Outdoor photographers rely on a great eye to relay the picture they see in their heart and want to share. They travel the globe to capture images of gorgeous wildlife and lovely landscapes, using time-tested techniques and tremendous talent to touch our emotions with their recorded moment of time. Here are 14 of the best and the brightest contemporary outdoor photographers and 37 of their breathtakingly creative images.
(image credits: Photography by Pame)
Pam Wood is a freelance photographer who offers a vast selection of photos from around the globe. She has a quest for capturing the world at its best with her camera, her quest is to capture the magic of moment in time. Wood hopes her pictures make people laugh or smile, while encouraging us to do what we can to preserve our planet for future generation to enjoy. “This is an incredible planet we all live on. Let’s celebrate life!” Her photo of a tiger underwater was one of the finalists in the Natural World category of Smithsonian magazine’s 6th Annual Photo Contest.
(image credits: Mountain Light)
Galen Rowell was an internationally beloved freelance photographer and global adventurer. His life was tragically cut short when a private plane with his wife and two friends crashed near his home. He offered worldwide wisdom on the environmental impact being wrought upon people and their lands. Some of his works include wild horses in Patagonia, Argentina, and a rare 360-degree rainbow over Na Pali Coast, Kauai Island in Hawaii. He captured another rainbow, many in fact, this one over Hidden Peak, Karakoram Himalaya, Pakistan. The next to lower right is called, Stormy Sunset over Evolution Lake. In the bottom right, Star streaks over South Gasherbrum Glacier in Pakistan.
Curious Expeditions – Michelle Enemark and Dylan Thuras
(image credits:Curious Expeditions)
Aptly named Curious Expeditions, these photographers, Michelle Enemark and Dylan Thuras, travel the world snapping shots of bizarre yet beautiful places. The top photo is of beautiful Rose Valley, Göreme. Göreme, an area with fairy chimneys, is in Cappadocia, Turkey. The deep valleys and soaring rock formations are volcanic rock that has slowly eroded away to create strange “Fairy Chimneys”. The locals had believed them extraordinarily magical places that only fairies could have created. Ancient people hollowed out the fairy chimneys to carve out homes, chapels, and tombs from the soft inner rock. They also tunneled to create underground cities, some going down eight stories. The bottom picture is a fairy chimney hotel which is also located in Göreme.
(image credits:Patrick Smith)
Sometimes nature can take your breath away with her beauty. Patrick Smith has enormous talent taking photographs. The top picture is called Big Sur, Portal of the Sun. It was the winner in the 2009 Nature’s Best Ocean Views competition. Smith says, This sea arch opening in a cliff face at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur allows large waves to come through at high tide before a big storm. The waves often fill the entire portal to the top, and the portal becomes a giant water shotgun! The Tufoni formations in the rock are incredible and should be seen in person.” The bottom photo is of Trinidad Beach which is north of Eureka, California. At high tide, the amazing cloud layers and intense colors are spectacular.
(image credits:James Neeley)
James Neeley takes stunning photos, making it easy to see why landscapes are usually devoted to nature without mankind polluting the frame. At Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, buffalo still roam and graze on Antelope Flats as seen at Moulton Barn shortly before a storm broke loose. The top right photo is of Lower Antelope Canyon, also called The Corkscrew. It is a hot destination for photographers like James Neeley who titled this picture Nature’s Abstraction. On the bottom left, the lake has a majestic backdrop of the Teton Range in the morning light. There is no mistaking Monument Valley landscape for any other spot in the world. It once stood synonymous for the Wild West. The iconic sandstone buttes have been a famous landscape in media genres since the 1930s.
Stuck in CustomsTrey Ratcliff
(image credit:Stuck in Customs)
Trey Ratcliff is the creative photographer behind Stuck in Customs. He captured this stunning shot in the final hours of daylight, the rugged peaks near the southern tip of Argentina and the edge of Chile, just a glacier away from Antarctica. He stayed there watching icebergs float by until the last morsels of dusk remained. To capture this moment in time, Ratcliff stated, ‘I started on one edge of these rugged peaks and moved around to this side, to get the view from the glacial lake. The spiked mountains there are Cerro Torre, and I was very lucky to see them without cloud cover. I understand they are covered up 90% of the time, so to have crystal clear air was fortunate. The glacier there, which presents on the right but really goes back behind many more mountains, is called “glacier grande”.’
(image credits:Mario Bertocchi)
Photographer Mario Bertocchi possesses an uncanny knack for capturing captivating moments of time and stunning landscapes. Promise of a new day is the title of the top photo. After a morning storm, a rainbow shimmers over the Teton Mountains. There are no foothills along the Tetons, making the view dramatic as they rise sharply from the surrounding terrain to about 7,000 feet. In the bottom landscape, the rugged coast and steep terraces of Cinque Terre National Park overlook the sea. Cinque Terra is located on the Italian Riviera and is made up of five villages. This view is of Riomaggiore.
As their name implies, ZooBorns specializes in baby animals born in zoos. Many of their photos are taken outside, but taking pictures of newborn animals sometimes takes them indoors as well. They share their photographs online and hope you see something that brightens your day. Part of their mission is to help people learn about the need to protect these adorable animals in the wild and the ways in which accredited zoos and aquariums contribute to this cause.
National Geographic Photographers
(image credits:National Geographic, National Geographic Travel)
National Geographic consistently brings us amazing images, both of nature and of wildlife. The top left picture is a Banded Toad Fish, snapped by Takako Uno before publishing in National Geographic. That sea creature can be found in Western Australia. On the top right, Carlo Delli captured the shot of a Speckled Emperor Moth. It seems to have pupils staring at us. This stunning camouflage on an African moth frightens away predators by the “eyes” on its wings. On the bottom, beautiful and serene, the Belize sunrise is also romantic. Mark Lewis captured this photo for National Geographic Travel.
Professional photographer Per-Andre Hoffmann has been called a “magician of light”. Although he travels around the globe to find the perfect moment and capture it, these images were taken near where he is based, Makati City, Philippines. The top left photo of the starfish was captured at Palawan, Philippines, which was once named as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia by National Geographic Traveler. The top right picture is of the Mayon volcano that erupted in 2007. The bottom photograph is of the famous Manila Bay sunset.
(image credits: Bradley Photographic)
Jason Bradley had wanted to be a marine scientist. As an aspiring researcher, photography was a vital tool. Becoming a photographer was an afterthought for Bradley. He adores nature and most of his freelance photos are marine related. He is an expert at capturing underwater shots and has many galleries showcasing his works.
BONUS SHOTS Pam Wood
(image credits: Photography by Pame)
Pam Wood is an unbelievably talented photographer. Although she also snaps landscapes, her animal shots are extraordinary. From Rainbow Flamingos to the bottom lion cub that she titled, Yummy, she showcases her skills. Expect to see more and more great pictures emerge from Pam Wood.
BONUS Patrick Smith
(image credit:Patrick Smith)
Patrick Smith calls this photo Maelstrom. He risked his life to snap this shot in Kauai, Hawaii. He states, “I had this near-death experience on my last trip to Kauai! This lava-ledge is 20 feet above the sea, and I suppose the incoming wave is twice that height. This is not the Sprouting Horn near Poipu and it is not Queen’s bath! It is called the Mokolea Lava Pools.”