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cool photo sitesMakeUseOf readers are a discerning bunch. While its true that I say this to flatter you it may very well be true, and so it is only fitting that this site now sports a fresh new look. Your aesthetic curiosity now whetted by the new MakeUseOf, where do you turn to for supplementary visual pleasure? The web is awash in remarkable graphic art and photography and entire sites exist to showcase them.

This post has two goals in mind: first, it lists a few interesting sources, some that offer photographs that are simply beautiful or quirky, while others are pertinent to events or offer cultural insights. The second goal is to challenge the reader to share with others their finds, ranging from the obvious to the under-appreciated.

Before we proceed, a word of caution: while the sites mentioned here are both interesting and artistic, be warned that not all the content on them may be safe for work.

Flickr’s “Last 7 Days Interesting” Set

Flickr's Recent Interesting

It would be sacrilege to speak of photography on the internet without mentioning Flickr, and some might contend (though I do not) that the list can even end right here. The above is a screenshot of Flickr’s page of interesting pictures from the last 7 days. The page can be refreshed to display different subsets of photographs that are almost all reliably worthy of viewing.

Alternative ways to explore Flickr include Flickr Groups, or any of a number of Flickr content showcase sites like FlickRiver, an AIR application called DestroyFlickr (don’t let the name scare you, the authors intent is anything but!), RSS feeds from Flourish (Flickr offers its own RSS feeds, of course), or a Flickr widget from WidgetBox.


Other sites, such as Photo-Eye offer sumptuous visual galleries of professional and artistic photography that are well worth your time.


DeviantART-cool photo web sites

DeviantART is an old (and favourite) name for chronic wallpaper hunters and admirers of digital art. Also available from this “community of artists” are collections of impressive photographs that are categorised into Still Life, Street, Humorous and other sections.

The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture

The Big Picture

A few times each month the Boston Globe presents in its “The Big Picture” web pages, collections of some of the most amazing photographs that range from natural wonders to political events. The page includes an RSS feed, a comments section, and archives are also available.

Views of the News

Sure you scoffed at “the MSM” (MainStream Media, for the uninitiated) during the US election season, but now that that’s all settled, you can quietly return to their online offerings, since many of their websites offer interesting multimedia, including slideshows that provide a pictographic equivalent of current events and news.

NY Times Multimedia

The New York Times multimedia page includes photo slideshows, interactive features, audio slide shows, and a Pictures of the Day section.

Spiegel: Picture This

The German newspaper Spiegel provides a section called “Picture This” (clever!?) updated daily with interesting pictures, typically from Europe.

Time Photoessays

Time Magazine’s website includes a Photo Essays section that includes sections similar to other such sites, sorting pictures by day, week and year. Also of interest is their “Graphics” section with, well you might have guessed it, graphics highlighting various bits of data (e.g: 5 Truths About Health Care in America). One recent Photo Essay offers a haunting look at The Remains of Detroit.

BBC: In Pictures

The BBC gets in on the act with their In Pictures offering the now familiar temporal categories, as well as Audio Slideshows and user contributed content.

Its brethren, the Times Online (broken down by region and kind) and The Guardian (including this cheerful Flickr set that documents the recession) too offer similar photo galleries.

And then there’s Tumblr and Google Maps Sightings

In the last two years, the micro-blogging (or perhaps more accurately, tumblelog) site Tumblr has attracted photography and picture buffs whose posts include their own snapshots as well as interesting pictures found elsewhere. One contributor you will find infinitely resourceful in teasing out the most intriguing and amusing pictures from the nooks and crannies of the internet as well as the real world is Szymon BÅ‚aszczyk, author of the Inspire me, now! blog:

Inspire me, Now!

So… what are you lookin’ at?    What online photo sources feed your fetish?

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