Fortepan’s humongous online community trove of Hungarian vintage photos is one of our top favorites. Started in 2010 with five thousand photos found in trash cans, they now have more than 140,000 photos online, free to download and use as you wish, as well as weekly photo-based articles and a forum for discussions about individual snaps. (To translate the site into English, copy and paste the web address into Google Translate and then click on the translated version).
To try and describe Billy Parrott’s snapshot collection makes us quiver with admiration, awe and willing defeat. The Associate Director of Mid-Manhattan New York Public Library and the former Managing Librarian of the Picture Collection, Parrott’s pickings are like Lotharios, never failing to induce an eye-swoon.
German collector Jochen Raiss’ website features a number of themed collections, one of which was published in book form as Women in Trees. Also of note: people posing with polar bears, and a bevy of “sleeping beauties”.
Baileigh Faucz Hermann hails from Colorado. Her collection of vintage RPPC (real photo postcards) feature sepia-soaked scenes of swaggering cattle-rustlers and chain-gang railroad workers, take-no-shit women wielding shotguns, and frontier-weary pioneer lasses trying not to lose it. There’s lots of taxidermy, fish that didn’t get away, starched aprons and petticoat peeks, navy ships stocked with restless sailors, gritty army camps, tattered stars and stripes, a few flying machines and–did I say guns already?– lots of guns. Images of the American West, under assault by change.
Many of Kevin “the Photo Bug” Abell’s snapshots picture people in motion– chopping wood, leaping into lakes, walking on fences, posing in togas and dancing in polka dots, dressing and undressing, kissing and groping– all somehow elegant in their kinetic, awkward lack of pretension, captured and now shared.