Now, I’m not actually all that big on social media but it’s undeniably a great tool for inspiration. Many of the best landscape photographers out there harbor beautiful social media feeds that are basically bottomless pits of landscape photography inspiration.
Of course, I’m not claiming these are the absolute best landscape photographers. Quality is subjective after all.
However, these are some of my favorite landscape photographers in the world, and the variation among them should provide you with a welcome boost of photography inspiration no matter what your tastes are.
Fair warning: There may be some bias towards my home country in the United Kingdom, but hopefully that means some previously hidden gems will become known to the wider world!
Co-creator of the phenomenal Photographing the World series, Elia Locardi is pretty much a household name among travel and landscape photographers now.
That doesn’t take anything away from his images though. Elia, a ‘location independent travel photographer’, tours around some of the most iconic and beautiful locations in the world in his life as a professional photographer.
To put it bluntly, many of Elia Locardi’s shots are what you might consider ‘crowd pleasers’. But they are stunning in their own right thanks to his patience, technical ability and his fine work in post processing. Many might consider them cliche shots, but if so they’re some of the best cliche shots out there.
California based landscape photographer Ted Gore was crowned USA Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2015, and that tells you about as much as you need to know.
Ted’s work covers a breadth of different styles, with some images honing in on enticing details within the landscape and others being your more traditional big-vista landscapes. He excels in both forms, creating dramatic and often moody pieces of art with cinematic-esque lighting.
Another LPOTY winner, this time from the UK scene. 2014 winner Mark Littlejohn could be classified as the most successful photographer ever in the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year awards after having a couple of handfuls of images shortlisted and commended over the years.
Despite the success he stopped entering competitions a couple of years back, giving some others a chance at success in the process.
More importantly, Mark Littlejohn continues to photograph his local area on a daily basis, with a heavy focus on misty woodland and the dramatic shores of Ullswater.
Russian landscape photographer Daniel Kordan is more of a big vista type of photographer, but he takes wide open views to new places with creative composition, stunningly varied lighting and a delicate touch in post processing.
While others on this list go looking for the wonder on their own doorstep, Daniel takes the other path and captures his images from all corners of the globe. If you’re looking for some wanderlust, this is it.
Speaking of wanderlust, Thomas Heaton may be more well known for his YouTube channel than his actual photography right now but it’s important to remember what his popular channel is actually all about.
He’s a landscape photographer, and he boasts a diverse portfolio that illustrate his photographic eye across all manner of landscape photography styles with a diverse portfolio demonstrating his photographic skills across the board. He cut his teeth as a YouTuber photographing my own back yard, but now I get a fresh dose of wanderlust every week from his adventures.
Not all of Verity Milligan’s work is landscape, but all of it is stunning. The Birmingham-based photographer operates across the photography spectrum, but that doesn’t diminish her landscape work by any stretch of the imagination.
Verity is one of those special photographers who has a distinct and unique style. Once you’ve followed her for a while you can instantly tell when you see one of her images, which is one of the greatest compliments any photographer can ever get.
It’s not difficult to see why Marco Grassi has started to gain some serious attention over the last couple of years.
The Italian born landscape photographer spends a large amount of his time traveling to the most beautiful locations on earth, climbing as high as he can and waiting for that perfect moment of light.
Marco definitely sits more in the traditional style of landscape photography, often utilizing wide-angle lenses and sweeping vistas, but he excels at this tried and tested style.
We go from the traditional big and open views to the opposite end of the spectrum with Rachel Talibart.
Born on the south coast of England, Rachel cites a lifelong obsession with the ocean as one of the reasons for her growing success. She gained some richly-deserved acclaim for her Sirens project, showcasing the raw and unadulterated power of the ocean in a breathtaking series of images.
She might be most well known for her photographs of waves, but she’s far from a one-trick pony. Check out the rest of her portfolio and you’ll see she has many more strings in her bow.
We’re sticking in the UK now to look at multi-award winning Devon-based photographer Neil Burnell; another one of those photographers who possesses a truly unique style.
His graphic design background has honed his post-processing skills, and combined with a fantastic compositional eye it’s resulted in a rapidly growing reputation and a number of high profile awards. For those of you who love dark, foreboding landscape images, get ready to be impressed.
Neil’s Instagram is a highlight reel of perfection across a number of different photographic genres, although his main focus is on landscape photography.
Despite spending his formative years in the flatlands of the Netherlands, Max Rive is most at home in the mountains. His love for the hills shines through in his photography, which saw him take home the prize for International Landscape Photographer of the Year in 2017 along with a number of other awards.
Max is a step back into the awe-inspiring mountaintop views and dramatic lighting that will appeal to the more traditional landscape photographers of you. Sit back and enjoy.
It might be a bit of a stretch to class Valda Bailey as a landscape photographer, but her beautiful impressionist images do feature the landscape so I’m going to justify it that way and introduce you to one of the finest abstract photographers out there.
Her background in painting led her down a path towards her impressionistic brand of photography, where she explores color and form to create intriguing and emotive images using a variety of techniques including ICM and multiple exposures.
Words can only describe so much though. Valda’s photography is almost impossible to categorize and should just be taken for what it is, which is a perfect example of just how creative you can get with a camera.
Oregon-based travel and landscape photographer Sean Bagshaw takes us back to the more traditional side of the genre, gifting us with beautiful viewpoints from Oregon and beyond.
He first got into photography as a way of documenting his climbing trips before being bitten by the photography bug and pursuing it as an artform in itself and he now spends his time photographing everything from the highest peaks to coastlines adn woodlands.
The term “Fine art photographer” is thrown around a lot these days, and mostly it reeks of pretentiousness. Not so in Michael Kenna’s case.
Michael produces some of the finest minimalist black and white photography you’re ever likely to see, which fits particularly well with his travels to Asia.
Stark contrasts and an almost ethereal sense of mystery dominate his work and make his photos stand out as a breath of fresh air among the many self-proclaimed fine art photographers out there.
Another UK-based YouTuber, Simon Baxter spends his time wandering his local woodland with his dog, which is pretty much what I do on a regular basis.
His expertise in the challenging arena that is forest photography is up there with the best, so if you feel like being transported into a world of British woodland I definitely recommend taking a look at his work.
We’ll finish off this list of the best landscape photographers with a calming presence.
Benjamin Graham, another winner of the UK Landscape Photographer of the Year, publishes serene and otherwordly seascapes from his local coastline.
Think of your perfect sunrise at the beach. That’s what Benjamin shows us on a daily basis – serene waters, discrete contours, pastel tones and a beautiful soft light.
More from Click and Learn:
Alex is the owner and lead writer for Click and Learn Photography. An avid landscape, equine, and pet photographer living and working in the beautiful Lake District, UK, Alex has had his work featured in a number of high profile publications, including the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year, Outdoor Photographer of the Year, and Amateur Photographer Magazine.