David Ward - http://www.into-the-light.com/
An absolute visionary in my mind and leagues ahead of nearly every other landscape photographer working (again, in my opinion).
If I meet any naysayers of photography as an art form, David Ward's work is often the first port of call.
His photographs might not strike you straight away, but take a little time to absorb the images in his gallery.
Simple, beautiful work. You'll learn a lot from his blog too, which often attracts the input of academics and mathematicians!
Enlightening reading on our art form and it has really paved the way for my thinking and practice.
I dare say the best landscape photography teacher since Minor White.
Paul Wakefield - http://www.paulwakefield.co.uk/
Just stunning work. Nothing more to be said.
Andrew Nadolski - http://www.nadolski.com
He hasn't produced any other notable work since 2005, but his 'End of the Land' series is a high benchmark in contemporary landscape photography.
I have the book and can tell you it's well worth purchasing - that is, if you're interested in landscape photography as an expressive art form.
You might also benefit from subscribing to LandscapeGB - http://www.landscapegb.com. Perhaps concentrated a little too much on the technical, but I've made a few discoveries from the mag and I consider myself fairly well informed in regards to the landscape 'scene'.
As someone else mentioned; John Blakemore. He is the father of fine art landscape photography in Britain (although working in relative obscurity) and his retrospective has recently been published.
A good starting point and he is still working, to the best of my knowledge.
Apposite to what others have said, the 'imitate, assimilate, innovate' idea is something I live by.
Currently working on innovation!
I agree with Travis about Tim Rudman.
Tim Parkin. Great blog too, although not updated for a while. Isn't he a member here? His site is www.timparkin.co.uk
Tim Parkin is the editor and creator of LandscapeGB magazine too, alongside Joe Cornish. Tim isn't recognised for his photography, more his sharing of knowledge through his blog and now LandscapeGB. Certainly an influential figure in the new large format 'movement' in the UK, but more of a techie than photographer.
Although of a former generation, the black & white work of Bill Brandt is worth a look. Not entirely just a landscape photographer, but what he did was original.
It occurs to me, that in this digital age, with everyone wanting to rush around shooting at 10 frames a second, originality and actally taking time to think about what you're doing is somewhat out of fashion.
Ironically you may have to go back a couple of generations to find the best "contemporary" photographers!
Although i'm grateful for everyone's suggestions, it's not reallywhat i'm after. Have a look at Shane Lynam's work. That's the sort of thing I'm talking about.
Gursky (some work) comes to mind, Robert Adams (mens impact on the landscape in BW), Walter Niedermayr (mountain landscape :-)), Peter Bialobrzeski (Paradise now series), Olivo Barbieri (Cityscapes), Anne Lass (at the crossroad between city and landscape), Andrew Phelps (Urban and classic landscape). All except for Robert Adams are color photographers and quiet good imho.
For American cultural landscape see Jeff Brouws
For Uk landscape, contemporary, abstract see Chris Friel
You could also lose a bit of time at J Colberg's Conscientious which I'm sure you're aware of?
Re: earlier comments in this thread about looking at other artists' work.
My recommendation is to let other artists INSPIRE you to do great things. If their work does not inspire you, then perhaps you should continue your research, but remember anyway, because the work that doesn't set off your creative juices can teach you something too!
To draw a social parallel - how do you form opinions of things? How do you learn in school? You talk to other people, read books they wrote, or listen to them speak, and then you combine those thoughts with what's in your own experience. Sometimes other people tell you something so profound that it alters the way you think. Other times not so much, but it still helps you gain perspective into other people's lives and develop empathy.
Now apply that to photography, or any other art form - I'm sure it could only be good to look at the work of others, whether it inspires you or not. But the idea is to learn from others, learn how to see things you perhaps otherwise would have missed, and you shouldn't be worried about 'copying' because it's all filtered through your mind and your process anyway. Even if you tried to recreate the work of someone else, you could not, so relax, enjoy the view, and learn as much as you can about seeing, printing, presentation, framing, gesture, etc.
Jeff Brouws is great stuff! Thanks for him. Chris Friel i know of but i'm not altogether keen on his work. And i'd never heard of Conscientious before you said but i'll certainly have a look!
Originally Posted by ajmiller