The Photo Argus

I'm not a photographer.

I really enjoy photography, and have always wanted to take cool pictures, but have found myself frequently frustrated by the fact that I cannot always get the camera equipment I have (read: usually my cel phone) to faithfully reproduce what I see with my eyes. As a result, I've always enjoyed checking out the work of artistic photographers, especially on the web.

The problem though with artistic photography is that just about anybody can do it, including loads of "I want to be deep and creative but I'm really just overly emotional and don't know what to do with it"-types, so as a result you frequently have to wade through a bunch of half blurry black and whites of leaves and garbage on the side of a city street before you really get to something worth seeing.

In other words, it's one thing to take a picture. It's quite another to use photography artistically.

The Internet, and it's myriad rabbitholes has long been in love with picture imagery. Whether it's the storehouses like flickr, the human Pokemon card collection elements of social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Hot or Not, et. al., the squillion bytes of pornography out there, or the artist portfolio sites that you occasionally come across and get lost in -- photographic images are circulatory system that drives interest. Content will always be king, but if your content doesn't have at least one picture included -- a big part of the Internet faithful (for better or for worse) won't come knocking.

As such, on boring work days (like this one) where websurfing is an welcome distraction, tumblr photoblogs and photography websites are welcome draws. But like so many other things out there, the results are largely hit or miss -- depending on your tastes, and your individual patience with attempting to navigate what ALWAYS seems to be convoluted website navigational design when you find a portfolio webpage for someone who considers themselves to be a true artiste.

Dear Internet artists -- I want to look at the pictures. Please tell me where the hell they are so I can stop clicking aimlessly on the leaves of an illustration of a tree hoping they'll reveal themselves in one of the 75 pop up windows that your flash-enabled website insisted upon opening, k?.

All of which goes into why today's choice is not just a Highly Recommended Thing of the Moment, but as a constant bookmark. I don't know about you -- but I have a handful of sites I visit when there's really nothing else happening on the web that interests me. Just places full of neat stuff that I can wander around, like a museum or a gallery -- in search of something to inspire my writing or at least interest my attention for a while.

The Photo Argus is one of those places.

It's true purpose is as a tip, trick, and technique resource for photographers of all levels -- but in showing those tips in action, it's also a really cool picturebook for outsiders like me. This is especially true of a regular feature they have called inspiration -- which collects groups of photos centered around a theme, and places them in a long scroll format that lets you browse through them easily and quickly.

Occasionally I drop by and check them out -- almost always resulting in a new desktop background, email forward, or mixtape cover image, and even sometimes formulates the beginning of an idea in my own mind that becomes a story, blog post, or whatever.

Long story short, there's some really cool stuff here -- and you might like it.


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