Landscape photography’s become a bit like paint by numbers these days. Most landscape photographers who dial in a narrow aperture, low ISO and use a wide focal length are capable of bagging a great shot. But as we all know, anyone can bag one great shot. It’s the truly special photographers who can do it time and time again.
Luckily for you we’ve found those photographers. Their 500px landscape portfolios are packed with stunning images that are sure to inspire your own photography.
If you like this article, don’t forget to check out 11 brilliant black and white photographers on 500px
Atif Saeed has quietly built up one of the more impressive landscape photography portfolios you’ve never seen. The landscapes he shoots in the mountain regions of Pakistan from where he hails, are chock full of drama. Towering peaks, deep valleys and brilliant colour, after seeing Saeed’s portfolio you’ll never look at another Charlie Waite photo the same again.
Wait, did we say Atif Saeed is the best landscape photographer you’ve never heard of? Gosh, this is embarrassing, but it might also be Justin Reznick. The Seattle nature photographer blends the sensitivity of classic landscapes with a more experimental approach to using colour, shape and movement to put the view in the scene.
Not strictly a landscape photographer (Ian also shoots brilliant street photography), but Ian Mylam’s brilliant urban landscapes are worthy of inclusion on this list. A master of harnessing available light, Ian’s painterly compositions impress by his unique ability to tame the chaos of the city to produce what we can only imagine Turner or Monet would have should if they’d had cameras rather than paint brushes.
One of the more prolific photographers on 500px, Dirk’s landscapes look like few others. Heavy vignettes and bright colour filters, each composition looks like something from a dream. And his ability to pick out interesting details as a focal point yet retain the feel of a big, sweeping vista is downright inspired.
It may not be everyone’s bag, but if you are a fan of 360-degree panoramas you’ll have seen none better than Omid’s amazing, circular landscapes. There’s something admirable about a photographer with a very specific passion and dedication to pursuing it everywhere, and the diversity of Omid’s panoramas will have omg’ing on every page.
Another Washington state-based photographer on this list, Chip Phillips’ landscapes are… they’re just too damn good to put into words appropriately. Big and sweeping vistas, full of colour and detail and texture, it’s heartening to know that there are photographers out there capable of this, because it means there is hope that one day all of us pedestrian photographers can take photos as good as this.
The first woman photographer on our list, Mel’s landscapes burst with colour and her use of movement adds an extra element of wow factor. We also like her inclusion of silhouetted figures in the frame to add scale, giving the feeling of vastness and isolation.
So many landscape images today are over-cooked. It’s easy for photographers to take a photo and jack up the saturation, contrast and other effects to, like a meddling shrink, create drama where there was none before. What we appreciate about Pawel’s stunning landscapes is the natural-ness. The colours are real, the light looks un-enhanced. And yet they burst with drama and impact, and all those good things.
Mary Kay, aka Maria Kaimaki, is based in Greece and produces some ridiculously beautiful images. She has the determination to put herself in the right spot to capture the best light, and knows how to come back with images that do the scenery justice. Her long-exposure coastal shots are particularly noteworthy, as are her informative captions.
Quiet and unassuming, Ron Gile’s landscapes are like the Daniel Day Lewis of photography. Is he the most prolific landscape photographer on 500px? No. But his classic scenes and muted tones will blow you away with the subtlety of their big performance.
Karezoid Michal Karcz
Karezoid’s brand of landscape photography probably pushes the boundaries for most purists, but even the traditionalists among us will admit that his surreal, composite landscapes are expertly made. Mixing his portfolio with urban and natural landscapes, Karezoid goes for the classic big view, but including elements of the unknown – mysterious cubes hovering over barren desert landscapes, eery caves sprung from the middle of the sea. If Stanley Kubrick were alive and taking photos, he’d be following Karezoid Michal Karcz.
This 28-year-old German photographer has a stunning breadth to his portfolio – all vast, epic and airy landscapes one minute, then misty and intimate the next. What makes this work even more remarkable is that Killian is colorblind and can’t distinguish red from green.
There’s some amazing low-light photography from Australia and New Zealand on show on the pages of ‘serious amateur’ Bhuminan Piyathasanan (aka AtomicZen). He’s only been shooting landscapes and seascapes for around two years, but already has built up an enthusiastic online following – with over 950,000 views of his 500px collection alone.
Alain’s beautifully layered, square frames ooze mood. His creative approach takes in shallow depth of field effects, long exposures, black and white, infrared and minimalist compositions, but all his pictures have that ‘Alain Baumgarten’ aesthetic.
If you like classic landscapes – the wide angles, narrow apertures, foreground interest, the whole bit – David Mould’s Scottish landscapes are all you need. But the beauty of Mould’s work is that just when you think he’s a one-trick pony, he’ll mix up his portfolio with compositions other landscape photographers wouldn’t think to use. Check out Milton Basin, Loch Ard, Trossachs and tell us we’re not wrong.
Who are your favourite landscape photographers? Share your links below, or on our Facebook wall.