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.
Second, I have a broad view as to what Landscape Photography might embrace. Landscape Photography is not just a pretty picture of a natural open vista with a straight horizon. For me, it can involve the human influence; be it people, their culture or their structures. So long as ‘key elements’ play an important part of what is, the core landscape narrative, I believe any element can be included in a landscape photograph.
Third, I am also very open to a vision and an aesthetic which is interpretive. As photographers we are creative and we bring our own vision to what we see and do. We are not ‘photocopiers’; we are not there to just make a Xerox copy of what we see. I like to think that the photographer can be a ‘part’ of the photograph in the sense that the photographer contributes their own unique vision of the scene. I understand that some photographers like a purist approach to landscape photography where a faithful capture of the landscape is required. And that is perfectly ok, however I don’t consider it a “hard rule” and as such I don’t limit my self or this list to such visions.
Fourth, many of the photographers I have chosen, do not shoot landscapes exclusively. If they have a notable landscape presence in their work, I will include them so as not to miss their specific contribution to our topic.
Below are the next 5 photographers on my list. Which now makes 38. I will add more every month or two until I reach 100. This gives me the time to research carefully those photographers worth sharing.
If you do find this list interesting, please share it with your friends. Thank you.
• • •
Aaron Brumbelow is an artist who challenges both the core definition of what a landscape might be, and the concept of how we might choose to experience, capture, discover and share it.
Aaron’s visions of 3D constructed worlds and his virtual journeys through Google Street View have produced art pieces which offer us unique views and viewing experiences.
He says of himself, “I am of the generation that grew up with the Internet as a dominant mode for viewing the landscape around us. Each future generation will find the virtual space as familiar as the real world.”
His project, ‘LF Home’ stems from his own experience of travelling through his home town of Tull, Arkansas. “LF” is common internet shorthand for ‘looking for’, and his capturing of his home town is done through screen grabs of Google street view and satellite imagery. Hence ‘Looking For Home’. Aaron says, “GSV is meant to be purely an informational application, yet it provokes an emotional response when the individual user views an area he or she finds familiar.”
Another of Aaron’s projects, ‘#Explore’, presents a constructed world which he describes as landscapes made of polygons and rendered. These renderings are by a 3-D artist employed by Blizzard Entertainment which Aaron has then represented as Art pieces. He raises a very interesting thought when we consider people do spend considerable time on-line or in virtual gaming landscape environments. He says of this; “these lands are no less traveled than the physical spaces around us. They hold real memories and evoke powerful emotions to those who have spent time in this digital world.”
Aaron’s web site is here
My introduction to the work of Todd Hido was through his project, ‘A Road Divided’. I came upon a photograph of his, shot through the window of a car, and I thought ‘wow’, that’s an interesting perspective. I’ve since explored many of Todd’s projects and photographs. I very much like the sense of road trip I get from much of his work. Just driving and looking.
There is a kind of sadness to many of his photographs. That too I like, and I don’t know why. Todd’s work has the feeling of a lost journey to it; perhaps lost to him or visiting a past that is now gone. There is a soulfulness to his images I just love. Not often happy but of an emotion that is real and human which we all feel at times.
He is a wonderful example of a photographer who brings a lot of himself into his photographs.
Todd’s web site is here.
Philip J Brittan
I was struck by how different and creative Philip’s vision of Autumn is.
How many thousands of images have we all seen made by photographers shooting the Autumn season. And how many look the same.
Bang!! With one look I was shown something I had not seen before; a fresh, eye catching and bursting vision from a completely new perspective. Philip says of his work, “I was motivated by the challenge of attempting to say something fresh about an endlessly photographed subject.” Thank god for photographers like Philip.
What a wonderful lesson for us all; Think Different! (where have I heard that before?)
Philip’s web site here
David J. Carol
David Carol is an inspiring photographer. Inspiring for many reasons, but two in particular are worth highlighting first; he is a constant reminder to me that we can and should have fun, taking photos. Photography doesn’t have to be super serious. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
David also stresses the importance of making photos just for yourself. If someone else likes them, well that’s a bonus.
Those two gems of advice alone, are enough for me. However, he is also a wonderful teacher and mentor for other photographers within the photographic community, and he helps to share their work to the world.
David is also a writer and is an example of how helpful it is for photographers to be able to write well if they wish to share their own work and vision.
And all of this is before we even get to his photographs.
David is an irreverent soul. He says of his being a photographer, “My job as a photographer is to find stuff and report back.” This irreverence informs his pictures. He goes out into the world and brings back images that make me smile. His work speaks and they are happy, funny, cheeky thoughts. He makes the world a better place.
David makes pictures of where we live, work and play. His vision makes me stop and look, and keep on looking, and thinking, “what’s going on here”.
Here is a wonderful interview with David… fun, fast paced, full of insights, ideas and learning. Really worth a listen. Here
David’s web site here
Christian Fletcher is a stand-out photographer in the highly competitive and very crowded space of commercial landscape photography. He is one of Australia’s best known, most commercially successful and highly awarded photographers of this genre.
Christian is based in the vast region of Western Australia, a photographic ‘gold mine’ of visual opportunity, colour, texture and diversity.
He is a brilliant photographer of the land, and a wonderful exponent of sharing Australia’s uniqueness to the world. His work has a very strong following of people who share and collect his vision and passion for this great southern land.
Through his workshops, on-line tutorials and lectures Christian is a much sort after teacher of landscape photography.
Commercial landscape photography is a very tough business and I enjoy seeing people like Christian achieve this level of success.
Christian’s web site here
I like that Emma Phillips said of her approach to photography, that she is “very careful”. What a wonderful lesson to us all.
In a world awash with images it is very difficult to produce a body of work which can grab wide attention. Emma Phillips has done just that with her project, Salt. Emma took what some might have seen as a banal industrial wasteland and has produced an eye-catching, minimalist artistic vision. Powerful, and strangely chic, imagery out of the obvious, the simple, the odd and the plebeian. A different type of vision of Australia’s vast blue sky’d landscape.
Very careful indeed!
Emma’s web site here
Mitch Dobrowner is best known for his wonderful images of storm cells unleashing their majestic power over vast landscapes. However, it is this urban image below of the Hollywood Sign that has grabbed my current attention. How many times have we all seen this photographed? Yet Mitch Dobrowner has captured a completely fresh look. In this image the Hollywood Sign is not overt, in fact we might miss seeing it were we not to look carefully, and yet, the Hollywood Sign still manages to completely dominate the hills and valley in a quiet and unpretentious way; it is very un-Hollywood, and that’s what makes this photograph so interesting for me.
Mitch shoots his photographs as a “latent image”, that is, in-camera with minimal or no digital manipulation. There is a great challenge for him in doing that; seeking out the rare and the real which natures events and light can offer and then capturing that wonder in his camera.
Mitch Dobrowner’s web site is here
Eliot Dudik’s photographs of American Civil War battlegrounds are wonderful examples of artful landscapes imbued with a documentary narrative.
Eliot’s project, ‘Broken Land’, brings together lessons from the past, with todays dysfunctional governance of the (dis)United Sates of America. Eliot has been exploring the landscape and culture of southern states in a large format, documentary style. Taking us on a journey of historical landscapes and the lessons of history which, in a new way, appears to be repeating itself in modern American government. Eliot says, “Current political and cultural polarisation in the United States seems to have blinded citizens to the effects of historical schisms: divisions that, have not been recognised and resolved, led to the horrific and devastating events of the American Civil War. The current political divide in this country is not dissimilar to that of mid-nineteenth century America.”
Eliot’s wonderfully matter of fact tone to his landscapes of Civil War battle sites has a very contemplative feel encouraging us to ponder the lessons of the past from our position in the present.
I love Broken Land’s depth, its sense of purpose and its values. Vision and Values; the hallmarks of great photography.
Eliot Dudik’s web site is here: eliotdudik.com
David Littlejohn of the Wall Street Journal calls Richard Misrach “the most interesting and original American photographer of his generation.”
Richard has photographed landscapes for over 40 years. He is one of the pioneers of large scale colour prints, forging his own path with colour, when most of his contemporaries chose to work in black and white. One interesting aspect of his choosing to shoot in colour, is that he does not make extensive use of colour in his final photograph.
Richard Misrach does not seek out the beautiful in a landscape as many others do. Yet, he still delivers a visual aesthetic which can often be very pleasing to the eye. Richard’s aesthetic is often charged with a deep running narrative around issues of politics, sociology and the human environment.
Look out for a project call “Desert Cantos”, which is a personal favourite of mine.
Details on Richard Misrach and his work can be found here at the Fraenkel Gallery.
Edward Burtynsky says, “I’m always interested in finding that singular frame that defines this kind of large-scale human collective activity necessary to provide for seven billion people.”
Intentional landscapes, created by human activity, displayed large and in incredible detail are all characteristics of Edward’s vision. He wants to show us the vast breadth and the detail of human activity on Earth. Edward will often get into a location and up high to make a photograph that has not ever been made before. A unique vision, often shocking or surprising us in the process. A photograph which makes us think about humans on Earth. To paraphrase The Vancouver Sun; it’s the terrible beauty of Edward Burtynsky.
He speaks of the act of taking a photograph as a “contemplated moment”, intentionally planned to be visually compelling. A perfect contrast, on so many levels, to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “the decisive moment”.
Look for Edward Burtynsky’s projects and films; ‘Manufactured Landscapes’ and ‘Watermark’
Edward Burtynsky’s work can be found here: www.edwardburtynsky.com
Here is a video link on Edward Burtynsky.
The story of The American West is often told with visions of epic landscapes, abundant resources, unspoilt natural beauty and limitless opportunities. Robert Adams has chosen to share a different vision.
Rather than putting himself in the national parks as Ansel Adams might do, Robert Adams has focused on the changing landscape; the contradiction between the west’s beauty and people’s need to transform that beauty and space. It was beauty, space and a fresh new world which often drove people west, looking for a new start. But when they arrived, they changed it. It is this underlying tension between old west and new west which is at the heart of his work.
Robert Adams images are often very simple and subtle. Soft light and tone. Simple compositions and a gentle tone of voice. His work feels like that of a, quite candid observer, watching a world change.
What struck me about David Favrod’s work is how he is prepared to imbued his images with a deep sense of story; a narrative about his cross cultural homeland of Japan, fused with the memories told to him from his mother and grandparents. David is a Swiss-Japanese photographer, born in Japan and now living and working in Switzerland. David is clearly moved by the stories of culture, war and peace and he seeks to bring that part of his heritage into his new world. I can feel this passion and connection in his work.
I like that he will alter or add elements to his images to bring his story to life. That the landscape picture is the canvas, setting a scene upon which the story will be enacted.
David’s site is here: www.davidfavrod.com
Paul van Schalkwyk
As I write this, I am only just learning of the death of photographer Paul van Schalkwyk in a plane crash while shooting his wonderful landscapes. It is a bit surreal as I was only in contact with his team a few weeks ago to get permission to use his work. Such a shame.
Paul was a legendary photographer based in Namibia. The sky was his studio. He set the benchmark for capturing the most beautiful images of our Earth from above. Paul said of his vision; “At the Skeleton Coast and the Namibian desert, it is easy to imagine that you are the first person to cross the horizon, the first person to experience being here. It is nature at its most raw. The landscape is inspirational, vast and sparsely populated. It presents me with a sense of discovery, with its rock formations, caves and dry riverbeds. There is no camouflage, it is stripped bare, you are able to read the geological time – read the history of the landscape.”
Paul did not just capture Namibia’s beauty, for beauties sake. He also wanted to awaken our senses to the fragility of our land, which we humans so often disrespect and abuse. His hope, was that by each person discovering the magnificence and grandeur of raw earth, we might each grow in our respect for our planet and work to better protect it.
Paul had a great feeling for his land. His photographs will continue to share his passion with generations to come.
Pauls work can be found here: http://www.paulvans.com
I am very attracted to Pep Ventosas’s vision of landscapes. He makes his photographic art out of many photographs. Pep will take what is sometimes a familiar scene to us and gives us a completely new vision; a unique new space with a different energy and personality.
He challenges the notion that a photograph is either, one moment in time, or is one exposure over time. In the process he causes us to reexamine the very nature of what is a photograph. Pep’s reconstructed images create a new place, that never existed.
He says, “All my images are made using multiple photographs. In the “Reconstructed” series, I first shoot a scene in parts, so each photograph becomes like a puzzle piece. I then manually reassemble the scene in the digital darkroom, working and fine-tuning each separate piece. I look for balance, rhythm and new relationships between the individual pieces so the final image is a new narrative made of separate sequences.”
Pep adds what I think is some helpful advice to all ambitious photographers; “I think that if you want to stand out you should not take the same picture that has been taken.”
Pep’s site can be seen here: http://www.pepventosa.com
Matthew Brandt’s art, challenges the concept of “what is a photograph” even further and in the process also tests our assumptions of how a photograph can be made. He pushes the boundaries of ‘The Photograph’ as an ‘Art Object.’
Matthew places his own work in a historical continuum where the evolution of photography has always been one of experimental evolution. And it is this experimentation that is at the heart the making of his work.
He likes to incorporate the physical world into his photographs. He will use anything from bodily fluids to food or dust as a way to connect his subject, to the materials and process to make his final art. For example, he will soak C-type prints of his water and lake landscapes, in the very same water he photographed. He will allow this lake water to react with the prints. The result is a unique art piece which is unique every time.
Matthew Brandt says, “Photography has so many applications, that I see it expanding further in many directions to many representational forms. But it definitely seems that there is something in the air to rekindle the notion of a photograph as a unique object. Photography’s always been an unruly medium based on experimentation and playing with process. There are so many historical methods that have been used to make a photograph, and they all have inherent signifiers that relate or don’t relate to a viewer. A lot of the meaning within my work is in the process, and how it relates to the photographic subject. As there are so many subjects out there, it is another step to determine its most suitable material manifestation. In order to find it, there needs to be experimentation.”
Matthew Brandt’s web site: http://www.matthewbrandt.com
I like that Pavlina has a vision which drives her process. The result of which is art that is her own. Pavlina says of her work; “I seek to slow down the instantaneity of photography, both in its production and in its reception. This results in a meditative image that reflects my own observation and memory of the place.”
When looking at Pavlina’s photographs you do indeed need to slow down and look deeply into each image. The scene is not immediately perceived and you need to dwell and contemplate what is in front of you. It is very much like a memory, not clear or sharp, but one that your mind needs to work at extracting the details.
Pavlina’s technique is interesting in that it is crafted both in and on camera. There is no computer manipulation involved. She says of her process; “Starting with a Black & White film, i move into creating different layers of color film which I then hand-paint and shoot through layers of thick glass. This process results in richness and singular luminosity. The end product is a chromogenic print with a look that reminds me of a cross between Black & White Duotone and full color prints.”
Pavlina Eccless’s web site can be found here: http://pavlinaeccless.com
I was immediately drawn to Adam’s work by the way he constructs and displays much of his art. The presentation was in contrast to the matter-of-fact tone of the subject. I was intrigued by this.
Location and context appears to be irrelevant in the photographs. They are ‘anywhere places’. It is as if he wants us to view and contemplate the photograph with out being influenced by what we might feel about a particular location. Often photographers like to go to a place that we all know and show us their own vision. There is a certain freedom that comes from being able to look at a photograph without a sense of place.
Many of Adam’s projects have involved him setting off on a journey. I do get this feeling from his work that I am watching a sense of wandering. However I don’t see the artist. I just see a space to be enjoyed or to ponder without any influence of knowing where that place is or why we are there. Maribel Garcia in writing about Adam Jeppesen talks about photographs that “are pervaded by a sense of loneliness: the loneliness of the traveller. Empty landscapes, empty rooms and empty streets.”
Adam’s web site can be found here: www.adamjeppesen.com
Susan Burnstine is a highly successful fine art and commercial photographer. She is represented in galleries across the world and widely published. Susan has a very particular vision which she captures in-camera, on film, using a wide variety of self made cameras. I have always love photographs which I call “perfectly, imperfect” and Susan’s work captures the essence of this concept so well.
Susan’s cameras are primarily made out of plastic, vintage camera parts and random household objects and the single element lenses are moulded out of plastic and rubber. Learning to overcome their extensive limitations has help her develop and build upon her already extensive instinct and intuition as a photographer.
Such developmental opportunities are often lost for many people who use today’s ‘do it all’ auto-cameras.
The work of Marc Adamus typifies a highly popular style of photography pursued and copied by the majority of todays mainstream hobbyist colour landscape photographers.
It is a style of photography, with its rich full-on colour, which is highly liked by and marketed towards, mainstream buyers of stock photography and some home, office and hotel space decorators and collectors of limited edition prints. It is a large and specific market where a limited number of photographers have done well via both print sales, licensing, workshops, lectures and books.
Marc Adamus is one photographer who stands out in this style. His success, in part, is due to his willingness to put himself into some great locations and his patience, perseverance and planning to ensure he gets great light. He has an eye for the epic, majestic and the bold. Marc has a ‘he who dares, wins’ mindset; the ‘Bear Grylls’ of landscape photography. Marc does indeed capture dramatic light and colour with an excellent eye for the grand composition. He lives the adventure and the dream, with his camera.
Michael Levin is a classical and contemporary fine art landscape photographer with an eye for the elegant, the simple and the chic. His peaceful vision of the world is a lovely rest-bite from our busy schedules. No wonder people want his work on their walls and in their lives; his vision is a gentle escape.
Michael does not take his simple minimalist style to the extreme. There is still much of the human and the photographer in his work. Some other photographers take the simple and produce a perfect, almost sterile landscape which leaves me cold. Michael’s work remains human.
I am particularly enjoying his move into the world of soft colour landscape photography. Black and White is a very crowded market and I think that the ‘soft colour’ classic space has great potential in fine art photography.
I have loved, art director turned photographer, Dana Neibert’s work, for a long time.
There is a fresh, alive and uplifting spirit to his vision and an honest ‘matter-of-fact’ tone of voice to his work. So much photography in this world is ‘try-hard’ and pushy. Dana’s work is a breath of fresh air. It is no wonder that so many commercial companies like to use Dana Neibert to capture the visual expression of their brands.
Whether it is his landscapes or his commercial work, I just love it. No more needs to be said.
Reuben Wu lives a creative life. His broad creative passions imbue his photographic vision, which is influenced in large part by what he calls his “weird rebel tourist” eye on the world.
Reuben is a classically trained violinist, educated in industrial design, a founding member of the UK pop group Ladytron, with 9 albums to their credit. He is a DJ, songwriter, producer and a highly accomplished photographer. Traveling the world with his band, often arriving a few weeks ahead of the group, has allowed Reuben to visit some interesting locations.
Reuben has a love of film, Polaroid and the analogue process. He is a creative experimenter. He says of his method “It’s very easy to get trapped inside the nuances of your medium, and for a while it educates, but then you need to break your orbit.” Like all true creative people he seeks out his own style for expressing his creative vision.
Jennifer Schlesinger-Hanson is a widely exhibited and collected artist, whose photographic fine art has a surreal and imaginary, almost theatrical element to it.
Many of Jennifer’s works are ‘constructed visions’ of an idyllic or mysterious place, that does not exist. They are truly unique editions and a reminder, that landscape photography can be many things.
Jennifer has a passion for the traditional process which allows the artist to make their art, by hand, with all the human feeling and craft, which that entails. Her work is often made with film and pinhole and presented as toned, hand coated albumen prints.
Here is a video below about Jennifer and her work, which I found very interesting.
Jack Spencer offers us a rich and an unusually diverse body of work. I like his motivation for this diversity; ”I don’t think a writer should write the same novel over and over, or a musician should write the same song over and over. Our world is so vast and there is so much to explore.”
In fact, I am as enthralled by his thoughts, as I am by his art. Here is a sample…
“Playing it safe is for brain surgeons, not artists. Fear inhibits curiosity and creativity. My mistakes gave me their own rewards…my successes gave me theirs”
“Follow your own muse. Find your own distinct voice. And don’t ask anyone’s permission to be an artist.”
“This, I suppose, is the definition of art. It is an act of digging around in the minutiae of existence to find profound meaning in the simplest things. To be eternally curious. To play. Then to translate that fascination, curiosity, and play into something tangible to share with others.”
Jack’s vision is as large and as deep as his thoughts. His work feels big and bold, haunting and provocative. I feel that here is an artist who has something to say and he is not shy in saying it.
In addition to being a photographer Jack Spencer is also a painter, a musician and a collector of books. His passion for paint and art inspires his photographic vision. Of this he says “I rarely allow the camera to dictate the final expression. For many works, the camera simply provides information and a starting point.” In this vein, he is prepared to alter and manipulate what the camera gives him, in order to make his final image.
I would encourage you to dive into his thoughts and his work as an education and as inspiration.
I find Simon Robert’s work very interesting. Simon likes to explore the relationship between geography and people; the human landscape, as a place where people live, work and play. His is a different vision and narrative. It is about the landscape and its human presence.
On a journey into Russia, Simon says, ” I was quite struck by the relationship between the Russians and their geography and it started me thinking about my relationship to England. I started to want to explore that sense of identity. There’s a very rich tradition of British photographers photographing the British landscape, from Benjamin Stone in the 1890s to Bill Brandt and Tony Ray-Jones, but there had been a bit of a lull more recently, so it felt quite timely to go on this journey”
It is interesting that Simon’s early photographic inspiration came from Ansel Adams and that this inspiration has now evolved more towards Stephen Shore and Robert Adams. Simon Roberts obviously has an innate love of the landscape yet, is increasingly fascinated by how we humans live within it.
Frank Grisdale’s vision of landscapes lies between the photograph and the canvas.
He has always felt more comfortable outside the boundaries of traditional landscape photography where he felt greater creative freedom and satisfaction. A technically perfect and traditional photograph in the style of an Ansel Adams, be it in colour or black and white, left him uninspired. Frank says, “I do recall thinking early on that the detail of an Ansel Adams shot was boring to me—almost too technically perfect to be interesting. That kind of work is the goal of most landscape photographers, so the number of competing images is ridiculous, and they all end up looking like each other. I wanted to be able to enter a landscape with a different goal—that of interpretation rather than duplication.”
Frank Grisdale is inspired by the latter work of Turner and the way in which he used light and movement to paint emotive and impressionistic scenes. He says, “Turner purposefully left out solid objects and details in order to emphasise the play of light”
I am very attracted to the work of Frances Seward. Her use of light, colour and movement, to make a landscape photograph which is devoid of any recognisable objects, is just mesmerising. Her work is alive and fresh. It is as if Frances has exposed this hidden place in nature’s world for us to see. Very painterly and Turneresque, yet done in a very contemporary and often crisp style. I love her work.
At a time when Black and White was the norm for quality art photography, a few photographers were breaking the rules. William Eggleston was already well into exploring colour as an art medium, however it was three particular photographers who pushed even further. Sometimes called “The Colourists”, Pete Turner, Jay Maisel and Eric Meola all bulldozed the envelope with bold, graphical and often experimental colour. They started to use colour, not as a functional representation of the scene, but as the primary element in the design and form of the image. Pete Turner in particular was often prepared to be very ‘technically experimental’ in his methods.
The contemporary world of colour photography owes a debt of gratitude to these pioneers.
Pete Turner became a childhood hero of mine when I first became aware of photography as art. I have a natural love of colour and design and I quickly gravitated towards Pete’s vision of the world. He has inspired me ever since.
Please enjoy these videos below on Pete Turner and his work.
I particularly like Rob Hudson’s series ‘Songs of Travel’. I enjoy the visual aesthetic, its dreamy sense of journey, as much as I do his technique in producing this work. Rob has his own way of interpreting a landscape.
Lucy Telford speaks of Rob Hudson’s work thus; “The themes which interest Rob as an artist – journeys, time, dreams, memory, place – are expressed eloquently and sensitively in the images seen here. Through being visually articulate and conceptually interesting, he has achieved the almost impossible task of making an essentially static process fluid. Things flow and merge, image into image, photographer into subject. Echoes and reverberations resonate throughout his work.”
There is an almost Cubist style to some of his works which I enjoy.
• • •
Murray Fredericks likes to work in places with a minimal landscape, where there is virtually nothing. He will immerse himself in almost pure space for weeks at a time, alone, just waiting for those moments. Art Critic John McDonald says, “They are literally pictures of nothing, but nothing has never looked so good”
Ragnar Axelsson’s masterful vision of the Inuit landscape shows that a Landscape Photograph need not be limited to just land and sky. The traditional Inuit culture is so intrinsically a part of their landscape, and their environment is so much a part of their lives that culture and landscape become one powerful story.
Genres of photography need not stand in isolated silos. Documentary cultural photography can cross over with landscape photography. A landscape photograph can be more than the mindset of the “pretty picture and the straight horizon” which so dominates mainstream landscape photography.
Seeing Ragnar Axelsson’s work made me question the fundamental concept of what is landscape photography. His work broadened my views.
Chris Friel breaks all the rules and in the process has carved out his own unique vision. Issues of sharpness, straight horizons, rule of thirds and functional thoughts, which so dominate many landscape photographer’s considerations, are thrown into the ‘wind’ by Chris as he makes his own path.
I like Mark Olwick’s work because he brings a creative eye to his landscapes and makes a landscape his own. “Show me something I have not seen before” is the catch-cry of many photographic judges, photo buyers and curators. It forms the bases of a worthy goal for any serious photographer who strives to produce work which stands out.
Mark Olwick creates compositions and interpretations of subjects which I find to be fresh and different in composition, subject matter and treatment. In doing so he pushes me out of my own comfort zone. His work is challenging and sets higher benchmarks in terms of what a landscape vision can be.
There is a realness to Julian Calverley’s work which I love. His, is not a quest to capture landscapes at their most beautiful, i.e. the pretty picture, as you might see in tourist postcards. Julian takes the real and shows just how majestic and artistic real can be. ‘Real’ becomes the hero.
When I first discovered Julian’s work, my reaction was the same as when I stood in front of an exhibition of Rembrandt’s paintings… I was captivated by the powerful and emotive use of light. There is a lot of theatre, passion, depth and emotion to the photographs he makes.
What I love about Josef Hoflehner’s work is his ability to make iconic, artistic photographs of human landscapes; i.e. spaces where we humans live.
His ‘Jet Airliner’ series is a perfect example of this concept; photographs of a landscape where the human influence meets sand and sea. The Jet and the people are a part of the landscape. Much of his broader bodies of work follow this similar theme. We humans so dominate our landscape and have put our mark on so many places that often landscape photographers can miss those spaces which are most close and obvious.
Josef also shoots wide empty spaces without a human influence and these are also beautiful. I think it is his eye for the human landscape that makes his work so interesting.
I am also enjoying his recent and increasing work in colour.
Bruce Percy has an eye for the unique perspective, a fresh interpretation of the landscapes he explores. Bruce can visit a place, from which we have already seen countless photographs and he will show us something new and different, with a unique visual narrative.
He is a master of light and composition and he captures the environments in which he shoots with a great deal of emotional sensitivity. While his work is classic and beautiful, it is not simply a verbatim recording of nature. Bruce takes us on a journey that is often surprising, engaging, unusual and thought provoking in some way. I also like that Bruce continues to use traditional photographic film as part of his process. I think this adds an extra dimension to his work and a texture and sense of depth to his photographs.
Special note: Bruce runs some very well regarded workshops and photo tours all over the world. They sell out quickly and bookings need to be made well in advance.
Michael Jackson breaks the rules in a most unexpected way. I won’t spoil the surprise. You will need to jump onto his web site and investigate this series, ‘A Child’s Landscape’, yourself.
What Michael offers us, is a unique capture of a landscape and in the process shows us that landscape photography can be many things. This series is in the style of old photographs; a rocky coastline as if photographed in a century old process which adds a mysterious narrative to this work. Michael says, “I imagine these views through a telescope. I imagine pirates and explorers. I imagine swooping gulls and terrible storms, shipwrecks and stories of adventures and heroism,”
While many photographers feel the need to travel to far off lands to find the new and unique, Nicholas Hughes often works only in his immediate surrounds, accessible by foot.
He chooses to work in a defined space, submerging himself in one place where restriction and discipline require him to find the new and unique close to home. Nicholas’s work reminds me that my own vision can be improved through the exercise of working in a confined space.
What I personally like about Nicholas’s work is the romantic and often powerful overtones of nature. I’m the kind of guy who loves to stand on a hill top in a raging storm. I just love the power of wind and sea. Nicholas’s work takes me to that place.
Please Share This Post, Thank You
© Copyright Steve Coleman. All rights retained. www.lightinframe.com All images and writings are registered with the United States Copyright Office. Unauthorised reproduction or use of these images is strictly forbidden without the written permission of Steve Coleman.