This Flickr photo, by Motoji Kogouchi, captures geisha strolling the Gion district of Kyoto, Japan.
We don't need to tell you that the Web has become an infinite photo gallery. But browsers beware: "A lot of the advice and
opinions you get on the Internet is just plain off," says photographer
Bob Krist. "Anyone can put up a slick-looking website. I want to take
my advice from someone who's making a living making pictures." With
that in mind, Traveler asked some two dozen photographers—mostly professionals—to reveal their favorite online hangouts, some of which are revealed below. Read the full story, compiled by senior editor Scott Stuckey, on Traveler's website.
Tactic No. 1: Get Inspired
"To improve my own photography," says Will van Overbeek, photographer and photo instructor, "I look at other photographers' photos and treat them like a puzzle. I ask myself, how was that done? Then I figure it out."
The Web is full of pictures worth scrutinizing. For starters, go to Masters of Photography, a plain-looking site displaying prints by a good sample of photographic greats, such as Ansel Adams, remembered for his large-format black-and-white pictures of Yosemite Valley; Margaret Bourke-White, the first female photojournalist to shoot for Life magazine; and Gordon Parks, a barrier-breaking African-American photographer.
"Before going on a trip, I go to Corbis
to see what a place looks like in general," says photographer Catherine
Karnow. "That helps me narrow my shooting list." Corbis, founded in
1989 by Bill Gates, has some 70 million images. Other stock houses
worth browsing are Getty Images, Magnum Photos, and VII. "For inspiration," says photographer David McLain, "I go to Aurora Photos more
than any place else on the Web. It's the photo agency I belong to, and
I always like to see the weekly features that are up as well as keep up
with what my colleagues are shooting."
More great pockets of online photographic brilliancy, revealed after the jump:
- Library of Congress: A deeper source of historical imagery, the website contains a million digitized photographs, including those by such masters as Dorothea Lange, who photographed scenes of the Great Depression for what became the Farm Security Administration, and Mathew Brady, the most famous photographer of the Civil War.
- Classic photos from the collections of New York's International Center of Photography and the George Eastman House is browsable at a joint website.
- "When a photographic project gets to the stage of being published in a book, typically that means the body of work is really solid," says photographer Justin Guariglia. His favorite publishers: Aperture Foundation, Twin Palms, Phaidon, and Nazraeli, not to mention National Geographic Books.
- Photo-eye, an online photo store, lists some 14,000 photography books, as well as an online gallery of fine art photography by the likes of Steve McCurry, Robert Capa, and Imogen Cunningham.
- And don't forget IT's own Global Eye feature, featuring inspiring moments worldwide captured on film by up-and-coming professional and amateur photographers discovered through our Flickr pool.
For more photo tips from National Geographic photograhers, click here.
What photo sites do you have bookmarked? Tell us in the comments below.
Photo: Motoji Kogouchi