Photography is my passion, and has been ever since I can remember.
My Father used to show endless slide shows when I was a child, and he was an avid reader of such publications as National Geographic. As a youngster, I was also an avid viewer of National Geographic, but read little of the text other than the image captions.
My Uncle bought me my first camera for my ninth birthday. Film went through it as fast as Mum could let me have some pennies for it. I doubt any images survive from it though.
Through my life, photographic images have always been the 'art' I appreciate most. Sure, there are other forms of art I like, but nothing even comes remotely close to photography.
So, why a post about useful photography web sites ? Well, at least for me, I draw inspiration from other photographers. What they do well, challenges how I think when I shoot.
I have my own style which has evolved, good or no, over decades of image capture, and I find it difficult to break from that. Viewing other peoples images helps me to see things differently, and also to challenge the way in which I treat images in the post process stage.
Today, there are countless web sites devoted to photography. Mainstream names such as Flickr, PBase, Picasa, Zenfolio, Smugmug, Fotki, Photobucket, etc., spring to mind. Many of these sites have excellent images, but the excellent ones can be very hard to find.
At one time, or another, I have had accounts with all I mentioned. I have also, over time, drifted away from them all. The main site I use these days is RedBubble. I like it because it is not huge, has a very community oriented atmosphere, and it is easy to get an appreciation of how others view what I post.
Anyway, here I have compiled a short list of those whose imagery inspires me, and inspires me consistently. It is by no means exhaustive. There are many more than I have listed here and I will add to it over time. Some are professionals, some are just enjoying their photography. Some known, some unknown. Some are no longer with us.
Edward S Curtis
I am starting with a long departed historic figure, but I find his images very inspiring. I am only linking to one image here, but I have spent many hours wandering through every one of his images, and the story behind his work. Personally, I find his story, and his dedication to capturing his image record fascinating.
Emilio is a photographer working as a war correspondent. He was injured in a road side bomb blast not long after this series was published, but has since returned to his craft. I love his style.
I have never aspired to photography of rock climbers, I'm too scared of heights. However, Simon's work in this field is awe inspiring.
I don't know his real name, but this is the best 365 day set of personal images I have seen. Wonderful imagination. Always makes me smile and I am always eager to see the latest installment.
I follow Hugo's posts religiously. The link will take you to his latest post but it is worth scrolling back through the images as there are some superb ones there. I find his work a great inspiration for 'slice of life' images.
His work around Cambridge University is absolutely stunning - Also, check out his tutorials, some of the very best around. This really is someone who doesn't just explain why, but also shows why, and with his own output.
A New York based photographer, it is worth looking through Dez's galleries. Some amazing imagery.
Some amazing images.
More amazing images.
Love his people images.
I am not a nature photographer, but this guy truly is. Again, awe inspiring images.
More stunning images.
As I mentioned at the outset, this list is by no means exhaustive. Reality is, it is but a handful. I will add others as I find them.
Hope you enjoyed.