Five Inspirational Landscape Photographers You Should Follow That You Probably Aren’t

Five Inspirational Landscape Photographers You Should Follow That You Probably Aren’t

You probably follow landscape photographers like Daniel Kordan, Max Rive, and Elia Locardi. Their work is phenomenal, but many of the folks that inspire me the most aren’t as well known.

You should absolutely find inspiration from the photographic giants of our time — you’ll find plenty of fantastic content to help you grow. But maintaining a steady diet of not-so-famous photographers will help you enjoy their work without the rose-colored glasses we tend to wear when we see someone with 100k+ followers. It will even help you avoid survivorship bias, a cognitive bias that causes us to draw illogical conclusions from successes and ignore the more pressing lessons from failures.

It’s fair to say these lesser-known photographers keep my wanderlust well fed, and many of my favorite photos and locations are directly inspired by their work. They consistently teach me about composition, toning, and mood through their outstanding captures and post processing. But perhaps one of the more subtle benefits is that a smaller follower count often correlates with their willingness to interact with peers: if you want to learn how another photographer produced a particular image, they are just a Facebook message away.

In no particular order, here are my five favorite landscape photographers that you probably aren’t following.

Christian Hoiberg

I came across Norwegian photographer Christian Hoiberg just a few months ago thanks to some of his thoughtful articles on landscape photography. He’s a prolific writer and educator, and I’ve definitely spent a fair amount of time stalking his articles. But his jaw-dropping shots from Norway and the Faroe Islands tend to one-up the great content. I’ve been obsessed with this region the last couple years, and Christian captures the mood and elements of Norway with stellar compositions.

Classic Faroe Islands

Christian’s 500px page is a bit sparse, so you might want to follow his latest work on Facebook as well.

Nicola Pirondini

Earlier this year, I fell in love with Nicola Pirondini’s work, who seems to have no shortage of beautiful mountainscapes to capture and bring to life as an Italian photographer. My favorite subjects to shoot are mountains, snow, and alpenglow, so it’s no wonder I can’t stop staring at Nicola’s fantastically executed landscapes.

Nicola nails the toning and composition, creating images that deserve to be giant metal prints in a fine art gallery. Of the photographers I follow, I consistently find his work the hardest to tire of, in part because he doesn’t push colors or contrast. The soft style uses precious little dynamic range, but somehow it communicates depth, layers, haze, and mystery.

These shots in particular spoke to me and helped me figure out how to finish a foggy photo of South Stack Lighthouse.

You can keep up with Nicola’s alpine photography on his 500px page.

Dennis Fischer

When I first ventured into landscape photography five years ago, German photographer Dennis Fischer was my source of inspiration. Even before I turned into a camera-toting globetrotter, his photography saw some mileage while I finished up my computer science degree: in my computational photography projects — like a program that used color theory to suggest the best collage arrangement — and in conference talks about using machine learning to recognize aesthetically-pleasing images.

It was a dream come true to see the Alps and Dolomites in person after following his work for five years. These shots are iconic of Dennis Fischer’s style, and the color palette is representative of a lot of his work:

waterfall of the gods

radio tower

Head over to Dennis Fischer’s Flickr page to keep up with his work.

Majeed Badizadegan

While hunting for locations for my 15 day trip in Oregon, I kept bumping into photos of the Pacific Northwest by Majeed Badizadegan. Majeed’s portfolio is filled with dreamy, silky-smooth seascapes from Oregon and Washington.

Window to the Light

Blue Trance

Check out his Instagram feed to keep up with his waves of gorgeous, well, waves.

Brian Adelberg

Oregon local Brian Adelberg helped me discover more than a few of the spots I shot in the Pacific Northwest. His coloring and low key lighting faithfully recreate the mood, especially paired with exceptional vertical compositions. If you are planning a trip to Oregon or Washington anytime soon and want to discover unique landscape photography spots, spend some time perusing his work.

Waterways.

Just the Tip.

Check out his 500px profile for Pacific Northwest inspiration.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Dyar

This lineup focused on lesser known photographers, so I left out a few equally inspirational folks who happen to have a larger following. But I make an exception for Washington-based photographer Ryan Dyar, whose work is simply too stunning not to mention. I’ve probably starred most of his Pacific Northwest shots, and until I have a chance to see Mt. Rainier myself, will continue to do so.

Moment Lapsed

Which Photographers Inspire You?

Some photographers find it discouraging to follow other photographers. I can definitely empathize with the feeling: I found myself dealing with creative failures and impostor syndrome on my last trip. But most of the time, it’s nothing short of inspiring after I remind myself that growth comes through imitation, and with time and practice you can reach the same place they did.

Often the discouragement is rooted in unrealistic expectations we form from seeing other photographers’ successes, but not their failures. More than many other genres, landscape photography is full of failures and variables beyond our control. But that only makes it that much more rewarding when you land the shot.

So keep yourself inspired. Find peers who you feel are better than you, and especially those who aren’t flooded with large followings. Encourage them, interact with them, and learn from them by breaking down their techniques and trying to imitate their style. They’re human like you, and in general incredibly willing to share what they’ve learned from years of experience.

Do you have your own favorite, lesser-known photographers who inspire you? Give them a shout-out in the comments!

Lead image by Christian Hoiberg used with permission.

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54 Comments

Bill Peppas's picture

Ted Gore, Simon Roppel, Chip Phillips, Philip Slotte, Patrick Ong, Daniel Laan, Daniel Kordan, Daniel Greenwood, Scott McCook, Lincoln Harrison, Dylan Toh, Miles Morgan.

All fantastic landscape photographers you really need to "follow" :)

Sounds like a great line-up — care to share a few favorite shots? I *think* the comments support Flickr/Facebook links.

Only males are making your list?

Chris Rogers's picture

Uuuugggh there's always one. Please provide a list of female landscape photographers as I am unaware of any. Not saying they don't exist. I just don't know who they are.

You’ve just illustrated my point by perfectly.

Simon Patterson's picture

g coll you may have a point inside your head, but we can't read your mind. If you have a point to make, I think it's better to make an actual suggestion, rather than just whinge like you did.

Chris Rogers's picture

Thank you for the list! I'm always excited to discover new photographers!

Chris Rogers's picture

Please let me know of your favorite female photographers. Seriously The only ones I can name off the top of my head are already pretty well known photographers like Chelsea Northrup, Annie Leibovitz, Vivian Maier, and Diane Arbus.

Simon Patterson's picture

Varina Patel, Hillary Younger, Patricia Davidson, Lace Anderson, Jean Day, Perri Shelat, Kristina Wilson, Jennifer King, Erin Babnik, Dene Miles, Christina Angquico, Candace Bartlett, Leah Kennedy, Karen Hutton, Anne McKinnell, Charlotte Gibb, Chrissy Donadi, Christine Hauber, Denise Ippolito.

Not in any particular order!

I believe the point is rather obvious to most and it’s not a new discussion this. Simply it is a shame that all too often, in photography and other fields, that we don’t see females on lists like these. I’m not labelling anyone sexist here and this isn’t a whinge as you put it.
The person creating the list may in fact rate those male photographers legitimately above any female photographer but surely that can’t be the case all the time?
However, I’m not interested in labouring the issue so I’m not going to delve into a deep argument where there will be no winner.
Nice list you’ve added, thank you.

Simon Patterson's picture

Thank you, that was much clearer.

Jarrett Rathert's picture

so make your own list, and include females. You are attacking peoples personal opinions, and implying they are sexist for liking what they like. That is the problem with all this sexism and shit going on, people forcing their own opinions about sexism into situations that have no need for it.

Chris Rogers's picture

Holy mother of string cheese! She's awesome!

Jarrett Rathert's picture

comments like this are the problem....

Simon Patterson's picture

I agree. These kinds of whiny comments seem to mainly encourage people to associate feminism with negativity. I doubt that's the outcome that the commenter intended.

ganesh ghimire's picture

Daam these all are the photographers that i look forward for inspirational. I would add michael shainblum and andrew studder

Kaden Classen's picture

My all-time favorite is Enrico Fossati. Pretty sure he's well known, but worth a mention. Really hard to pick a single favorite shot, but here's one I really like: https://www.flickr.com/photos/efossati/27952667579/

Wow, those are killer. I feel like I walked into Scotland at its moodiest. Thanks for sharing!

Alex Dylikowski's picture

On top of those mentioned, there is Erin Babnik and Marc Adamus. In my opinion to be regarded today you need to bring something new and not always photograph same pictures that others did 1000 times before you in Iceland, Tuscany or other famours locations. Also, many names such as Kordan and Adamus - in the way I see it, they focus on money and I do not blame them for this at all. The only problem is that money should be a biproduct, not the ultimate goal. So this is what makes an exceptional photographer for me. New approach and pure passion.

Thanks for sharing — I hadn't come across Erin, her work is absolutely stunning! I love her attention to S-curves.

Andrew Studer is amazing! He is mostly known for his picture of the Eclipse, but all of his work is outstanding.

That photo didn't even look real, the silhouette shots are wild!

Pretty sure Nicola pirondini is a man. Nobody in Italy would name a girl "Nicola" :)

Whoops! Corrected, thanks for calling that out =)

stephen brownhill's picture

Wow awesome to see smaller account photographers ( which have amazing images ) get some shoutouts,
well done Jonathan :)
I think Bill Peppas is spot on with some awesome togs but just big accounts!
I hate to say it but instagram and hubs seem to be massively favouring only bigger accounts so much atm!
making it near impossible to share your work to new people far and wide

sorry about the punt but feel free to have a look at my feed (brownhill photography) on instagram if you like hit me and I will like wise

Jannick Clausen's picture

yep its hard to build a following

Jannick Clausen's picture

Some great names to check out.. thank you

chris bryant's picture

I don't want to detract how gorgeous are these photos! I will never be as good these chaps. The above photos, fantastic as they are, look as if they have been shot by the same person. The style, to me anyway, is basically the same. I see literally thousands of such photos, all brilliantly done, but look as if they have been shot by the same person.

My photography is for fun. I enjoy doing it. I don't have the time, resources, health or skill to go globe trotting and make photos as wonderful as these. I have deliberately avoided it.

Similarities definitely tend to emerge. Still, landscape photography is a bit like coffee to me: the more you consume and the more you create, the more you start to distinguish the incredible stylistic differences. For me personally, the differences are fairly striking (a particular color palette, cloud style, use of dynamic range, or compositional style).

But I suppose unlike traditional art mediums, it's harder to distinguish your work with a signature "brush stroke" =)

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