There is nothing more inspiring in the world than beauty, and arguably nothing is more beautiful than the natural world we inhabit. Yes, architecture is thrilling in the way it reshapes the world to our needs and preferences, and artwork created by people channelling their restless energies into a paintbrush or a computer mouse or a piano keyboard are inspirational. But the natural world, captured by the world’s most accomplished landscape photographers, trumps them all in complexity, subtlety, and sheer power.
We’re inspired on a daily basis by the work of artists capturing some of the most stunning landscape photos ever produced. Here are seven awesome artists making their mark right now with stunning work that could inspire you on a daily basis.
Australian Richard Smyth is known for his skilled touch at composition. His landscapes have a painterly feel to them because he positions his camera in the ideal spot to give his photos the perfect balance of form and dimension. Where some lesser photographers feel the need to fill every frame, Smyth has the confidence to leave a bit of white space when it’s useful – or, as those of us who aren’t professional photographers might call it, the sky.
One of Australia’s most celebrated landscape photographers, Simon Beedle has taken some of the most iconic landscape pictures in modern times, both from within Australia and across the world. Beedle’s particular expertise is the panorama – the ‘widescreen’ effect that gives you the sense of being there and able to look up and down a vista. His panoramic work is particularly effective because it has an openness to it that brings energy into any space, no matter how small.
If you love this look, re-create Beedle’s panoramic effect in your own home with one of our large-scale landscape prints.
The American photographer Marc Adamus encapsulates one of the great benefits of landscapes – the opportunity to see sights, in stunning, breathtaking detail, which you otherwise would be very unlikely to see. Adamus has built a career out of capturing images that would not only be difficult to physically travel to, but would be almost impossible to time properly. The light that he manages to capture in his photos often make people think they are paintings – but they’re reality, just reality captured with a professional’s eye.
Lars Van De Goor
There aren’t many photographers working at Van De Goor’s level when it comes to use of light. Van De Goor somehow magically captures light that give his photos an ethereal and unreal quality, as if he had managed to transport himself to another dimension or parallel universe, where light isn’t an invisible collection of photons but rather a luminous liquid that sifts and drifts like fog. Looking at Van De Goor’s photos, you simply feel happy for having lived long enough to see them.
American Clyde Butcher is one of the few landscape photographers working today in the classic black-and-white style popularised by Ansel Adams and others. Butcher is no mere follower, however, producing amazing landscapes that transform the natural world into a foreboding and challenging maze of textures and lines. His work evokes the primal fear and fascination we all experience when we find ourselves all alone in the wilderness and realise how small we are – and how unaware the world seems to be of our presence.
American Chip Phillips specialises in landscapes that have a scale and perspective that seem unreal at first glance. The sheer size of the world is conveyed by his photos, but what also sets them apart are the sharp, vivid colours that he coaxes from his camera – colours so bright and powerful you’d be forgiven for assuming they were painted or augmented with software. Viewing his photos you can feel energy rushing into you, inspiring you for a new day and new challenges.
Mark Gray’s landscape photography of Australia has an affecting solo quality about it – it’s easy to imagine his images are from a world where mankind has moved on, leaving behind just a few remnants of civilisation. By allowing the occasional creeping bit of modernity into his pictures, Mark actually increases the sense of wildness and stillness – presenting a world that seems unmoving and unchanging even as it captures evidence of movement and change.
Landscape photos offer us a window into the natural world that we can’t always access from our stuffy offices and comfortable bedrooms – and serve as often mesmerising reminders of the world out there beyond our walls.