Great Nature Photography

Great Nature Photography

Thank you Richard for putting together an excellent list. Though my list would differ some, I am glad you included my father, Philip Hyde, who has often been under appreciated for his contributions to photography. I am surprised you did not include Edward Weston, Brett Weston, Minor White, John Sexton and possibly Carr Clifton and Jack Dykinga. Clifton, Sexton and Dykinga are perhaps not as influential as some, but they would fall into the category you mention of making by far the best photographs. The Westons and Minor White, it has been argued, were not strictly nature photographers. However, they not only made some of the greatest landscape photographs of all time, but have influenced all of photography. Back when Adams, the Westons, White, Porter and Hyde were first working, nature photography was not even a term. In fact, photography was not even recognized as an art. People before them had made photographs of nature, but without these pioneers, those photographers would remain in obscurity, as perhaps would the whole genre. Edward Weston was an example not just in photography but in lifestyle. He did not jet set all over the globe or own a lot of fancy equipment. He lived a very simple life, close to nature. When Ansel Adams started the first fine art photography program at the California School of Fine Arts, where Philip Hyde was in the second class, the art students in other departments flew into an uproar, protesting that photography did not belong and would ruin the reputation of their school. Photographers today think the field is tough with all of the competition, but back then there was no market. The photographers I mention, helped to establish the West Coast Tradition, involving Straight Photography, simple, clean compositions and often, natural subjects. I know there are talented and even influential Europeans, Australians and East Coast Photographers, but if we are talking about nature photography, it was pioneered in the Western U. S. Adams, Porter and Hyde went on to help the Sierra Club and other environmental groups protect more wilderness than anyone else in photography ever did or probably ever will. Adams was an advocate for photography and wilderness his whole life. Porter and Hyde brought color to the medium. Porter’s books were the best sellers. Hyde was young, poor, desperate and talented. He was able to drop everything and run off to unknown places at David Brower’s bidding and thus more of his images were used in the famous Exhibit Format Series than any of the others.
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Great Nature Photography

If you’re a nature lover you definitely going to like this collection. This post highlights 25 of the most stunning shots of nature photography. There are plethora of places and scenes on this earth we must at least see for once. Nature photography tends to put a more importance on the aesthetic value of the image than other types of photography. Most nature photographers prefer no human present in their photos, they want to attain pure, immaculate landscapes that are devoid of human influence. Below we present to you a collection of nature photography shots that would really took your breath away.
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Great Nature Photography

This is a great idea. I have been amazed for years about the ignorance of especially younger nature photographers about the icons who created this art form. Many have never heard of Eliot Porter or Phil Hyde, which is criminal. My only comment on your selections would be that Porter has to be number two (and not the new number two) because I believe he invented color nature photography. To me, the true artist is the person that does something first, and all color work flows from him. I also believe that he, along with David Muench created the large number of baby boomer nature photographers. These people used large format, have done an amazing body of work, and won many environmental battles with their images. True, Galen inspires a lot of people, and I am may be just splitting hairs here, but I think Porter is the more influential force. Also, Art Wolfe has to be in there. More people have been exposed to nature photography though just his tv show than any other photographer except Adams. Thanks for your thought-provoking blog.
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Great Nature Photography

Christopher Dodds, from Quebec, gained his love for nature and wildlife during camping and backpacking trips, after moving to Canada from England when he was eight. He had many ventures as a photographer, but has been pursuing his passion for wildlife photography since 1985. He now travels all over the world photographing, teaching nature photography workshops and leading photography safaris. His work, such as the Bald Eagle below, is featured in many prestigious publications.
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Great Nature Photography

I was born in 1965 when my dad (Philip Hyde) was 44. I missed the earliest “pioneering” but certainly met many of the cast of characters. As background for my book about Dad, I’ve done some reading both in books and correspondence about that piece of the history of photography and how it intertwined with the beginnings of modern environmentalism. There are valid and diverse perspectives. In what I said above, I certainly don’t intend to invalidate Europe’s development of photography or environmentalism, or that of other regions. I’m saying that the photographers who gathered to protect the national treasures of the American West, played a major role in popularizing both photography and conservation on a global scale. They taught the people who are teaching photography now, while their photographs led to views changing about the environment, to the point that it is now cool care about the planet.

Great Nature Photography

Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer based in Japan, but originally from England. In addition to his photography, he’s also a podcaster and blogger, and is a leader in photography tours and workshops. His photograph of Snow Monkeys, otherwise known as Japanese Macaques, (which you can also find on Google Street View via Angela’s article) depict how unique and artistic his photography is.
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Great Nature Photography

2. Galen Rowell – A well-rounded photojournalist with a special ability to connect with a vast audience through his writings, Rowell influenced countless photographers in multiple genres beginning with rock climbing, wilderness adventure and then eventually landscape photography in the 2nd half of his career. The list of current working photographers that have followed in his footsteps reads like a who’s who in outdoor adventure and landscape photography and number too many to list. He was one of the first to utilize 35mm cameras exclusively in outdoor photography and popularized the use of graduated neutral-density filters.
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Great Nature Photography

Looks like I’m a bit late to this game, but great post and comments none the less. I agree with some of the comments and with the majority of your original list, though I just about choked on my coffee when I saw someone bring up Peter Lik. Photographs aside, I think you should get huge negative points for over saturation and nefarious business practices. Anyway…. I really don’t think I’d be able to narrow my list to ten. I’ll put in a +1 for Art Morris – he was certainly influential to my bird photography (much to my wife’s dismay!) Also, big support for David Meunch. He is a walking history book on the evolution of modern nature photography, and his large format work still blows me away with its simplicity and scale (I’m a sucker for his near/far compositions, and have regularly found it creeping into my work). I’d definitely have to include Jack Dykinga. Speaking of composition, he probably has some of the most amazing versatility I’ve seen. He’s just as comfortable capturing amazing wildlife moments with a long lens as he is creeping up practically inside a cactus with a 14mm. He’s got simple compositions that are all about color differentials, and compositions so complex it took him a half hour to set up correctly. Really blow your mind stuff. Plus, once you get him talking about his Chicago days as a photojournalist, you’ll never want him to stop!
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Having been recently “stung” after entering a nature photography contest that I thought I could at least place, I am surprised by some of the images that did place. I think contests are so biased and subjective, I really don’t see the point to entering them any more. I have met very few judges who can really pick images on an objective basis. I definitely subscribe to the less is more approach of images that Eliot Porter took. Sometimes I think that people who view photographs just don’t get good composition, use of design elements and the use of light. If a photo doesn’t have colors that knock your socks off or elicit a WOW then it isn’t good these days. Sad. Thank for your list I think it reflects some of the best work ever done in photography.
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Really great tips, I need to write these down for easy reference. Landscape photography (along with portrait photography) is something I really struggle with, these tips were especially timely for me.