A Photo A Day…

Tanning.
Tanning.

…keeps the boredom away, if nothing else. There are dozens of photo-a-day sites out there, good for everything from a shot of inspiration, to a case of goosebumps. Looking at others’ best work and happy accidents can be just the thing sometimes to break us out of our own creative doldrums, or remind us of what’s possible with camera in hand. The sites below, with commentary, are a handful of my favorites (no piano-playing cats, promise).

In no particular order:

Slate/Magnum Today’s Pictures: Magnum, the legendary photo agency founded by Capa, Cartier-Bresson, Seymour, et al. and Slate, the somewhat less legendary online magazine owned by the Washington Post Company, team up daily to publish thematic photo essays assembled from the vast Magnum archives. The essays are a mixed bag, sometimes tied to current events, others to history, and some (like yesterday’s photo essay for World Sight Day) focused elsewhere.

 Earthshots is essentially a perpetual photo contest. Participants from various points on the map send in their photos, with one per day chosen as the winner and featured on the site. There’s no fee to enter, the conditions aren’t onerous like they are with many other photo contests, and whether or not you choose to enter, each day’s winning entry is generally of very high quality.

A Photo A Day is exactly what it says, and consists largely of documentary photography. The site navigation is frustrating (half the links don’t go where they should, when they go anywhere at all), but the photography is worth the occasional broken link and blind alley.

A Photo A Day From Planet Earth, like Earthshots, attracts photographers from all over the globe, though in this case it’s not billed as a contest. The photos on display are as eclectic as the photographers who took them, with landscapes cheek by jowl with portraits rubbing shoulders with architectural photography and cityscapes.

Astronomy Picture of the Day is a daily bit of photography from NASA that’s quite literally out of this world.

PhotoColumn is a great resource… it proves that photojournalism is far from a dead art form (even if the pay isn’t quite what it used to be), gathering photo columns from several local papers. It is “…dedicated to the advancement of story telling, one picture at a time.”

Photo.net is a lively community of photographers of varying skill levels, and their site has a random image selector that trawls its database of members’ photos. It’s an easy way to kill an hour if you’re not careful.

Finally, CityDailyPhoto is a compendium of photo-a-day sites and blogs from around the globe. You can use the site to find your city of choice, or just vicariously travel the world through someone else’s eyes.

The First 10,000 runs on passion (and an awful lot of caffeine). Buy me a coffee.