitized images, which span from 19th century French and British daguerreotypes and calotypes to contemporary works by likes of Aaron Siskind and Sally Mann.

Joerg Colberg’s thoroughly excellent investigation of the world of modern fine-art photography, Conscientious and Conscientious Extended present current international news as well as in-depth explorations of recent work through interviews, and exhibition and book reviews.

Consequences by Noor
Amsterdam-based photojournalism cooperative NOOR has focused its collective talents on exploring the climate change crisis in this multi-year group project. The first chapter of this story, called “Consequences” captures the real-time results of global warming in areas around the world. Launched at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit, Noor photographers exposed the very real humanitarian crisis presently taking place around the world. From people driven from their lands by flooding in Pakistan, to the rapid depletion of Lake Meade, Las Vegas’ soul source of drinking water, the changes are both subtle and dramatic. “Consequences” and its sequel project “Solutions” continue to be exhibited widely as NOOR’s “Climate Change” show.

The Detainee Project
An unusual and powerful alliance of artistic and legal contributors calls attention to the still-evolving story of Iraqis detained by the American contractors during the war. The legal and moral injustices of these detainments are explained by the lawyers working on the lawsuits brought by the victims, while a number of writers and visual artists such as photographer and Soros Grant winner Chris Bartlett, explore the intimate and often unbearably graphic details of these men’s imprisonment and their lives in the aftermath. The Detainee Project speaks out about the ongoing injustice of a story that has disappeared from the headlines, but remains current for those that lived it and for those who question its effect on America’s moral leadership in human rights issues.

EPA Documerica Project
From 1971 to 1977, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to the nation’s environmental problems, EPA activities, and everyday life in the 1970s for a project called Documerica. The result is not simply a collection that chronicles a country in industrial decline and its environmental after-effects, the photographers also captured a wide range of moments from the everyday life of people around the country. Taken as a whole, it is a fascinating historical document that reveals, great deal about the times, often in an indirect way. Documerica has been digitized by the National Archives, and its over 15,000 photographs are available on the Archives Flickr site.

The Exposure Project
A once lively blog that is now an intriguing archive presents the work of emerging photographers, with the occasional addition of some truly surprising historical pictures. There is a remarkable variety of work here and some insightful commentary.

The name refers to the area of the retina where our vision is most clear, a poetic title for a site that showcases humanitarian and social issues seen through the lens of photojournalism. Fovea’s website highlights exhibitions, photo-based outreach projects, and supports photo events dealing with social and environmental topics. Fovea’s real world work centers around education and community outreach; the organization offers photo classes to children and adults, artist talks, panel discussions, film series, as well as extra readings and photo-based events for students.

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center — University of Texas at Austin
Unique among photo–collecting institutions, the Ransom Center takes a broad view of photography, with holdings in diverse areas of photography, including fine arts, photojournalism, documentary photography, contemporary art, and literary imagery. In addition to 5 million photographic prints and negatives, you’ll find 400 pieces of original photographic apparatus and more than 35,000 (and counting) books about photographic history, theory, and technique. The Center founded its photography department with the acquisition of the Gernsheim Collection in 1963, at the time the largest privately–owned photohistorical archive in the United States, and has recently taken custodianship the crown jewel of photojournalism archives, the Magnum Agency collection. The comprehensive nature of their collections has made the Ransom Center a major hub for photo research and scholarship. Both the photo collection and the photo library have excellent searchable online databases, making these rich and diverse holdings accessible. The Center makes photographic copies of its materials available to scholars, and offers reproductions of some photographs for personal use.

John Kobal Foundation (Portrait Galleries)
John Kobal was a passionate collector who ultimately became the archivist of Hollywood’s golden era of portrait photography. The Kobal Foundation manages an impressive archive of glamorous screen star portraits and movie memorabilia. Their somewhat awkward site offers galleries of classic actor shots, as well as the winning entries in the Foundation’s annual portrait and book contests.

Cinematographer György László explores the concept and craft of making images through conversations with an intriguing variety of photographers and film-makers. Examining one image or scene with its creator, L1GHTB1TES goes digs into the creative process and reveals the very personal experience of each contributor. Laszlo had dedicated this compelling archive to his photo students, as a gift of inspiration.

Lens Culture
Very much a community oriented site, Lens Culture comes across as an open invitation to experience and consider the impact of photography from as many angles and cultures as possible. The site not only features galleries of submitted work, but also includes photographers’ commentaries and discussions of influences and artistic process. Some interviews are available as audio clips. Moreover, there is news and events, interviews with established and up and coming photographers, calls for submissions, a blog, and some frankly unusual projects.

Look at Me
Building on the current interest in “vernacular" photography, Look at Me is a communal collection of found photographs: images found on the street, in flea markets and other random places. Their lack of identity makes them fascinating, they are literally “stories with only an introduction.” Submissions to the collection are welcome.

Luminous-Lint is the result of one man’s laudable mission to get us all involved in the creation of “the world’s leading collaborative knowledge-base for the history of photography.” Although complex, the site is very user-friendly. Information is organized by searchable sections that include themes, photographers, techniques, galleries and dealers, as well as times lines. Luminous-Lint makes very good use of the web’s elastic nature: each link in these sections unfolds into an amazingly rich page of historical and practical information, closely connected with other pages - including eclectic photo galleries - in order to give the most complete picture possible. The most original feature of Luminous-Lint is its very personal and direct requests for input; the site is dotted with areas for feedback and ways to get involved in building the content. The interactive nature of the site, somewhat like a Wikipedia for the history of photography, opens the door to an original and more comprehensive way of researching and displaying photographic history.

Magnum Photos
Founded by legendary photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David “Chim” Seymour in the wake of World War II, Magnum Photos is a powerhouse of a photographic co-operative. With a network of fifteen sub-agents and editorial offices in New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo, Magnum provides photographs to the press, publishers, advertising, television, galleries, and museums across the world. Magnum photographers have covered the great events, people, and places of this era, evidenced in the approximately one million photographs in their physical archive and 250,000 images online. Despite the fact that some of the most iconic images of this century and the last are part of Magnum’s ever-evolving archive, the site is remarkably un-intimidating and informative.

Magnum Photos “Expert Advice”
Magnum Photos, one of the most celebrated and prestigious photography collectives, continues to publish great articles on the history, theory, and practice of photography from the point of view of its member photographers and extended photographer networks. These articles can help improve photographic work with practical tips and broaden thinking about issues affecting photography.

Minneapolis Institute for the Arts
The MIA has organized its collection in a compact and easy to use format for the web. Most of the legendary names of photographic history are included. Possibly the neatest cluster of great photographs available under one URL.

National Geographic
As the grand old man of photojournalism and travel photography publications, National Geographic is a treasure house of images and photo-knowledge. The Geographic’s online site offers thematic photo galleries that link to feature stories, stunning “wallpaper” images, milestones in the history of Geographic photography, and a wide range of photo tips from the professionals. This boldly designed site makes for absolutely enthralling viewing.

Photo District News Online - Features
An indispensable resource, PDN Online’s comprehensive site literally covers the “waterfront” of information relevant to photographers. Its front page is dedicated to extensive photo news coverage, product reviews and features, but there are also links of several PDN initiatives and alliances- each a distinct and valuable source in its own right. PDNedu is a support system for emerging photographers, offering news, photo critique forums, features, contests, portfolios galleries and examples of photo-essays from students around the country. PhotoServe is a “visual database of the world’s best photographers,” a sort of society page that keeps track of assignments, exhibitions and awards of establish photographers. The site includes a monthly portfolio gallery that comes complete with a search engine for its archives. PhotoSource is PDN’s all-in-one professional photography directory, full of national and international industry resources. There is also a link to IPN, the Independent Photography Network, an organization that provides stock photography from independent photographers and small agency reps. PDN shows its support of photographers of all types through its generous gallery space. Here you find all levels of photographers and photojournalists- established, emerging, or even “legendary”. Online only features as well as in-depth reporting for subscribers.

Specialized in fine-art photographs and photography books, Photo-Eye disseminates high quality work in many ways as possible. Their online galleries feature exhibition previews for the formal Photo-Eyes gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a gallery for Magnum Photographers collector’s prints; and Photographer’s Showcase, a virtual gallery that exhibits jury-chosen submissions from fine-art photographers. Photo-Eye’s other activities include publishing Photo-Eye Magazine and mail-order catalogues, as well as running a retail bookstore. The site includes detailed formation for submitting to Photographer’s Showcase.

The Photographers' Gallery
Calling itself “the largest public gallery in London dedicated to photography,” the Photographers' Gallery showcases contemporary work from emerging and established names, as well as revisiting the work past masters. This busy institution also organizes offsite exhibitions, hosts a schedule of talks and events, and houses one of the most reputable photography bookstores in Europe.

Photographic Resource Center, Boston University
Photographic Resource Center, Boston’s vigorous and independent photo non-profit, fulfills part of its wide-ranging mandate by offering an ongoing series of online exhibitions and projects. Current and previous exhibitions are elegantly presented on the Center’s website, complete with excellent critical writing, captions and image quality. The PRC’s many other activities are designed to engage a broad public with the art and ideas of photography. The PRC offers its members and the wider public up to eight annual gallery exhibitions, research resources based in the PRC’s Aaron Siskind Library and other unique events. If that were not enough, the Center also hosts a web-based photo discussion forum, conducts workshops, offers the annual Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Award, and publishes In the Loupe, its stylish newsletter. 

Photovoice is  a step-by-step program for giving disadvantaged communities a voice through photography. Photovoice gives cameras to communities that would not otherwise have the means to document their lives, trains people to identify issues and to illustrate them and, finally, uses the community photographs to open a dialogue with policymakers who can affect change. The Projects page gives a list of current PV proposals, while the Gallery page shows completed projects with captions written by the photographers.

Rare Historical Photos is a website/blog exclusively dedicated to historical and rare photographs. The curators have given the historical context for every photograph that is shared. Each photo is accompanied by its historical description, the circumstances, the date the photo was taken, the photographer’s name, and the copyright holder. Also, each photo is posted in its best available resolution.

Really Japan
Italian designer and photographer Ruben Forsali shares his take on his adopted home, Japan. Forsali’s eye strays to the overlooked details of life in that nation’s big cities, often capturing with his clever juxtapositions the visual complexity of urban living.

Rethinking Documentary Photography
Photographer Gary Sauer-Thompson publishes this cerebral and questioning exploration of contemporary documentary photography. Sauer-Thompson’s writing may be academically oriented, (there is a lot of grad-school jargon here) but his questions about the nature of documentary photography in the 21st century push readers to consider what is behind the “face value” of a photograph, and what it means to “document”. The blog is illustrated by the author’s own remarkable images of urban infrastructure.

Royal Library of Denmark Photostream
The Royal Library of Denmark has begun sharing some of its photographic treasures on flickr, and its initial offerings feature historical photographs and drawings of such Danish luminaires as philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, Ingeborg Hansen, the first woman president of a nation, and Herman Bang the modern novelist.

SF Camerawork 
This is the online resource center for SF Camerawork, the San Francisco based community-minded organization that fosters the work of emerging and mid-career photographers. Exhibitions in their online and physical gallery spaces, a lecture series, workshops and the journal Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Arts are there to engage the wider world on photography’s aesthetic and social concerns. The organization’s mentoring program invites photographers to act locally and teach the craft to youth at risk.

Social Documentary
Social investigates the global human condition by inviting documentary photographers to share their work. The well-designed site features an egalitarian mix of photo-reportages from an international cast of established and amateur photographers. Covering issues such as the devastating effects of Nigerian oil on local populations, stories of forced and voluntary migrations, and tales of the lives of marginalized people from around the globe, the themes are broad and the stories are personal. Photographers are invited to create their own web pages within Social, posting a slide show, information about the work, and links to groups and NGOs that are addressing the issues. The makers of this site believe in the power of images to create change in the world; the variety and depth of the work here gives viewers plenty to think about and act upon. 

Tenement Museum Online Archive
In New York’s fabled Lower East Side, a classic 19th century tenement building that miraculously survived largely unchanged into the late 20th century has become the East Side Tenement Museum, a time capsule-like look into the living conditions of immigrant New Yorkers, and the subject of this collection of intriguing historical photographs. Part of the documentary evidence that helps to illustrated the lives of some of 97 Orchard Street’s past tenants, the photos were donated by family, hunted down in archives and historical societies or, in some cases, found in the rooms of the abandoned tenement. The collection features themes of immigrant traditions, work in the home, and some precious moments of leisure on the roof and streets around 97 Orchard Street.

Playfully but aptly named, Webistan is a Paris-based photo agency founded by Middle Eastern photographers whose images provide a distinct cultural point of view on the international stories they cover. Webistan’s home page features the agency’s latest stories, news and podcasts. 

Winterthur Fotomuseum
Zurich’s Fotomuseum Winterthur features work by contemporary photographers and artists, and the English version of its site offers a sleek online gallery, organized by artist. The 300 photographers and other artists represented include such legends as Robert Frank, August Sander, and Weegee. In addition to the publicly accessible gallery, curators, students, and specialists can register to gain access to the entire online collection. All visitors can purchase various photo books and publications at the museum’s online shop.

Zone Zero
Particularly attuned to the diversity of the world of photography, Zone Zero features a large, curated gallery space for international photo essays and documentary projects. In addition to generous, non-curated galleries for photographic work submitted by individuals, they also provide a web log open to all. In English and Spanish.