Lay of the Land

Photoblogs are all the rage and while journos are busy smugly comparing them to "Walker Evans and Nan Goldin rolled together on your computer screen," the articles seem little more than catalogs, lists of someone's favorites from an afternoon sweeping of the blogroll links on photojunkie or maybe a swipe through the top tops on photoblogs.org.

In the websphere outside the blogiverse (extending our methaphors as broadly as possible), the last few years have seen the blossoming of the PAW meme, or Picture A Week, started by Kyle Cassidy and spread outwards from the LUG to all corners of online photography.

Finally there's no shortage of other personal photo collections and galleries that are neither plogs or PAWs but simply photos collected and shown on their makers' various sites — some for commercial purposes, some simply to share snaps of Whiskers and Mittens with the granchildren. And most to inhabit the spaces between. You know the ones: "I'm not a professional photographer, but here are my shots of the Taj Mahal and a sunset over the Willamette Bridge..."

While a few attempts have been made to catalog all of these sites, let's face it — it's a fool's errand, especially when there are so many, and so little information to go on about them. And the notion of any critical voice is entirely absent — thousands of sites, each going their own merry ways and so many of them aspiring to the most banal sorts of chocolate-box imagery.

For all these reasons and more, I've decided to start PhotoRant. PhotoRant will take names and taunt the guilty, with a liberal dose of praise for those who rise to deserve it. You have been warned.

Comments on "Lay of the Land"

Jon Fernquest
July 7, 2003 01:54 AM

Checked out Photoblogs.org and took a few sorties into the jungle of Photoblogs with the search engine but was quickly overwhelmed! Most of the titles of the sites are not very descriptive and there don't seem to be many with intellectual value added like your's. Photoblog.org doesn't have any semantically classified directory structure like most search engines either. Not very useful.

 

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