Current landscape photographers breaking new ground. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi everyone,

I've found the last couple of threads about LF aesthetics to be really interesting. I think there can be "evolution" within any genre, provided artists try to stay true to themselves. What are some folks' favorite current landscape artists who are "breaking new ground"? I'm really into Toshio Shibata. I find his use of space to be really intriguing. Thanks,

Chris Jordan (Boston)

-- Chris Jordan (Boston) (, February 11, 2002


Walter Niedermayr who works in the Alps. The scale in his photographs is amazing.

-- Eric Mims (, February 11, 2002.

Whenever possible, if you could list a URL for the photo gods you mention, that would be greatly helpful. I vote for Jack Dykinga (

-- Todd Caudle (, February 11, 2002.

I don't feel that Jack Dykinga is breaking new ground, so much as doing the old rocks trees and water extremely well.

For landscape phoographers breaking new ground, I would have to say Richard Misrach; Andreas Gursky; Joel Meyereowitz (maybe...?);Virginia Beehan & Laura McPhee (a duet); Karin Apollonia Müller and John Davies. To name a few.

tim a

-- Tim Atherton (, February 11, 2002.


I second Andreas Gursky and would add Anthony Hernandez and occasionally Lewis Baltz. (These guys don't seem to mess with websites too much but a Google search on their names will result in Gallery references.)

Wilderness landscape bores the tits off me ad nauseum but the city scape and/or the hand of man I find extremely captivating in which case Joel Sternfeld would have to fit in alongside Joel Meyerowitz. Albert Watson also acquitted himself admirably with landscape in his book Morocc.

Gabriele Basilico is a latter day Atget in my estimation and Hatje Cantz has done a wonderful comparative landscape study of East and West Germany since re-unification.

Ex-pat British photographer currently in California, Michael Kenna, adds a somnambulist's account of the landscape.

Food for thought,

Walter Glover

-- Walter Glover (, February 11, 2002.

Sally Mann, Hope Sandrow, Linda Connor, Lynn Davis.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, February 11, 2002.

One of my favorites is Gabrielle Basilico

-- Hagai Kaufman (, February 11, 2002.

Josef Koudelka's recent book Chaos offers landscape images that have interiors as well as exteriors. There are a number of Japanese and South American photographers who also have great depth. I agree with you about Toshio Shibata; his photographs have an uncanny appeal in their compositional structure as well as their subject matter. Shibata's mind, along with his camera, seems always to be focused. He is a kind of philosopher delighting in the orderly structure of the world - quite the opposite of Koudelka, though I think the two photographers must have great respect for each other's work.

-- Michael H. Alpert (, February 11, 2002.

Yes, Sally Mann, Gabriele Basilico, Koudelka and those following on from Robert Adams and Joe Deal and the New Topographers etc

tim a

-- tim atherton (, February 11, 2002.

Almost forgot, Mark Klett.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, February 11, 2002.

I ditto Sandy's quartet of women doing interesting landscape work, plus Susan Derges.

-- Katharine Thayer (, February 11, 2002.

Ooooo, this is fun. New names to explore that are meaningful to our members. I second the vote however for web addresses if possible for any votes; just saves me some work on Google....


-- Scott Jones (, February 11, 2002.

Three pages of Toshio Shibata pictures at:

-- Scott Jones (, February 11, 2002.

16 pictures by Richard Misrasch:

-- Scott Jones (, February 11, 2002.

-- (, February 11, 2002.

Neil Folberg

-- Matthew Runde (, February 12, 2002.

I have a very warm place in my heart to the "new Topogrphics" guys like Joe Deal, Stephen Shore, Robert Adams,Frank Gohlke and Lewis Baltz. I guess they were the photographers which influenced me the most since I first took on photograpy. I think there is a direct line between their work and those of recent German photographers (Struth, Gursky, Ruff, Hoffer and others) - not suprising as most, if not all,of them studied under Bernd Becher (the only non-American in that famous exhibition). Although I know that for me they are still relevant as an inspiration and role-models, I can't escape the feeling that after all, it's been almost 30 years since that show, which identified and summerized this aproach - what has changed since then in photography? How is it that apart from those Becher-students we don't see much happening in that field? what will be the next major step after that made in hte early 70's by Adams, Baltz, and their colleagues? I'm not saying this out of disrespect - on the conterary - I'm still so under their influence, that I try to think if there is something new to learn from it, to evolve from it.

Hagai Kaufman, Tel Aviv

-- Hagai Kaufman (, February 12, 2002.

From recent issues of View Camera magazine I've enjoyed the black and white landscape work of Lois Connor (Sept/Oct '00), John Wimberley (Sept/Oct '00), Norman Carver (Nov/Dec '00), Don Kirby (Mar/Apr '01), Gerry Spence (Mar/Apr '01), and Maxwell MacKenzie (Sept/Oct '01).

-- Nick Jones (, February 13, 2002.

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts! I've enjoyed visiting websites of many of the artists mentioned. Best,


-- Chris Jordan (Boston) (, February 13, 2002.


You pose interesting questions. I am a huge fan of the Bechers. Their books are brillianty sequenced, an art form in itself. There some photographers following in the footsteps (wheel ruts) of the New Topographics, but not Becher students (seems like two different categories you mention). These include photographers working with the Center for American Places - see Laurie Brown's panoramas of Western sprawl ("Recent Terrains") and Terry Evans's aerial photographs of the prairie. Bob Thall's city pictures are also interesting. The Center's website is Click on Photography and Books.

There are plenty of photographers who see landscape as part of the human environment and vice versa. Whether they are breaking new ground since Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, and gang, I don't know.

-- Sandy Sorlien (, February 13, 2002.

Check out and for palladium landscapes that are evocative as well as descriptive.

-- Clay Harmon (, February 13, 2002.

....All bad art comes from returning to Life and Nature, and elevating them to ideals.Life and Nature may sometimes be used as part of Art rough material, before they are of any real service they must be translated into artistic convention. Tha moment Art surrender its imaginative medium , it surrenders everything. As a method realism is a complete failure, and the two things that every artist should avoid are modernity of form and modernity of subject matter. Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life. This results not merely from Life's imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self conscious aim of lifeis to find expression, and that Art offers certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy.

Lying, the telling of beautiful untrtue thungs is the proper aim of Art

Oscar Wilde

Ansel Adams and followers are a bore.

-- domenico foschi (, February 13, 2002.

It takes one to know one, Domenico.

-- (, February 13, 2002.

The "New Topographics" vision is defined as looking at the western Amercan landscape as it really is today (actually this began about thirty years ago) which is something other than the mythologized, romanticized, and therefore pristine ground seen in photos made inthe 1930s and 40s by such greats as Ansel Adams and the old (not the current) National Geographic school and the people who copied them. Photographers like Robert Adams , Wiliam Klett, Richard Misrach, Stephen Shore look at that same ground and see man's hand all over it. there is an enviromentalist polemic to both the grandview and the N.T. view of the west, but all of the photographers who were lumped under the "NT" banner have moved on in their careers and in their visions of the world and in some cases can now barely be identified with one another. what sprang from the New Topographics ideology. One of the ripples produced by the NT school came ashore in Germany The Bechlers (I think that is the correct spelling) and their students such as A. Gursky, etc. form what is known as"new Objectivism." which takes as it's subjects the man made enviroments.This wave is just beginning to build in adherents and in five or more years will produce something new.

I find the most interesting easily "graspable at first glance" landscape and cityscape work being done these days is by jack Dykinga and Joel Meyerwitz. there are others who are producing more challenging work -- i just a lot of it at a preview of the 2002 Fotofest auction ( and doubtless there will also be al ot of it at the AIPAD meeting in NYC thismonth. Some of the work being produced by Latin American photographers is just stunning in it's freshness, especially the work produced by the best of the Cuban photographers.

What all of these ;movements tell me is that when photographers get together in a real space and over a period of time and talk to each other and share ideas and questions that real progress and pushingthe envelope is truly possible. The myth of the photographer as a lone gunslinger is as false as the myth of cats walking by themselves, and much more pernicious we don't live in isolation tanks , why can it be expected that we might grow creatively without interaction with each other? i wish foriums like this really made real communities of artists but more and more I find that to be a hollow lie. We talk and talk and talk and we sometimes look at bad or at best reduced reproductions of the work we do, but we never see the thing itselfwe never hear those pauses between thoughts or get the added meaning that a grimace or a narrowed squint, or a grin allows. it just isn't real.

-- Ellis Vener Photography (, February 14, 2002.

Ellis, You mean Mark Klett and it is spelled Becher (I'm looking at 3 of their books right now.) You have a great point about virtual community. It is a little weird and very hard to really know the participants and their work. But it's a fabulous way to meet people when you actually go to AIPAD, FotoFest, FotoFusion, or SPE and hear or see a name that already you know so well from a forum like this. Hope to run into some of you at AIPAD on Saturday and at the SPE National Conference in Las Vegas, March 21-24. (Society for Photographic Education, see


-- Sandy Sorlien (, February 14, 2002.


Thank you for your contribution. I would like to respond to what you wrote at the end. I agree with you: this Internet communication is very shallow. And I hope it is not any contributor's only means of significant communication. But as part of a life, this kind of indirect discourse is okay, even with its severe limitations. It is correspondence, letter writing, or writing to the editor, only quicker. If it were to become more than a small part of a person's intellectual or social life, it would indeed be problematical. I find that often I am startled by how various seriously thought-out opinions can be. In the mix of living a life, it is sometimes worthwhile, and even satisfying, to casually communicate with people who are your colleagues, though they will never become your personal friends.

-- Michael H. Alpert (, February 14, 2002.

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