Master of Black and White

Inspiration can come from many different sources. At least one source of my inspiration continues to be the work of other photographers. And I think that if you're interested in becoming a better photographer, one way is to check out the work of photographers who are really, really good. This can be a source of inspiration for you too and also allow you to develop a sense of what great photographs actually look like. We'll take on the challenge of defining a fine art landscape photograph another day but for now let's just say that such a thing does exist and that this is something you might aspire to achieve. So once we know what a great photograph looks like, we can then begin the journey to learn how to create one. Achieving a great landscape photograph is a lot more difficult than it appears on the surface. Photography is one of those endeavors that forces you to use both sides of your brain. It strikes me that many photographers come to photography through either a technical background or have formal training in the arts. There is the craft of photography that has to be mastered which can be very technical and I suppose it's this side of photography that appeals to the engineers, scientists and technical types. And there's the creative, abstract side of photography that appeals to the artists. So if you're one, the other, or neither, photography is a great way to exercise both sides of your brain!

Maybe this is why it takes a long time to get really good at landscape photography? Don't take that as discouraging, part of the fun is the journey of discovery and learning.

So here's the first step in getting inspired and learning a little more about photography from some of the best....

One of my all time favorite black and white photographers is Josef Hoflehner. I first learned about his work in Lenswork, a fantastic photographic journal that's printed in black and white. Josef Hoflehner earned the Nature Photographer of the year in 2007, which is a major achievement. He's been doing fine art photography for 30 years and has an amazing portfolio from around the world. His images are dramatic with strong graphic elements and he has managed to strip away all the unnecessary elements to craft some brilliant photographs.

Here's his web site for you to enjoy:

Josef Hoflehner