June 1997 - March 1998
The following listings contain links that are not being checked for current status. Some may not work. Please email me if a link is no longer operating, content no longer matches the description or if the URL has changed. I will update as my limited time permits. Thanks, and happy browsing!
June 1997 Top Ten Black and White Websites
Focal Point is an auction site of professional photography. If you can get over the fear of accidentally bidding (bids start around $200), it has lots of interesting images, including photographer portfolios and bios. Use the thumbnail index for each section, otherwise searching can become overwhelming. Douglas Adesko and Glen Erler (section 2) are must-sees. Go to Michael Grecco's portfolio for celebrity photos (some in color). Also worth it--"Snapshots of MacWorld," a link to a fun site all about San Francisco. This is a gigantic site but worth the time. --LD
Greg Fight's Dance
For some culture, try this gallery of ballet photos by Florida newspaper photographer Greg Fight. Even the ballet-phobic will enjoy this site because the images are excellent. Greg freezes the dancers well to capture the acrobatics of the dance. Probably the most interesting are the candid behind-the-scene photos. The spotlight feature gives some nice images of the Paris Opera Ballet. Graphics aren't super but you get a fast load time in exchange. --LD
Brazil's Landless Movement
Sebastiao Salgado's photo essay on landless people in Brazil (also available in hard copy) shows how the peasants of that country are fighting for rights and dignity. Typical Salgado: great advocacy photojournalism. Bonus: several discussion forums are offered; topics include: can the Web do justice to photography; the Pros and Cons of Advocacy Photojournalism; and a discussion of Salgado's work. A big negative: because it's part of the New York Times website, you have to register. A real pain in the neck, but the photos are worth the effort. --MR
Photographs of David Seymour
The International Center of Photography's website comemorates David Seymour ("Chim") on the 40th anniversary of his death. A comprehensive look at his life and his work, this site shows how much this humanistic photojournalist's life work influenced and affected his peers. The non-frames choice works best. Introduction by Henri Cartier-Bresson. --MR
Bill Wright Fine Art
Good documentary photography, mostly in black and white, about native American tribes and their living conditions. Essay on the Kickapoo is especially good. --MR
Gregory Popovitch - Street
Street photography with a keen sense of composition. In his biography, Popovitch counts Cartier-Bresson as his main influence, and one can see echoes of HCB's careful approach here.--MR
An impressive selection of large-format landscape photographs of the south and west coast of the United States taken by a dude who also shares his technique and invites you to join him in his photography workshops. This site distinguishes itself by the use of some clever web design stuff. An example: you can choose 13" or 17" monitor display sizes when you view the portfolio. Cool. --MR
Peter Steinhauer visited Vietnam and returned with a collection of evocative landscapes and lyrical environmental portraits. The photographs demonstrate a keen feel for light and shadow; the lighting in the portraits is both mysterious and illuminating. --MR
The Play of
David Culton prowled the streets of Kyoto, Japan after dark and produced a series of ethereal street photos. As you view the site you get the feeling the photographer was often as surprised by the results as someone unfamiliar with his picture-taking process. He's clearly experimenting, and enjoying the process and the happy accidents. --MR
by Nathaniel Burkins
Carefully composed and structured street photos taken in New York, Chicago and elsewhere bu an amateur photographer. Many good convergences of moments and design elements. In other words, this collection demonstrates that Mr. Burkins has both a good eye and good timing. --MR
Top Ten Black and White Websites for July, 1997
Our guest reviewer this month is Richard Sienna. Thanks for your hard work! The last four were reviewed by our regular guy, Mason Resnick. These links will open up a new browser window.
Photographer: Chien-Min Chung
The site has been redesigned since last listed in the Top Ten. New features include: a tour of Jamaica with a spontaneous look at the life to the locals; a harrowing documentary of Chung's sister as she deals with a genetic disorder, tracing her progression from healthy to bed-ridden. The work's simple, uncluttered style sets the stage for the sometimes emotional subject..The work is nicely composed, capturing the mood in a spontanious fasion.--RS
14 Photographs of landscapes, historic sites and close-ups of nature. Well composed photographs that demonstrate a mastery of the zone system.--RS
My life as a dog? These canines are captured with a sense of humor, and some fun captions to boot. There's even a dog named Elvis. Well ballanced photgraphs with good composition.--RS
Ordinary items become abstractions, thanks to a combination of lighting and manipulation of perspecitve.--RS
6 Photographs. Good composition, interesting lighting and well ballanced photography. Short but sweet.--RS
G. Mitchell Davis
Very nice pictures mostly of models; some color. The subjects of his photography all take control of the sceen in a bold an powerfull manner. Excelent lighting and attention to detail. --RS
Large format images excerpted from Bruce's book, "Visual Symphony, A Photographic Work in Four Movements." Good nature and architecture work, and an appeal by the photographer to help save a spectacularly scenic drive from the nature-busting plans of a big, bad gravel quarry company.--MR
An on-line magazine with high-quality personal work by photojournalists. The current issue includes a report from Jerusalem (mostly the Old City) and features several photo essays made by couples who work together as photographers.--MR
Photo essays in this on-line 'zine include a look at plebes in training at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, a visit to Gaza and the Times Square subway station, and a not-so-glamorous documentary on spring break. Engrossing images, excellent photojournalism, elegant web site design. Shockwave is suggested, but not mandatory.--MR
A Photographic Portfolio of Men Who Work With
A part of the Lenswork Quarterly webzine, this portfolio features gritty environmental portraits, close-ups of the tools created from steel, and selective looks at the workers' workbenches. Taken with a large-format view camera, the images have a tactile feel that works, even in screen resolution.--MR
Our guest reviewer this month is Cindy Stokes. Thanks, Cindy, for your hard work! These links will open up a new browser window.
Two Minutes to Black
Neil Strassberg's Dark, moody, surrealistic portraits. Strassberg suggests that the two minutes it takes exposed photographic paper to reach absolute black in the developer is a metaphor for dealing with the dark side of the human condition, and uses his photographs to examine this idea.--CS
Great photos in "The Iris Gallery" and a treasure-trove of info on film processing make this site both artistically and intellectually inviting. Chris Johnson's bleak, symbolic photos explore his abusive family and his relationship with his mother. Also featured: Mariette Pathy Allen's quirky everyday surroundings and people, and a look at gay and transgender communities.--CS
Work in the tradition of the classics - large format, previsualization, maximum depth of field, natural light. The strength is in the beautiful still-lifes and structural photos (e.g., Paper Bag, Gear Detail, and Entrance to Seafood Restaurant).--CS
Jim Mac Donald
Serene, inviting landscapes I wanted to step into to take a look around. I only regretted that such grand vistas were so small on the screen, and that there were only eight.--CS
Many very nice compositions with a predominating theme of the existence of light in the darkness. Serious statements about "spirit guided inner visions" mixed with humorous titles and quotations create an odd intellectual confusion...jump right into the photos and deal with the rest separately.--CS
Silver Prints from Mexico
Eight lovely vintage 1930's prints by Yugo Brehme. It could be titled "Arches" given their predominance, providing shape and framing in many photos.--CS
Loosely composed street photos, mainly of children playing in the maze-like streets of Istanbul (not Constantinople). A fine example of purely "photographic" seeing. A Java applet adds cool animation to the homepage.--MR
Street Photos from around the US in the Winogrand/Frank/Cartier-Bresson tradition. A collection of perceptive work, by Greg Allikas, that spans three decades.--MR
Photoreporter Tomas Muscionico: Portraits from
A photo essay taken at a Biker's gathering in Sturgis, South Dakota. Images were made with a vintage Polaroid 110 on 4/5" positive-negative film, giving the portraits an unusual look for photo-j.--MR
Top Ten Black and White Websites for September, 1997
Eric Anderson's Photographic Gallery
Scenics and closeups influenced by the masters. Good work. Especially considering the photographer is a 17-year-old high school student.
Dreamy, grainy, lightly-tinted people and landscapes by an Ethiopian-born, Norway-raised photographer-cum-web designer.
Leaping, jumping stop-action dance photographs taken in a raw space that is filled with visual distractions. Although sometimes the dancing subject fights to be seen against busy backgrounds, the frozen action moments are first-rate.
S. Waisglass-Street Photography
From the subways to the side streets, Sean Waisglass takes you on a subjective, guided tour of street life in New York. The subway shots seem to be from the hip, with off-balance compositions and a hidden camera feel that could make one feel just a little voyeuristic.
Photography by Dave Rentauskas
Fashion-influenced and stylish, these studio portraits offer some neat surprises. Excellent use of studio light for dramatic effect complement a good eye for human expression and subtle interaction.
Robert Gumpert, Photojournalist
Dramatic photos depicting loners, drop-outs and emergency-room cases--as well as portraits of well-to-do families that have a Diane Arbus/Robert Frank influence. The work is by a seasoned newspaper photographer. Some of the the juxtapositions are jarring.
William Ashbless's street photography and portraits are filled with irony, humor and some good compositions. Visual puns abound.
Structure Out of Chaos
Miami-based Mary Lou Uttermohlen presents a photographic survey of homeless people living in shantytowns in the United States, whom she refers to as "America's own refugees." The images, done in a straightforward Lewis Hine stye, are vivid reminders of how the other half lives.
Jewish Life in Kiev
Ukraine--home of the fourth largest Jewish population in the world--has allowed Jewish life to flourish once again. This dramatic cultural change has been going on with little fanfare in a remote, poor, barely-noticed corner of the world. This site extensively documents the rebirth of Kiev's once-flourishing Jewish community through dramatic portraiture, straight photojournalism and documentary photography.
This German-language sight contains a photo essay about catholic life in Cologne, Germany. The images were originally published in "Stern" magazine. A slow download, but each image is packed with interesting detail and is worth the wait.
Mitchell B. Barutha
Beautifully rendered hand-colored black and white work includes high-impact studio portraits, detail-oriented travel shots and still lifes. This is a pro studio site, so everything has a commercial bent. Highly-polished.
Magnum, the legendary photo agency that is home to such luminaries of photojournalism as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cornell Capa, Bruce Davidson, Elliott Erwitt, David "Chim" Seymour and many more, has just introduced a must-bookmark web site. A gallery displays one image by each photographer; the biographical info is bound to be a helpful resource to any student of photography.
Jeff Dunas: Laura
Man meets model. Man photographs model. Man marries model and documents her life. Who knew a Leica M6 would lead to such marital and photographic bliss? A part of the superb Leica web site.
Gibson: Light Years
Ralph Gibson has influenced a generation of photographers with his extreme, mysterious compositions. His books have always been finely-printed collectors items. Now he brings both new and classic work to the web in a format that tries to push the boundaries a little further. Images are offered in pairs. In one gallery, recent work is displayed in an automated sequence (Netscape/Explorer 2 or higher are recommended); in the other gallery, Gibson's well-known earlier work can be mixed and matched in side-by-side frames. A unique site from someone who has always dared to be different.
Fred LeBlanc's PhotoJournal
The first two galleries on this site are worth visiting. The first documents the Temple of Peace in Leverett , Mass, a Bhuddist pagoda that's off both the physical and metaphysical path; LeBlanc shows us the Monks' glowing faces and documents the pagoda's construction, a good match of image and word. The second gallery takes us to old Sturbridge Village, an historical recreation of a colonial village on the Massachusets-Connecticut border. LeBlanc's photographs transcend the kind of images you would expect from this much-photographed tourist attraction.
From the cool confines of Minnesota comes the Minnesota Arts Site, primarily dedicated to the work of local B&W; shooters. James Dean (no, the other one) has a Basketball Jones, and offers up photos of Basketball rims from his new book, aptly named Rimshots. Carol Weiler's studio shots of flowers are simple and lyrical.
It may be one of the most tasteless sites on the web...or the funniest. The best use of Photoshop we've seen outside of the Weekly World News. George Mahlberg has turned Bob Jackson's famous photo of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald into a jam session (Ruby is on guitar, Oswald sings lead, that guy with the hat is playing keyboards--and they're really into it). The punchline? It was done with Jackson's approval. Navigation tip: go directly to the In-A-Gadda-Da-Oswald link in the left frame to see the pic fast!
Society: Emilie Wilson
A part of a larger collection of on-line galleries, this page is a collection of the best of Emilie Wilson's legendary SnapShots of San Francisco web site. Wilson has a good eye for detail and isn't afraid to tilt her horizons.
One of the first things you see when you go to David Plowden's home page is advice that was given to him by Ansel Adams, Minor White and Walker Evans. Having established these sterling credentials (and modestly leaving out the fact that he has published many books), Plowden then demonstrates that he has learned well from his masters. His American small-town images take on an iconographic, timeless and nostalgic quality that place Plowden on the same shelf as his famous advisors.
Wade's Photobooth Gallery
This is not a place to wax nostalgic over the long-lost photo booth that once sat proudly at the local five-and-ten cent store (you remember: deposit two bits, sit in the booth and pose). No, this page elevates photo booth shots to high--if somewhat campy and wierd--art. Nice cutting edge web site design.
Selected Civil War Photographs
This comprehensive Library of Congress site includes an extensive selection of civil war photographs accompanied by timelines and other information that students of the American Civil War and other history buffs should find useful. Images span the entire war, from its beginnings to the aftermath of President Lincoln's assasination.
November 1997 Top Ten Photo Web
Reviewed by Mason Resnick
Walking in the footsteps of Josef Koudelka, Stacia Spragg visited the Gypsy ghettos of Bulgaria in 1996 and documented this ethnic minority's worstening situation as the country tries to get its act together after the fall of the iron curtain. Heartfelt work that compares well to Koudelka's seminal Gipsies book.
Nudes by Leonard Nimoy
Spock sans socks? This site shows yet another side of versatile actor/director Leonard Nimoy. In addition to his well-known talents, Nimoy is, apparently, a shutterbug. And, as this collection of images of the human form shows, he's a rather good one. So put down that communicator, sidestep those phaser blasts and visit our first bona-fide celeb photog web site. It's the real McCoy. (If this site gets you hungering for a Trek fix, or your eyes are too sensitive or young for nudity, go learn some Klingon.)
The Sub Club
If you like your cameras tiny and your grain big, this is a great hangout. The Sub Club is dedicated to users of 110mm Instamatics, spy cameras and other formats smaller than 35mm. There are lots of links to other peoples' pages. The quality of the work shown is uneven, but the level of enthusiasm for this convenient, eminently pocketable format is uniformly high.
One of the joys of putting together the top ten is the repeat performances: Ken Lichtenwalter has been here before. His recent site revision shows an evolving, maturing style of high-impact portraiture that is destined to keep you off-balance and interested.
Bound To Cover Just A Little More Ground: On Tour With
Get out yer tie-dyes, dig into a pint of Cherry Garcia and tune up that beat up old VW Microbus, it's time to tour with the Grateful Dead! This site shows the band's dedicated groupies doing what they do best: crashing shows, scoring tickets, dancing and generally having a good time filled with peace, love, hair and funny-smelling smoke. The photography, like its subjects, is loose and happy. A must for fans and a worthwhile visit for everyone else.
Sur Le Net
A group of ten French photojournalists put together this joint exhibition of hardcore photojournalism with French commentary. From a documentary of the Chiapas Indians rebellion in Mexico to dramatic childbirth scenes, these images may not have made it into mainstream publications, but that just makes this site a compelling reason why we need the Web.
Carbro Prints Homepage
The Carbro print process layers carbon and gelatin for a relief effect and expanded tonality that is not only true to the tonal range of the original negative, but it transforms the photographic print into a tactile--not just a visual--experience. So this site, dedicated to the Carbro process and amply illustrated, could not do justice to the result. But it does wet the appetite--and prints and processing so anyone can experience it firsthand.
Children of Bangladesh
Ihtisham Kabir's photographs of poor children in Bangladesh have a familiarity a western photographer could not achieve: Kabir, a Silicone Valley programmer, is a Bangladesh native who went to his homeland with his camera. Playing adult games and working at adult jobs, Kabir's young subjects lost their innocence long ago. He should know--he was once one of them.
Oatmeal Box Pinhole Photo Gallery
Designed for children and child-like adults, this site offers some of the better pinhole photos we've seen on the Web. Playful to downright funny subject matter, is enhanced by that goofy pinhole look. Good how-to advice for those who want to experiment. Warning: ya gotta eat the Oatmeal before you can use the container. Ewwww....
Garrett Roberts Photography
Garrett Roberts' images turn mirror images into abstractions. His "Symmetrical" series consists an image and its reflection facing each other, creating a symmetrical, Rosarch-like effect. What do you see in them?
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Absolutely Original Camerawork
An outstanding site that suffers from huge images but covers a lot of ground. The edition we looked at included special sections on James Agee and Walker Evans, photos of a more personal nature by Henri Cartier-Bresson, and the work of Irving Penn. Portfolios of up-and-coming photographers and Photoshop montages also included. Best viewed with ISDN or faster.
Harry Callahan: The Joy of Shooting
This page was a pleasant surprise: dedicated to the photography of Harry Callahan, it includes several photos Callahan made of one of his favorite subjects--his wife, Eleanor--displayed with recreations of the same images, made by Philadelphia Inquirer photographer Bonnie K. Weller (with Elanor as the subject) on the occasion of a Philly exhibit of Callahan's work. A clever concept.
Tulsa: Photographs of Larry Clark
This site is tied into an exhibition, currently taking place in Milwaukee, of photos from Clark's provocative book, Tulsa. Tulsa got a lot of attention when it was published in 1971 because some of the subject matter dealt with addiction, prostitution and generally living a hard life.
One World Multimedia
Photojournalist Onnik Krikorian documents the ceasefire in Nagorno Karabagh in 1994 and presents images taken around the Kurdish new year. Published in numerous Armenian and Kurdish newspapers, his work concentrates around the faces of the victims regional conflicts in this part of the world.
Testing the Human Spirit
This award-winning story of a family that is accidentally infected with the AIDS virus first appeared in the Houston Star-Tribune. Photographer Brian Peterson spent six years with the Simon family and documents, with sensitivity, the devestating toll the disease took. Written with sensitivity by Kurt Chandler and Kimberly Hayes Taylor, the story of how this family dealt with this extraordinary fate will break your heart.
World War I: Another Look
A thick photo album, found in an estate sale by the owner of this site, contained photos made by an anonymous soldier before, during and after World War I. The images provide a view of the "War to end All Wars" through a soldier's eyes. Some of the images, especially the ones taken in France during the summer of 1918, are stunning in their clarity and simplicity.
The Infrared Gallery
An exhibition space for members of an Infrared Photography mailing list. This site contains a generous, constantly changing selection of work from over half a dozen artists, with links to more work and homepages. See the range of creative possibilities that Infrared photography has to offer!
Stunning use of selective coloring adds drama to this outstanding collection of portraits of the people of Tibet by Phil Borges. The images are part of the Lens Work Gallery and are excerpted from Borges's book, Tibetan Portrait. Be sure to read the accompanying text, which describes the pain, torture and exile the Tibetan people are currently being subjected to by their occupiers.
The Prostitution Pictures
Dutch photojournalist Piet den Blanken returns to Black and White World with a look at brothels and prostitutes around the world. He photographed the women at work, in the streets and--most vidvidly--in their homes, with their families and children. See the less known side of the world's oldest profession.
Circle of Confusion
A gallery and on-line photo school, this site offers good, literal landscapes and a couple of nice nature abstracts. Excellent articles on photography for beginners to Zone System fans.
The Rogue's Gallery
Richard Miller's photographs require a serious double-take. Look at the models closely and you'll find there's no there there. Funny, original images that go beyond the idea that fashion photography is more than just a pretty face.
This Italian-based site works in three languages: Italian, French and English. It offers a collection of works by a group of photograhers, divided into concepts like "Shadows" and "Reflections", "The Wonderful Land", "Like A Symphony," etc. The site is truly a group effort: the whole succeeds more than its individual parts.
The Kickapoo: Keepers of Tradition
The web version of Bill Wright's book documenting the Kickapoo, a native American tribe based in Texas. The selection of photos is small but high quality; the historical info is interesting and worth a look.
dr. wood foto
Cool deployment of cutting edge website design engages viewers in this half color, half black and white selection of fashon photos. The faces here do not conform to typical fashion models, which gives this collection a variety that's intriguing. Some partial nudity.
Good headshots and glamour work dominate Vernon Leow's site. Visit the People section first.
London Young Photographers Gallery
One of the frustrations of being young and talented is that you need to be old and possibly of questionable talent in order for your work to be seen. "LYPG" is an elegant group effort by a number of young London-based photographers to get around this problem. The work is generally very good and worth a look.
Mark Tucker's advertising and editorial photography manages to be both slick and witty. But the area of the site that makes the trip most worthwhile is his ongoing documentary of Nashville. His medium format http://www.nashville.net/~mtucker images demonstrate a keen eye for irony.
Wendell Minshew Fine Art Photography
A fine eye for detail , lighting and composition distinguishes this site's landscape work and high-quality portraiture. Check out the appropriately-named "favorites" category.
Tom Chambers Visual Arts Documentary Projects
As a Peace Corps volunteer and curator for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Tom Chambers has seen more than most of us. It's a good thing he brought his camera and sensitive eye for people. Most photos are highlights from exhibits and workshops he has held around the world.
The Beauty of Decay
If you photograph a rusty nail or moldy wood is it art? David Daigle snoops around and captures objects whose time has long gone. Slow loading but worth a look.
Ansel Adams Gallery
If you've ever dreamed of owning an Ansel Adams original, the Ansel Adams Gallery is the place to go. The "special edition" prints sold here were printed by Adams' assistants under his supervision rather than by Adams himself, which may explain why the prints are so reasonably priced (at $125, Half-Dome in Winter is a steal). The gallery also represents a number of other photographers, including John Sexton and Winn Bullock, and offers books and posters to those for whom the price of an Adams Original is still too steep.
Janice M. Barkan Docuscapes
Nicely presented medium format work ranging from feature/newsy to landscapes. A good eye for light and composition.
Sportshots -- America's only provider of Black and White Stock Photos
With more and more newspaper sports sections going color, it's refreshing to know there's a place for B&W photography that stops the action. The photos primarily concentrate on triathalon events--running, biking, etc., and are presented as stock photos. Visit the gallery page to see the photos.
Ed Wolpov Photography
In the early '70s, Ed Wolpov hung out at Rock and Roll mecca's like Bill Graham's Fillmore East, the Central Park Music Festival and other New York music venues. He presents a generous helping of his concert photos here, showing a who's who of classic rock music, from Edgar Winter and Jerry Garcia to Leon Russell, Poco, Tina Turner and The Band. A time warp visit worth taking.
Oxton Studios Photo Library of Photos of Liverpool
From the land of the Beatles comes an extensive historically significant collection of incredibly detailed prints from glass plate negatives which show life in the British town of Liverpool. These Merseyside images represent a massive collection, and give outsiders a unique opportunity to see how people lived during the pre through post WWII years.
Frank van Hees: Photographer
The thumbnails here are deceptive: at first glance, they seem like casual snapshots with a slight nod to Diane Arbus. But the enlargements tell a greater, more mysterious story. The photos, taken throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union, have an underlying tension. Something is not quite right with the world captured here, despite the seemingly festive mood of some of the sitters. Taken with head-on flash in childrens' prisons and hospitals, the images, after all, are more Arbus-esque than at first glance.
Pomegranates: The Photography of Jeff Spirer
Jeff Spirer elegantly, photographically exorcizes the monsters in his closet by finding and capturing the images that were haunting him all along. Spooky.
Neal Garman Monochrome Images
Clean and well composed, Garman's photos show an evolving eye with an affinity for impact through simplicity. A good sense of balance makes this small collection worth a visit.
Postcards from the Kids
A small selection of street photos of children, humbly presented by the editor of Black and White World, as part of a project for a print publication. The closest we've come to an instant web site: from first scan to final upload, the whole project took less than an hour.