15 Skilled & Sublime Nature Photographers [50 Pics]

With all the beauty that exists on this earth, we’re lucky that there are so many amazingly talented photographers out there capturing it for all to see. Underwater scenes, moonlit landscapes, terrifyingly extreme weather, majestic wildlife and aurora borealis coloring the sky are just a handful of the subjects these 15 nature and environmental photographers have tackled. Using macro lenses, HDR techniques, photo-microscopes and plain old 35mm cameras, these photographers help us gain an even greater appreciation for the natural world.

Nick Brandt

(images via: Young Gallery Photo)

The composition of Nick Brandt’s nature photographs couldn’t be more perfect if he posed the animals himself. His images have an almost magical quality, as seen in his incredible ‘Lion Before Storm #2’ (pictured). One can only imagine how long Brandt waits to capture such perfect scenes. Brandt’s photographic eye elevates the photography of wildlife from journalism into fine art.

Daniel Bergmann

(images via: Daniel Bergmann)

The ethereal images of photographer Daniel Bergmann will take your breath away. His photography of landscapes in his home country of Iceland have an otherwordly feel pronounced by each photo’s delicate balance of vivid yet natural colors. His work has appeared in BBC Wildlife Magazine, National Geographic Traveler, CNN Traveler, TIME for Kids and other publications.

Eric Nguyen

(images via: The Daily Mail)

Eric Nguyen was one of those adrenaline junkies that chase storms in the hopes of catching the power and beauty of swirling weather extremes on film. Though many storm chasers take photos, Nguyen’s go beyond mere documentation – they’re striking reminders of just how amazing nature really is. Taking good photos was an important part of the storm observation process for Nguyen, and it shows in his work.

Miguel Lasa

(images via: Miguel Lasa)

Miguel Lasa’s ability to capture the personality of creatures like polar bears, owls, bears, cheetah and other wildlife sets him firmly apart from other nature photographers. Lasa’s work, which has been featured on book and magazine covers all over the world, portrays the spirit, charm and power of these animals in a way that is truly unique to him.

John Hyde

(images via: WildThingsPhotography.com)

It’s difficult to overstate the sheer beauty of John Hyde’s whale photography.  The vivid blue water, the Alaskan mountains in the background and the lively movements of the creatures themselves come together in incredibly compelling images. Of his work, Hyde says “The perfect picture is one that drives you to make another. Each image should be viewed as a stepping stone to the next. That is the philosophy that drives my creative vision.”

Ville Miettinen

(images via wili)

Photographer Ville Miettinen is based in Helsinki, Finland but travels the world to find the scenes that he memorializes in astonishingly vibrant color. He uses two methods for his HDR photography: either taking the same shot with multiple exposures, combining the images and tone-mapping the result or taking single-shot HDRs, where the tone-mapping process is applied to a 12-bit/channel RAW image.

Brian Valentine

(images via: Lord V)

Brian Valentine takes macro shots of insects that show us flies, spiders, dragonflies and other bugs like we’ve never seen them before. Every macro insect shot in his portfolio was taken in his own garden with a Canon digital SLR and a Sigma 105mm EX macro lens. The process is more complicated than it seems – Valentine explains it in a list of macrophotography tips.

Dustin Humphrey

(images via: PhotoShelter)

In some of the most unique underwater images ever taken, Dustin Humphrey has combined surfers riding waves on the surface of the water with jarring scenes on the ocean floor. These images are a promotional series for surf conglomerate Insight51. Upside down bedrooms, naked girls on motor bikes and underwater shantytowns are among the strange installations created for the series.

Bob West

(images via: Bob West)

The nighttime landscapes of Bob West give us a surreal view of landscapes lit only by a full moon. West ventures out with his digital SLR in hand to capture photos like these when the time is right, and though he claims to be somewhat of an amateur, his photography indicates otherwise.

Kenneth G. Libbrecht

(images via: SnowCrystals.com)

Kenneth Libbrecht gives us an up-close-and-personal view of just how beautiful snowflakes really are. His images are taken with a specially designed snowflake photomicroscope in places like Northern Ontario, Alaska, Vermont, the Michigan Upper Peninsula and the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The website SnowCrystals.com has an interesting guide to the different types of snowflakes, and the conditions under which they form and fall.

Tina Owens

(image via: Tina Owens)

Hawaii-based Tina Owens takes macro underwater shots of the many colorful and beautiful creatures that live in the warm waters surrounding the islands. Formerly president of the Kona Underwater Photo Society, Owens loves to travel the world and her favorite place to take photos is East Africa.

Örvar Atli

(images via: pbase)

Many people photograph the rare beauty of polar auroras – natural colored light displays in the sky, usually seen at night in areas close to the North and South poles – but most don’t use the auroras as another element in a beautiful landscape photograph the way Örvar Atli does. The Icelandic landscape photographer waits in the freezing cold all night long to get the best shots, and the results are breathtaking.

Adam Andrearczyk

(images via: Deviant Art)

Polish photographer Adam Andrearczyk has produced some of the darkest, most ominously beautiful HDR photography ever seen. Each gritty image seems to be part of some dark fairytale, and leaves you wanting to know more about its setting and subjects. This selection of dramatic nature photos is just the beginning of Andrearczyk’s talent: his urban photography is even more amazing.

Andy Rouse

(images via: The Daily Mail)

Famed wildlife photographer Andy Rouse captured this series of images of a mother Cheetah teaching her cubs how to hunt in the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya. The mother captured this poor little gazelle and delivered it to her cubs, but they didn’t seem to know what to do with it, and decided to give it a cuddle instead of eating it. Unsurprisingly, instinct kicked in and the cubs got a little rough with the gazelle, but it finally found an opportunity to escape.