My Favorite Photographers 2017

My Favorite Photographers 2017

I love outdoor photography. One important technique for attaining skill in art is to look at what others do and take inspiration from them. In photography, a lot of what was considered technique has become irrelevant with the advent of digital photography and image editing software. What’s left is style, which can be influenced by subject, but is also heavily controlled by the person behind the camera. Emulating another’s style and letting it influence your own can elevate your work exponentially.

Below are three of my favorite photographers. I find many elements of their work inspiring and reference them when studying how to be better at capturing images of my own.

Jimmy Chin

Although I am neither a climber nor alpinist, I find myself reveling in Jimmy Chin‘s work. An accomplished adventurer in his own right, Jimmy has shot for Outdoors, Climbing, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, and the iconic documentary about Patagonia titled 180 Degrees South. Whether it’s his shots of Everest or a day at camp, his best images feature people juxtaposed against wild backdrops challenging themselves in some type of way. Beyond the colors and sharpness that he captures, I really like the uplifting theme of man versus nature and competition against oneself. His work challenges me to tell better stories with my photography.

Bryan Gregson

Believe it or not, fly fishing has its own list of celebrities. Typically these are writers, lodge or shop owners, fly pattern designers who also guide, and also media specialists. Bryan Gregson stands out as one of the best in the field with his photography that shows up in almost every fly fishing magazine published today. His work is often centered around exotic locations including Patagonia, Cuba, and Kamchatka as well as Alaska, the western United States, and the Bahamas. His work can best be summed up as capturing the right moments at the right time in the right place. His work challenges me to work harder to get those images that I can be proud to share with others.

Dusan Smetana

Photographing hunting seems to me one of the hardest of the genres right after fly fishing. Although fly fishing is limited to almost always water and fish, hunting can include any number of game in any environment, so it makes it a little easier. Both however, are limited by that ability to get the “hero shot”, which is the image of the successful hunter with his prey on display or fisherman hoisting a large specimen out of the water.  Dusan Smetana has become one of my favorite photographers in this category. I really like how he draws you into the world of the sportsmen, which is very rich in terms of tradition, without having to rely on images of massive racks on deer or piles of ducks. His work challenges me to find more in the sports that I love and capture the beauty that surrounds it.