100 Landscape Photographers Worth Knowing…

We see these lists, all the time. Most are long, endless lists of boring sameness. Lifeless lists of lemmings; photographers, with a few exceptions, who all look the same. All copying each others work in a repetitive, diminishing circle of indistinguishable and interchangeable styles and ideas. Most lists are worthless.

Surely the purpose of such lists is to showcase artists where each has been carefully chosen to bring something of particular value into the sphere of other Landscape Photographers. An outward looking list. A rich tapestry of creative and functional ideas, styles and techniques; contrasting, challenging, thought provoking and truly useful. A mix of the established and the new, traditional and avant-garde. A diverse list which helps other photographers to grow.

So, I thought I would put together my own list below.

Let me share four important criteria for my choices;

First, this is not a list of the “Top 100″ or “The Best”; the concept of better or best is a nonsense. They are all excellent. As are thousands who will be left off the list. What is important here is that they are different from each other and chosen for particular reasons. And it is this broad difference in vision and values, technique and ideas which this list hopes to showcase. Read More »






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Creativity and the Photographer

Some thoughts…

I am wondering, what is creativity? And, what can we do to become more creative photographers?

Of course, there are no easy formulas. And this short post can not even start to answer such profound questions. However, I think there are a few ideas which can help us. Let me share two. But first, some context.

Over the last few years I have been on a journey into photography. Like many people, I have been trying to discover and develop my creative side. I have always enjoyed building, crafting and making things, particularly photographs.  And while these are often seen as ‘creative’ activities, the simple act of making something, does not, by default, mean we have been or are creative. Making things can be very functional, lacking in any creativity.

Many people speak of creativity using nice woolly words like soul, mood, passion, feeling and spark. And yes, these are all great words to wrap around the concept of creativity,  however they are not particularly helpful in giving us some real goalposts to aim at.

For me, creativity implies that we have created or added ‘something extra’. It is that bit of ‘magic’ which will occasionally take what we make and transport it to a special place.

Here are two things I have learnt which have help me to understand what creativity is and how to find it.

Mamiya 7II / 80mm / Velvia 50 Film

Mamiya 7II / 80mm / Velvia 50 Film

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Creativity

How do you make an interesting photograph,  when conditions appear to be un-interesting? 

A few weeks ago I wrote a sarcastic post on Facebook bemoaning the 20+ photographers I had encountered at Coogee Ocean Pool that morning. Almost all the photographers had their cameras firmly mounted on rigid tripods, all lenses were pointed in the same direction and they were all chattering about how poor the light and conditions were.

It reminded me that photography is about creativity. It is about being open and agile to what ever environment and conditions you encounter. Photography is not a functional or robotic activity. The photographer needs to ‘work the environment’, generate ideas and imagine creative solutions. Photography is about vision. Your vision!  I think too many photographers expect ‘mother nature’ to do all the work.

Here is the photograph I made that morning. This may not be to every ones liking. However to my eyes, it is different and creative.

Coogee, NSW Australia

Mamiya 7II / 43mm / Velvia 50 Film

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A Technique for Editing Your Photography…

I’d like to share some thoughts on editing, from my own perspective.

You may have your own methods, for your own purpose. For each of us, these might be very different. I hope these thoughts below might add to your own thinking on this topic.

There is no one way, or right way, to edit your photography.

Editing for me, is not just an ‘after’ task. Editing is a constant activity, on a continuum. It starts before I pick up a camera, it is present while I work my camera and it continues at any time I need to review, sort, select or arrange my finished photographs.

I am not talking here about retouching or the functional aspects of editing which you might do in Photoshop. That is a different type of editing from which I speak of.

When I talk about “editing”, I am talking about the making of ‘considered choices’ which drive my whole process of planning, capturing, finishing and presenting a photograph or body of work. It is also about the ‘how and why’ I make those choices, and it is about the effect such choices have in helping to build and shape my art and bring my vision to life. That is what I mean by editing.

Fundamental to having a good editing process is that it has a solid foundation which guides the choices I make. This foundation is what I call my vision and values, and it is these which help me to make good decisions throughout my workflow.

Let me explain…

Mamiya 7II / 43mm / Velvia 50 Film

Mamiya 7II / 43mm / Velvia 50 Film

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