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Thread: B&W landscape photography

  1. #1

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    B&W landscape photography

    Who is your favourite B&W landscape photographer? And why, of course?
    I am very curious.
    Bye

  2. #2

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    B&W landscape photography

    ANSEL ADAMS. His best work has a beauty and majesty unmatched by any other landscape artist. His original prints, even the lesser ones, almost leave me tingling with pleasure in their perfect craftsmanship. Of living photographers, I would rate Englishman John Blakemore at the top.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  3. #3

    B&W landscape photography

    AA hands down. For being a beautiful person and photographer. AA is to the landscape as HCB is to documentary.

  4. #4
    Resident Heretic
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    B&W landscape photography

    Why, me of course ;-)

    Other than me, I concur with AA. Adams had the gift for grand landscape, no question. Adams' work resonates with me - his vision, his compositions, his tonalities... it just speaks to me somehow.

    John Sexton, AA's assistant and fine photographer in his own right, is no slouch, but his landscapes tend to be of smaller scale and more subdued light. He's the guy who coined the phrase "quiet light" which is an interesting concept. He too can see.

    I also like Imogen Cunningham's work, although I did spend a couple of springs working diligently to capture a photograph of a magnolia blossom, only to discover in my third year of this quest that she had already made the perfect photograph decades ago. Sigh....

    George DeWolf also does excellent work in B&W landscapes. He definitely can see. But it seems he's shifting over to more color work these days.

    Sadly, the B&W landscape market has been the pits for the last couple of decades. The level of craftsmanship seems to have really dropped off. I don't know if the lack of vision I find in the current crop of B&W landscapers is due to that, or the reverse is true.

    Bruce Watson

  5. #5

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    B&W landscape photography

    While I love AA's work, I think that my favorite landscape photographers are the non-tradtional ones. Robert Adams comes to mind, his portrayal of the changing west and suburban sprawl combines fineart landscapes with a more documentary style. Lee Freedlander is another artist who blurs the traditional lines that define landscape.

    I also very much like Edward and Brett Weston. While neither is completely traditional, their landscapes are inspirational.

  6. #6
    austin granger's Avatar
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    B&W landscape photography

    If forced to pick just one, I'd say Edward Weston. For a list, off the top of my head I'll offer: Frederick Sommer, Minor White, Harry Callahan, Wynn Bullock, Ralph Meatyard, AAron Siskind, Lewis Baltz, Morley Baer, Brett Weston, Philip Hyde and yes, St. Ansel.

    Some of these admitedly stretch the traditional definition of 'landscape photographer' but that's just it for me; the line between the 'exterior' world and the 'interior' world (or for that matter, the line between the 'sacred' and the 'profane') for many of these photographers was not so distinct. That is to say, their subjects were obviously illuminated by what they felt for these subjects. (I think Stieglitz spoke of this)

    I also like the fact that with any of these photographers, one could probably identify an image as theirs even if you didn't know it was beforehand; "That looks like a Ralph Meatyard..." etc. This is very different than so many landscape photographers (often color) whose work, while beautiful, seems quite detached from the person who made it and is thus rendered indistinguishible from the work of innumerable other landscape photographers working in the same vein.

  7. #7
    austin granger's Avatar
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    B&W landscape photography

    Yes, what Mike said. I forgot Robert Adams and Lee Friedlander, but they should be on my list too. Landscapes don't have to be beautiful to be worth doing.

    One can use their camera as a sword sometimes too.

  8. #8

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    B&W landscape photography

    Add Vittorio Sella and Bradford Washburn to the list!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  9. #9

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    B&W landscape photography

    I agree with you John: Vittorio Sella. The power of his images is astonishing!
    But what about John Wimberley. He created his own tools to express the extended range of tonality of his landscapes.
    A vote also for Michael Smith: classical beauty.
    I haven't yet had a chance to see Barnbaum's work.

  10. #10

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    B&W landscape photography

    Ansel Adams. Seeing his pictures when I was young was a revalation to me. Don Kirby's Wheat Country are the first really exciting b&w landscapes I've seen since that first encounter with AA's work.

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