Unique Pictures

BBC In Pictures 
Expanding its mandate in the era of web communications, the BBC has has created a truly impressive daily gallery of international news photography under the deft curatorship of its photo editor. In Pictures is a leading example of the democratization of media; here selected amateur works compliment the professional photojournalism. Stunning color photography and award-winning web design perfect the mix.

Chandra X-Ray Observatory
This site features some truly mind-expanding images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, a telescope specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes. Chandra’s busy website is bursting at the seams with all kinds fantastic deep-space images, facts, science, history, educational games, audio and video clips, and classroom-ready activities. To spend time on this site is to become re-acquainted with one’s sense of wonder - seriously. 

Click! Photography changes everything
A product of the former Smithsonian Photographic Initiative, Click! Photography Changes Everything is an exploration, through writing, story telling and photographs, of the multitude of ways in which photography influences our lives. The Smithsonian’s many museums, galleries, and research centers have generated millions of photos, which form the basis for this multi-faceted inquiry into photography. The site is divided into sections that explore the themes Who We Are, What We Do, What We See, Where We Go, What We Want and What We Remember, by way of essays from experts and stories from the general public. An innovative, intelligent, wide ranging and very human project.

Contemporary Daguerreotypes
Far from being an antiquated photographic process, the Daguerreotype is the favourite medium of a vital community of photographers. Contemporary Daguerreotypes is a showcase for news, technical information and a whole lot of compelling images that explore contemporary subjects through the lens of one of the oldest photographic processes.

Earth at Night 
One of PhotoWings' favorites, this image of Earth at Night was created with data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Operational Linescan System (OLS). The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated. Cities tend to grow along coastlines and transportation networks. Even more than 100 years after the invention of the electric light, some regions remain thinly populated and unlit. Antarctica is entirely dark. The interior jungles of Africa and South America and the deserts of Africa, Arabia, Australia, Mongolia, and USA are mostly dark, along with the boreal forests of Canada and Russia, and the great mountains of the Himalaya. 

The Guardian – My Best Shot
Absolutely delicious stories about the making of some of the most memorable images in contemporary photography. Photographers from Annie Leibovitz to William Wegman select their favourite shot, not necessarily the most famous one, and relate the story of that image. The collection reveals moments of hilarious awkwardness, careful observation, blind luck and transformative insight. The Guardian’s chatty photo blog is also an excellent source for photo historians.

Great Images in NASA (GRIN) 
As opposed to a general archive, GRIN is a collection of over a thousand purposefully chosen images of significant historical interest. Scanned at high-resolution in multiple sizes, this collection is intended for the media, publishers, and public looking for high-quality photographs

Hubble Site 
The mechanical eye of the Hubble Space Telescope has captured some of the most compelling and poetic images of our time. Polished and dynamic, the Hubble Site is information central for those fascinated with the progress of this voyage. There is news from space, descriptions of discoveries, explanations of science, and hundreds of beautiful high resolution images of planets, stars nebulae and more. These remarkable images are all ready to download as wall paper or as prints. It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement that this project generates; photographing space means expanding the limits of our known world.

Iconic Photos
Photos that have captured a moment in time, influenced public perception, relate an untold story and photos that have described what words could never hope to are the subject of blogger Alex Selwyn-Holmes’ writing. Selwyn-Holmes investigates the often murky history behind “famous, infamous and iconic” photos, teasing the facts out of the myths and asking important questions about how these pictures have shaped our present understanding of events. This is a serious exploration of the power, both benign and malign, of photography.

The KKK Project
This is a difficult and disturbing subject to examine at best, and yet photojournalist James Edward Bates spent 16 years documenting the day to day lives of people who identify themselves as Ku Klux Klan members. The result is a collection of images that offers intimate insights into the contemporary lives and beliefs of a group that has long been the face of violent intolerance in American society. Bates’ Passing the Torch, Documenting the 21st Century Ku Klux Klan, a project that refuses simplistic answers, has been displayed at the prestigious Visa pour l’image festival in Perpignan, and was a finalist for the 2002 Gordon Parks Photography Competition.

Legacy Project - The Greatest Photograph 
Somewhere in Orange County, California, there is an abandoned military airfield that is being transformed into a huge metropolitan park, a process that has attracted the attention of group of artists who have taken the long view in documenting this process. The Legacy Project is the work of six “photographic artists,” who are committed to tracing the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station’s transition from barricaded military zone to public park. Although photography is their principal medium, video and oral histories will help to frame the subject. Size is a recurring theme in this project: what will be one of America’s biggest urban parks will be transformed over the length of a decade and captured on the world’s largest photograph. In a clever and compelling re-use of an abandoned airplane hangar, a building becomes a camera that captures its environment in a three stories high and eleven stories long panorama. This is just one of the Legacy Project’s means of approaching its subject, the rest will be revealed over time on this sharp looking site. An unusual and fascinating project, in essence and in scope.

lluminado Vidas, Fotografia Moçambicana 1950-2001 
This site documents a traveling exhibition that offered up something rare to western eyes: a view of the rich tradition of reportage photography in Mozambique. This project was created to help Mozambique, and indeed the world, re-discover this nation’s important photographic tradition. Led by the country’s most renowned veteran photographer, Ricardo Rangel, the exhibition showcased the next generation of great documentarians continuing in the Mozambican line. The website features the photographer’s biographies and personal statements – fascinating - as well as a sampling of images from the exhibition. 

NASA Picture of the Day Archive 
Rather than the joyous entanglement of endless archives, one is served up with a single image per day. Laid bare is the astonishing evolution of astronomical imaging. The sophistication of pictures today compared to 1995 when the initiative began is plain for all to see. What will opti-technological advances reveal in the future?

NASA-NSSDC Photo Gallery 
NASA’s photo gallery contains images that have profoundly changed the world - or at least our perception of it. The somewhat awkward and low-tech presentation can do nothing to diminish the power of first pictures of the earth from the moon, or the surreal images of Jupiter taken by the Voyager satellite. NASA’s collection of space photography serves to remind us of the photography’s power to reveal what had only been imagined before.

This well-organized site offers a great overview of the history of the age-old photogravure process, in which metal plate engravings were used to create lush, artful photographs. The site also includes extensive information on conservation and collecting, including historical articles, texts by experts, a glossary, a blog, and links. After getting a primer on the medium, visitors can peruse examples of photogravure by dozens of photographers including Édouard Baldus, Peter Henry Emerson, Paul Strand, and William Henry Fox Talbot. 

Time Magazine Photo Essays 
One of the few remaining publications that showcase traditional photojournalism and reportage, Time Magazine’s site offers a fascinating compendium of photo essays and current news pictures. To flip through Time’s numerous slide shows, featuring a truly eclectic range of topics, is to remember how vital professional photojournalism is to the way we understand the world and the stories we tell about ourselves.