Everyone needs inspiration – amateur football players watch their favourite teams play from the ranks of a stadium or the comfort of their own home, those who enjoy cooking buy cookbooks of famous chefs, architects visit and tour famous pieces of architecture, and photographers … well, we scour the internet for images we enjoy and wish were our own. I guess most amateur photographers have some sort of idol whose work they admire and aspire to match.
I always enjoy discovering new portfolios that match my fields of interest, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite photographers. If one day I am as good a photographer as any one of them, I can die happily. Of course the list reflects my personal interests, so most of the portfolios are heavily focused on outdoor, wildlife and landscapes. If you are looking for portraiture, fashion or wedding photography, you’re wrong here 😉
Paul Nicklen (www.paulnicklen.com)
Paul Nicklen is a Canadian-born biologist and conservation photographer who has worked for such big names as National Geographic and focuses on the arctic and antarctic regions of the planet. His encounter with a leopard seal which, instead of tearing his head off, started to try to feed him first live, then dead penguins, was featured in media around the world. Coincidentally I once met his girlfriend’s son in the Malaysian highlands while riding in the back of a Landrover.
Dan & Janine Patitucci (www.patitucciphoto.com)
This photography couple from Switzerland have their hands in anything outdoor related. Hill walking, mountaineering, extreme climbing, travel, cycling … you name it. It’s their climbing images that caught my intention, and their images from inside North Korea offer a rare (well, lately not so rare anymore) glimpse into one of the most sealed off places on earth.
Corey Rich (www.coreyrich.com)
I came across Corey Rich when he was featured in an extensive interview on http://www.photo.net. His way of getting into climbing photography, and ultimately outdoor photography, was quite interesting, and his pictures are definitely on a very high level.
Chris Burkard (www.chrisburkard.com)
Chris Burkard creates some of the most stunning landscape images I have ever seen. And by including a human element, he takes them to the next level. You marvel at a beautiful mountain gorge flowing through a fir lined canyon into a vast lake of crystal clear water, and suddenly you see a tiny, brightly clothed figure stand on a cliff in the middle of the picture. He also shoots general outdoor stuff and is quite an accomplished surf photographer, having learnt the trade at the Californian Atlantic coast.
Jimmy Chin (www.jimmychin.com)
Calling this guy a climbing photographer does not do him justice. He is a photographer, and professional climber, and mountain athlete. He does all of this stuff on a very high level and his images are amazing Plus he has a bouldering wall in his living room. His LIVING ROOM!
Grant Gunderson (www.grantgunderson.com)
Grant Gunderson is doing something that I always wanted to try but have never come around to do – take pictures of people doing backflips on snowboards or skis against the backdrop of a vast mountain landscape a clear blue ski. The problem is, I stopped skiing when I turned 18. And I don’t know anyone who can perform the kind of stunts necessary for great images, so instead I just look at Grant’s images.
Henning Avenhaus (www.lightscapes.ch)
I came across Henning’s images on Germany’s largest online forum for photography (dslr-forum.de). Originally he posted mostly images of the milky way over the Atacama desert in Chile, where he was routinely posted as a research scientist in astrophysics, but has recently started to also add landscape and travel images. They are among the very best I have ever seen from an amateur photographer, so I recommend checking his work out!
I always enjoy checking out new portfolios, so please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!
The images featuring in the shown screenshots are intellectual property of the respective photographer. I have used the screenshots under Fair use in order to illustrate this article and promote the respective photographer and their websites.