MARY ELLEN MARK. Certainly one of the greatest living documentary photographers. Her portraits are wonderful, and always include the person in a meaningful context. Many will know of her book Streetwise, about the lives of teenagers on the street in Seattle, or Falkland Road, an intimate and compassionate view of the lives of prostitutes in Bombay. www.maryellenmark.com
RALPH GIBSON. Strongly graphical photographs about emotion, place, sex, you name it. Gibson's images are so unique that once you know his work, you'll recognize it anywhere. Often surreal, impossible to view without thinking about more than you see. He has published many books, and images he has sequenced say much more than a single photograph. www.ralphgibson.com
TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS. Compelling portraits, mostly of celebrities or people in the art community. The simplicity of plain backgrounds coupled with the detail and presence of negatives made with an 11x14 view camera project a person so lifelike that we just keep looking, thinking we are getting to know someone. www.greenfield-sanders.com
JEFF DUNAS. People photographer with a phenomenal range who takes pictures on his day off, and maybe in his sleep. Celebrity portraits, blues musicians, weddings, street photography, nudes, American icons. www.dunas.com
MICHAEL A. SMITH AND PAULA CHAMLEE. Modern inheritors of the vision and ways of working of Edward Weston. They make only contact prints, mostly from negatives created with 8x10 and larger view cameras. A husband and wife team, Michael and Paula travel extensively and photograph everything one can imagine. Their approach is that it's not what something is that's important, it's what it looks like. Masterful compositions rendered in beautifully detailed contact prints with a tonal range that will impress! www.michaelandpaula.com
CARL WEESE. If Ansel Adams had been an Easterner, he might have made photographs like Weese...or at least he should have! Like Michael and Paula, Carl also works with large view cameras and makes contact prints. He is a superb platinum printer and has written some of the best known books and articles on this process used by many prominent photographers in the first third of the twentieth century. www.carlweese.com
ELSA DORFMAN. Elsa makes 20 by 24 inch Polaroid portraits in her studio in Cambridge, MA. Some celebrities, but mostly everyday people showing us wonderful things about themselves, along with plenty of dogs, babies, snakes, musical instruments, pizza, and circus performers. Stories about her friendships with people like Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, and reviews of books about or by photographers like Cindy Sherman, Margaret Bourke-White, Diane Arbus and Sally Mann. You must see this website. elsa.photo.net (no www needed).
JANE BOWN. For over 50 years, Jane Bown has been making refreshing and unpretentious portraits of royalty, entertainers, politicians, street people, and everyone else you can imagine for the London Observer. She works only in black and white, with available light and a handheld camera. When you see her work, you'll say, "That's the real Richard Burton, or Stephen Hawking, or Maya Angelou." observer.guardian.co.uk/JaneBown/JaneBown_gallery.swf
RICHARD AVEDON, YOUSUF KARSH, HELMUT NEWTON, ARNOLD NEWMAN, and IRVING PENN made some of the finest portraits of the 20th and early 21st century. Their work exists all over the Internet at many locations, and can be easily located with Google.
MOSTLY FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS....
PHOTO.NET. Almost certainly the largest, most diverse, and one of the oldest sites for photographers. Everything from camera reviews to photographs uploaded for critique to forums on everything from lighting to film developing to the digital darkroom. It is difficult to imagine a question about anything photographic not either already answered here or quickly handled on one of the forums. photo.net (no www)
UNBLINKINGEYE. Ed Buffaloe's one of a kind place with numerous technical articles about alternative photographic processes (that means old), lots of assorted technical info for photographers, a gallery, and liberal portions of motorcycles, poetry, and Buddhism thrown in. Another must stop! www.unblinkingeye.com
LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY.INFO. Not interesting unless you work with large view cameras, and indespensible if you do. A real community and a wealth of information for anyone thinking about this totally non-automated way of working. www.largeformatphotography.info