In a world where we can find ourselves surrounded by built up areas, technology, and man-made structures, landscape photography offers an escape – not only when you’re out “in the field” taking that photo, but when you’re reflecting back on capturing the presence of nature and the outdoor world.
As a popular genre of photography, you’ve likely taken a few landscapes in your time. We’ve assembled a list of five landscape photographers to inspire your next landscape shoot.
1. Ansel Adams
Starting with the big guns (or rather, cameras) first! You’ve most likely heard of Ansel Adams. He is often referred to as the Master of Landscape, and his work has continued to inspire and draw interest from audiences. Born in San Francisco, California, Ansel was something of an outcast and was initially a musician. It was during the 1920’s that he then became a photographer. His legacy is not just bound to his breathtaking and stunning images (most notable from Yosemite National Park), but he is also known for developing some key techniques in editing such as “burning” and “dodging”. He also created the Zone System. His body of work is one that continues to be an aspiration to landscape photographers worldwide.
2. Sebastiao Salgado
Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist. Initially an economist, it was during his widespread travels that he became involved with photography. He became a full time photographer in 1973 and his work is often focused on documenting the conditions of less developed nations. In the last two decades, his work has moved towards landscapes and wildlife, whilst also still documenting communities that uphold ancestral traditions and cultures. It is said that the aim of these photographs is for humanity to rediscover itself within nature.
3. Lois Conner
Conner is an American photographer noted for her platinum print landscapes which she shoots using a banquet camera. She learned photography at a young age from her father, and has always had a keen interest in the arts – ranging from painting, fashion esing, dance and art. Her work has been included in collections at MOMA, the Met and the Smithsonian American Art Museum too.
4. Fay Godwin
Known for her black and white landscapes of the British countryside and coast, Godwin was initially known in the London literary scene for producing portraits of dozens of well-known writers from the 1970s and 1980s. She had no formal training and she landed on landscape photography through her love of walking. Her work has been noted as representing a sense of bleakness and ecological crisis that England faced during the 1970s and 1980s.
5. Franco Fontana
Italian Franco Fontana first got into photography whilst working as a decorator in a furniture showroom. Joining an amateur photography club in 1961 proved to be a pivotal moment in his career, as by 1965, he had his own solo exhibition. He has since published countless books and is best known for his abstract colour landscapes and interplay of colors. He is known as the inventor of the photographic line referred to as the conceptof line. He has photographed advertising campaigns for many large brands, and has been widely featured in publications such as Time, Life and Vogue.
6. Brett Weston
Brett Weston was an American photographer, and son of photographer Edward Weston. A described “child genius of American photography”, he had a close artistic relationship with his father and was 13 years old when he became his father’s apprentice. During that time, he was influenced by revolutionary artists whilst living in Mexico, such as Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Being surrounded by the contrasting life in Mexico was also an influence on Weston. His work has been compared to the work of painter David Hockney. Weston is credited as the first photographer to make negative space the subject of a photograph.
7. Sally Mann
American photographer Sally Mann is known for her large, black and white photographs. While she has taken photos of her children, she has also become known for her landscapes with themes on decay and death. She was encouraged to take up photography after being introduced to it by her father. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1977, and she has had much of her work published in books, exhibition catalogues and more.
Cover Photo by Sergey Pesterev