| December 28th, 2011, 8:44 PM

Quantity and quality are the pleasures and problems of sites that collect and distribute images (like Flickr and others). Confronted with an overwhelming mass of pictures and their equally overwhelming lack of quality, you feel like sitting next to a friend who guides you through 100s of pictures of a recent trip. There are a few exceptions though, and the one I enjoy the most at the moment is It offers some archaeology of every day life and provides a certain context to the pictures, which are accompanied by comments and discussions. But the real pleasure of Shorpy is that it functions like a school for composition. Most of the pictures are based on classical composition schemes; there is an air of solid formal work there and you can learn a great deal why some pictures are more efficient than others.