Landscape & nature photography Masters
Discovering the japanese photographer Shinzo Maeda was a revelation for me. Although recognized for its superb nature photography in Japan, he is less known outside of his home country. Unfortunately, his books are today almost impossible to find in Europe. Several years ago, Taschen had published a superb combined edition (that I have the chance to own) of his “A Tree, A Blade of Grass”, “The Nippon Alps – Kamikochi” and “Oku Mikawa” books.
Some of the best american nature and landscape photographers, such as David & Marc Muench, Jack Dykinga, Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, Frans Lanting or William Neill have helped me discover the unique landscapes of the USA and other places and are always a great source of inspiration.
Of course, Ansel Adams, probably the most famous “father” of landscape photography, must be listed here. His black and white nature photography has already inspired endless numbers of landscape photographers.
Personal interpretation of the landscape in black and white continues today with photographers such as Michael Levin and Michael Kenna (check this virtual exhibition of his retrospective shown recently at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris).
Sara Winter, a “neighbour” from Holland with beautiful landscape images and a photographic sensitivity that I find close to mine.
Hervé Sentucq, another “neighbour”, from France this time, has superb landscapes of France on his website and his books.
Also from France, Arnaud Frich, is a talented specialist of panoramic photography.
On his website, Michael Kish shows some nice pictures of his superb home state Oregon.
Outdoor Photographer magazine is probably the best, with its articles written by the most famous US nature photographers.
Nature Photographers Online Magazine, with superb nature photography from all over the world.
A local equivalent to this site is the forum Beneluxnaturephoto.net, in French but pictures are a universal language !
Declencheur.com, for French speaking photographers, this is a very useful site where you can download mp3 files from their photography podcasts that you can later listen to while in the car or when hiking to where your photography is leading you.
The silence and sounds of nature are marvelous but some music is sometimes a welcome addition to inspire some photographic experimentations.
Each photographic “atmosphere” requires its specific musical style. Looking in awe at the beauty of nature must be done in silence or with some divine voices performing sung masterpieces of the baroque music era, such as
Mireille Delunsch (listen to her fabulous interpretation of La Folie in Rameau’s “Platée”), Sandrine Piau (listen to this and try not to be moved…), or Nancy Argenta, Cecilia Bartoli, Michael Chance, James Bowman (here in duo with the marvelous Emma Kirby).
Ancient music is not my only companion and Depeche Mode (yes, they have had some influence on the choice of title for this website…) or Muse are my favorites among today’s bands.
In moments of sadness and darkness, She Wants Revenge and IAMX become my musical companions.
Outdoor & travel resources
To start with, here are few useful links to prepare hiking in Belgium:
You can find lots of fully described walks all around Belgium, with a main focus on the Southern and Eastern parts of the country at Névé-Trek, Escapades.be or here (these three in French only unfortunately.
If you are interested in nature in the USA, the National Park Service is the first place should visit to prepare your trip.
If you want to discover some marvelous backcountry, check out the websites of the America’s Byways and the Bureau of Land Management. They are very useful resources.
If you are planning a photographic journey in the South West, you should really consider buying the extremely useful “Photographing the Southwest” book series, by Phototripusa.
And if, in the end, you do not want to leave home to visit all these marvelous places, you may still enjoy a virtual visit at UntraveledRoad.