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Famous Landscape Photographers

Here are 10 famous landscape photographers who I hope you enjoy getting to know as much as I have.

Most of us know how challenging landscape photography is. To get it really right, and capture the landscape exactly as you mean to, is an incredible skill. So the work of these guys can be a big inspiration...

 

1. Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)

Tetons and The Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, c.1942
Tetons and The Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, c.1942
Adams, Ansel
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Perhaps the first name that springs to mind when we think of famous landscape photographers is Ansel Adams. He was actually shaping up to be a professional concert pianist when his passion for photography finally took over and sent him down a different path.

Lucky for us - since Adams went on to produce a vast number of breathtaking landscape photos of the Californian wilderness. His pictures of the imposing scenery in the Yosemite National Park capture the grandeur of the place and draw attention to the importance of conservationism.

In addition to producing lots of extremely famous photography, Adams founded the 'Zone System' for creating black and white photos with the best possible tonal range.

Ansel Adams Photo Gallery

ansel adams

Ansel Adams, 400 Photographs 

This is a brilliant collection of 400 shots from throughout Ansel Adams' career. There are loads of images, but with average sized pages, it isn't a bank breaker!

 

2. Edward Weston (1886 - 1958)

Edward Weston was a prolific and hugely gifted early photographer. He was born and raised in Chicago and had a fascination with photography from a very young age. He moved to California and became a major exponent of the 'pictorial', school of photography which sought to emulate the beauty of paintings in photographs.

But he soon realized that this limited the role of photography too much, and so became devoted to taking sharp, realistic images.

He was drawn to all manner of subjects, but became one of the most famous landscape photographers of all time through his beautiful shots of the scenery surrounding his Californian home.

Edward Weston Photo Gallery

 

3. Galen Rowell (1940 - 2002)

Sunset over Machu Picchu
Sunset over Machu Picchu
Rowell, Galen
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Galen Rowell's photographic career was spent capturing the impressive colours, light, textures and scale of mountains. He was a keen climber and well respected within the climbing community as someone who had an ability to articulate the sheer exhilaration of being on a mountain through his photographs.

He was tragically killed in a plane crash at just 62, but left a beautiful collection of work that continues to inspire thousands of people.

Galen Rowell Photo Gallery

 

4. Charlie Waite (1949 -)

Charlie Waite is one of the most famous landscape photographers currently working. Personally, I'm an enormous fan of his stuff. His photos always seem to put me in a relaxed mood. They have a deep, calming orderdness about them, which is combined with striking light and beautiful colour.

His style is very distinctive, and I can't put my finger on quite why I like it so much. The square format he often uses is certainly unusual, but there's a much more subtle origiality about Waite's work that draws me back to his galleries time and again. I highly recommend a visit...

Charlie Waite Photo Gallery

Landscape: The Story of 50 Photographs  

This was the first of Charlie Waite's books that I bought, and I've been hooked on his images since. 50 perfect landscapes that seem to have been built and lit entirely by the photographer!

 

5. Jim Brandenburg (1945 -)

Autumn Passage
Autumn Passage
Brandenburg, Jim
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Jim Brandenburg began as a regional photojournalist, before launching his career with National Geographic. He has also worked on several highly successful personal projects. Like many of the photographers on this list, he's a passionate environmentalist. Much of his work, which features both wildlife and landscapes, reflects this concern for the natural world.

In 1980 he published a bestselling book titled "White Wolf", which contained images of wolves on Ellesmere Island. This really is a special collection, with some of the most extraordinary images I've ever seen! In the same year he won the Magazine Photographer of the Year award. A visit to his galleries is a real treat:

Jim Brandenburg Photo Gallery

 

6. Luca Campigotto (1962 -)

Campigotto was born in Venice and many of his most famous images are of his native city. He's well known for both his urban and rural landscapes.

I absolutely love his images of Venice at night in particular, where smooth black water captured on a slow shutter speed suddenly meets the intricately carved, pale stone facades of ancient buildings.

He has a large portfolio of images taken in many continents and his world famous photography is contained in numerous private and public collections. One of my favourite famous landscape photographers.

Luca Campigotto Photo Gallery

 

7. Nick Brandt (1966 -)

Nick Brandt shoots exclusively East African wildlife. So he is perhaps technically more of a wildlife photographer than landscape. But then, he's not really a wildlife photographer in the traditional sense either. He doesn't take dynamic colour pictures of impressive beasts in mid action.

Brandt is more interested in showing animals simply being, or existing. He captures their dignity and majesty more subtly than the average wildlife photographer. He shows them just as they are, in the context of the landscapes in which they naturally exist.

Brandt's career began in the music business where he directed music videos for well known artists like Michael Jackson. It was while working on the video for "Earth Song" that Brandt first encountered the wildlife that would inspire him to change course and become a photographer.

Nick Brandt Photo Galleries

Longer Nick Brandt Biography

nick brandt

On This Earth, by Nick Brandt 

Accompanied by the second book of his trilogy, A Shadow Falls, this is the most inspiring collection of 'wildlife photography' I've ever seen.

 

8. David Muench (1936 -)

Elements in Black
Elements in Black
Muench, David
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David Muench is another of the famous landscape photographers on this list who has been drawn to the American West. He has produced a great deal of very famous photography through more than 50 books!

His images feature beautiful rich, natural colours and pleasing, classical compositions. Muench's father was also a talented landscape photographer and so too is his son!

 

9. Bernhard Edmaier (1957 -)

 

Edmaier is from Munich, Germany, and before becoming a photographer had a career as a civil engineer and geologist. He has a passion for the big, impressive geological features and processes that shape the appearance of the earth.

His work belongs at the fascinating boundary between art and science. Many of his images are taken from above, and capture the striking textures, colours and shapes of the earth's surface. His images are inspiring both aesthetically and as representations of the scientific processes that mould the way the earth looks.

Bernhard Edmaier is one of my personal favourite famous nature photographers and he has won many awards.

 

10. Annie Griffiths Belt

A Blossoming Dogwood Tree in Virginia
A Blossoming Dogwood Tree in Virginia
Belt, Annie...
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Annie Griffiths Belt studied photojournalism and very early in her career began working for National Geographic.

I really love her photography, which is ideally suited to the style and purpose of National Geographic. She captures inspiring and unspoilt locations from throughout the world that make you want to get out there and see them for yourself!

Quite a number of her shots are from an aerial perspective, which results in some very interesting compositions that make use of a 'flat' subject.

 

There are obviously lots more famous landscape photographers (and less famous) well worth discovering. The cut off point of 10 is fairly arbitrary, and those included are just my subjective picks. Let me know whose work you are a fan of in the comments...

National Geographic Magazine

The ultimate magazine for photography of the natural world. I challenge you to pick up a copy and not reach for your camera soon afterwards!

Where Next?

Famous Photographer List By Genre

10 Famous Women Photographers

10 Famous Fashion Photographers

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