The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth hosts the best and most complete online collection of astronaut photographs of the Earth from 1961 through the present.
The free database is is a great way to explore both photographs and videos taken by astronauts from space. The public is permitted to use the images so long as they credit them appropriately:
“Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center” or “Video courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center” as appropriate. We recommend that the caption for any photograph published include the unique photo number (Mission-Roll-Frame), and our website (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov) so that others can locate or obtain copies when needed.
Miami at Night Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center ISS026-E-8504 http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov
Check out the Smithsonian’s online exhibit “A Democracy of Images.” Here is the Smithsonian explanation of the exhibit:
The photographs presented here are selected from the approximately 7,000 images collected since the museum’s photography program began thirty years ago, in 1983. Ranging from daguerreotype to digital, they depict the American experience and are loosely grouped around four ideas: American Characters, Spiritual Frontier, America Inhabited, and Imagination at Work.
The title A Democracy of Images refers to Walt Whitman’s belief that photography was a quintessentially American activity, rooted in everyday people and ordinary things and presented in a straightforward way. Known as the “poet of democracy,” Whitman wrote after visiting a daguerreotype studio in 1846: “You will see more lifethere—more variety, more human nature, more artistic beauty. . . than in any spot we know.” At the time of Whitman’s death, in 1892, George Eastman had just introduced mass market photography when he put an affordable box camera into the hands of thousands of Americans. The ability to capture an instant of lasting importance and fundamental truth mesmerized Americans then and continues to inspire photographers working today.
The online exhibit allows you to browse, search, and further explore the exhibit. It’s a great resource for those interested in American history and Art History.
Over 870,000 photographs of the municipal operations of New York City have been made public and tell the history of the city through a unique medium. Some of the photographs date back to the mid 1800s and highlight the unique physical and cultural evolution of the city – highlighting the construction of various important buildings and structures, the rise and fall of celebrities, and even grisly gang-land murders.
The publication and availability of these photographs is a move by the Department of Records to make these records more readily accessible via the internet.
“We all knew that we had fantastic photograph collections that no one would even guess that we had,” Kenneth Cobb.
The database, while impressively large, still has some prominent gaps that the city is consistently working to fill – and it is growing daily.
Mario Tama, a Getty Images photographer, was at home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, when he got the call that something big was happening at the World Trade Center site. After grabbing his cameras and coming around the corner, Tama saw the huge hole in the north tower and immediately thought of war – a subject he hadn’t covered before.
The events of 9/11 turned out to be Tama’s introduction to war photography, something he never wanted to do. Even after photographing Hurricane Katrina and the start of the Iraq War – two events with much human suffering – Tama says 9/11 is the “most shocking thing I’ve ever covered.”