The best landscape photography books to inspire you
May 11, 2022
Looking for inspiration for your library? Amy Davies recommends some of the best landscape photography books to peruse
Landscape photography is obviously an extremely popular genre. With millions of images posted every day on Instagram alone, it can be difficult to narrow down the source of inspiration from others. That’s why nothing can really beat print media for showing off the best of the landscape. With these beautiful books, each page has usually been designed to perfection, representing the best of any photographer’s portfolio.
Sitting down with one of these books and really studying the craft presented before you is worth its weight in gold, and certainly a more rewarding way to spend your time than endlessly scrolling through social media feeds. You can also refer to them over and over again, usually spotting something new each time you read them again.
That said, with so many books released each year, it can be hard to know where to start. With that in mind, we’ve put together a fantastic selection here for you to get started. Most of them were released relatively recently and are still widely available for purchase. We’ve also included a few classics (see page 45) that might be a little harder to find, but are worth seeking out as they stand the test of time.
Of course, no list like this could ever be truly definitive, so if you have any suggestions for other landscape photography books that readers might like, please contact us through the usual methods.
Featured Image: St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall, England – by The Art of Landscape Photography
best landscape photography books
Landscape by Jeremy Walker
2020, RRP £45Self-published, hardcover, 232 pages
Regular readers will already be aware of the breathtaking work of landscape designer Jeremy Walker. Her first book, published in 2020, examines some of the UK’s lesser-known hidden gems, tucked away away from the most obvious landscape destinations. It also explores some of Britain’s sometimes turbulent history, through the ruins of once impressive castles and abbeys. Here you’ll find spectacular scenery, atmospheric weather conditions and, if nothing else, a checklist of potential getaway spots for your next photography trip. It also has a foreword by AP editor Nigel Atherton.
Chasing the Light by Stefan Forster
2022, RRP £40Outfits, hardcover, 240 pages, ISBN: 9783961713837
In terms of location diversity, you can do worse than pick up one of Stefan Forster’s books. Each year, the Swiss photographer spends six months traveling the world and leads numerous workshops in the most beautiful and remote places on the planet. He spends much of his time in Iceland, his second adopted home. In Chasing Light, his latest volume, we can see some of Stefan’s finest experiences to date, presented from a variety of impressive perspectives. This tome is a potential classic in the making and a master class in how simple landscape imagery should be achieved.
The Art of Landscape Photography by Mark Bauer and Ross Hoddinott
2022, RRP £16.99Ammonite Press, softcover, 192 pages, ISBN 9781781454480
If you want to learn more about landscape photography, then you have not one, but two industry professionals at your fingertips here to go beyond the basics and look into the heart and soul of photography. of landscape – the composition and aesthetic design to convey meaning and emotion. With many examples, as well as in-depth technical details, this is a tool worth studying to improve your skills.
The Stone Age: The Ancient Castles of Europe by Frédéric Chaubin
2021, RRP £50Taschen, hardcover, 412 pages, ISBN: 9783836585019
Castles are a classic mainstay of landscape photography. If they’re your thing too, then this book – which covers Europe and includes over 200 buildings in 21 countries – is likely to be a godsend. Also, the footage (like the one below) was shot on film with a Linhof camera, so it’s not quite the same as your average postcard travel diary. Again, you can very easily use this as a checklist to help you plan your next landscape expedition.
Don McCullin: The Landscape
2018, RRP £50Jonathan Cape, hardcover, 184 pages, ISBN: 9781787330429
Although best known as a documentary photographer of some of the most harrowing conflicts of the post-war 20th century, Don McCullin is also an accomplished landscape shooter and master of the darkroom. In this inspiring collection, he captures the dark, brooding mystery of the West Country in winter, notably the Somerset Levels. Despite being a tough Londoner by birth, McCullin’s roots in Somerset run deep – he first came to the county as a wartime evacuee and lived near Bruton for many years. There are also scenes from more distant places, such as Syria and India. Wherever he turns, McCullin’s composition is dramatic and arresting, and the darkroom tone is jaw-dropping.
Ansel Adams 400 Photographs
2007, RRP £30Little, Brown & Company, hardcover, 432 pages, ISBN: 9780316117722
It’s quite possible that no collection of landscape photography books would be complete without a mention of the original master, Ansel Adams. This 2007 book is a comprehensive overview of the legendary photographer’s stunning work, published in one beautiful volume. With an RRP of £30 (and usually available at a cheaper price) it’s an absolute bargain, and probably, if you’re only buying one book from our list, it should probably be this one.
Mermaids by Rachael Talibart
2018, prices varyTriplekite Publishing, hardcover, 64 pages, ISBN: 9780993258992
One of the finest contemporary landscape photographers working today, you’d be hard pressed to find a brand new copy of any of Rachael Talibart’s books – a testament to their popularity. You should, however, be able to find second-hand copies of Sirens, which features his critically acclaimed work of seascapes and waves – the monstrous waves named after mythological beings. Beautiful and thoughtful work, this would be a fantastic addition to any budding landscape photographer’s bookshelf.
Landscape Photographer of the Year: Collection 14
2021, RRP £30Ilex Press, hardcover, 224 pages, ISBN: 9781781578155
The best place to see a great collection of the world’s best landscape photography is to watch what the Landscape Photographer of the Year judges think are worth awarding. The regular competition was started by landscape legend Charlie Waite and always yields fantastic entries. Each image in the book is accompanied by captions describing the photographer’s inspirations, as well as technical information on equipment and technique. If you like what you see here, you can also go back the years to find older editions.
Classic photography books
Our recommended selection of definitive landscape books
The Earth seen from above by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
2017 (originally published in 1999), £58Abrams, 440 pages, ISBN: 9781419722844
First published over 20 years ago, this magnificent book has sold over three million copies worldwide. Aerial footage from multiple journeys across five continents and 60 countries provides a comprehensive survey of Earth from a dramatic vantage point – and a time before the drones that made it more common. In the new edition, over 100 new images are included, along with essays by leading experts and conservationists.
Earth by Fay Godwin
1985, Prices varyWilliam Heinemann Ltd, 160 pages, ISBN: 9780434303052
Arguably one of the most essential purchases for anyone interested in British landscape photography, this fine collection of black and white images covers a good part of the country. The images are subtle and lovingly printed, and anyone who finds one used is unlikely to be disappointed.
Light and the Art of Landscape Photography by Joe Cornish
2003, Amphoto, Prices varyISBN: 9780817441524
Joe Cornish is one of the UK’s best-known and most popular landscape photographers, and this nearly 20-year-old book provides insight into his creative genius. With 150 fantastic images, as well as his valuable insight into how the image was created, as well as technical information, thought processes and creative inspirations behind each image.
Cape Light: Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz
2015 (originally published in 1979), Prices varyOverture, 112 pages, ISBN: 9781597113397
Although currently out of print, this exquisite selection of photographs is widely regarded as one of the most influential and popular photography books, especially since it was unusual at the time for its use of color. Whether you can get your hands on an original print or the 2015 reissue, you’ll find a masterful array of captivating shots.
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