25 Oustanding Landscape Photos of Various Types on Imagekind

25 Oustanding Landscape Photos of Various Types on Imagekind

Landscape photography can provide some of the most awe-inspiring photos out there. But doing it well is the key. Anyone can take a snapshot on their vacation, but it takes a talented photographer (a true artist!) to capture the scene. Lighting, angle, crop, lens, and post processing all play a part in the final image. Combining the various elements together is what makes these 25 landscape photos truly outstanding.

Winter Dusk and Angel's Landing Zion National Park by James Crotty

Winter Dusk and Angel's Landing Zion National Park by James Crotty

Sunflower Moon 1 by Jim Crotty

Sunflower Moon 1 by Jim Crotty

Change of Direction by James Neeley

Change of Direction by James Neeley

Break in the Storm by James Neeley

Break in the Storm by James Neeley

 Mount Gould in Morning Light by James Neeley

Mount Gould in Morning Light by James Neeley

Rainier Alpenglow by Mike Dawson

Rainier Alpenglow by Mike Dawson

Rise against the storm by Michael Vincent Manalo

The Tree by Terry Shuck

The Tree by Terry Shuck

North Gateway Rock by Marcus Panek

North Gateway Rock by Marcus Panek

::HDR-Vertorama:: Shine On You!!! by Leonardo Riano

::HDR-Vertorama:: Shine On You!!! by Leonardo Riano

Evening Shore by Barbara Brown

Evening Shore by Barbara Brown

Night At Owachomo Bridge by John Foster

Night At Owachomo Bridge by John Foster

The Advance of  Light by James Neeley

The Advance of Light by James Neeley

Mobius Arch #6 by Inge Johnsson

Mobius Arch #6 by Inge Johnsson

La Salinas - Isle De Margarita by Rob Diffenderfer

La Salinas - Isle De Margarita by Rob Diffenderfer

Battery Point Lighthouse by Ken Dietz

Battery Point Lighthouse by Ken Dietz

The Forest Is Dreaming by Janel Kaufman

The Forest Is Dreaming by Janel Kaufman

Take You There by Janel Kaufman

Take You There by Janel Kaufman

 Toco Rock by Gregory Scott

Toco Rock by Gregory Scott

Toco Sunrise by Gregory Scott

Toco Sunrise by Gregory Scott

Last purple sky ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Last purple sky ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Summer sunset ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Summer sunset ~HDRI~ by RATEL JULIEN

Zen Tree by Ben Ryan

Zen Tree by Ben Ryan

The Last Best Place by Janel Kaufman

The Last Best Place by Janel Kaufman

Home On The Range by Janel Kaufman

Home On The Range by Janel Kaufman

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category

Nate Jelovich works at Imagekind.com where you can buy and sell photography as framed wall art prints online to a worldwide audience. You set the price and keep the markup, Imagekind handles the rest. You can even frame photos of your own or print photos on canvas. For more information on selling your photography as framed prints, visit Imagekind.com/sell. Connect with Imagekind on Twitter and Facbook.

Some Older Comments

  • Paul Howell June 23, 2013 07:22 am

    What a lot of controversy! Its just don to taste, I prefer less HDR manipulation, but that doesn't make my opinion the only correct one!!! Ive done my fair share of split gradng/dodging and burning in the dark room so what the difference!

  • uncle-rhea April 16, 2011 05:37 am

    The Forest Is Dreaming by Janel Kaufman is my favorite. It looks the most realistic, I'd be interested to know if it is an HDR pic. I'm not a fan of HDR for the most part, i think it has its place and i can appreciate its artistic merit but i prefer photos that are not overly processed.

  • Geoff March 20, 2010 03:29 am

    I have looked at all of the images, not photo's, and each one is awfull! To much colour, contrast and far to much photoshop. I will stick with photography.

  • Michaela March 7, 2010 09:14 pm

    Great composition and creativity, but for me personally, they are overworked. Sorry guys, I have to agree with the others...too artificial for the most part.

  • Kurt March 6, 2010 06:08 am

    Only being a hobbiest, I still say there is entirely too much bashing going on here. I would agree with lorian. Most Hollywood movie DVD covers of action films are highly HIGHLY processed, with "artificial" people. Yet I still find many to be eye appealing. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.

  • Highlander69 March 6, 2010 03:30 am

    @Robert Horler
    "taking a shot that is wonderous and natural and capable of taking ones breathe away “in its own right” is what photographic art is all about."

    I TOTALLY AGREE with that statement !!
    Only thing is, though... even a great photographer should still be learning, even if they are considered the top of the pack. So we can't turn noses up at anyone not at the same level. I myself have a long way to go, but I'm going at a pace that I can keep up with and trying lots of different things to see how I can make my own "art" better . I like HDR's as a different form of photography but it's not what I want to say with my photos.
    IMHO, "Rules" are only a guideline to go by, situations are what demand a bending of them.

    I guess the point I would make though (or broader view) is that an "art" doesn't have to be constricted. Multiple arts can be combined to make a new "style" of art. Ergo... HDR.... The question to ask maybe would be... minus the HDR aspect, would it be considered a great photograph or just a picture?
    As a far example... the Harlem Globetrotters "Art" is a combination of the art of basketball and the art of comedy. Put to the test, they can play with some of the best pros on the court, but they choose to make a show of it so all ages can enjoy it and understand it, and even be a part of it sometimes.
    A great "artist" is someone that has spent many hours polishing their craft "to the best of their ability" but is not afraid to try something different.
    That said... not everyone has the same abilities so their best work that they are really proud of, may not be someone else's idea of good work. That is what's known as opinion.

    Which comes back to the basic question to be considered here. Minus your own personal opinion on HDR, B&W, processing, etc.... according to the "rules" of photography as you know them (if this is how we should judge a photo)... would / should any of these be considered to be "outstanding landscapes" as the title of this article suggests ???? Or can we all just have our own opinion of what we do and don't like, without discounting the other person's views?

    Just my opinion........ :)

  • Robert Horler March 4, 2010 10:49 pm

    Sorry, I'm another whinger about HDR. Supporters have discussed that this is an art form. I don't see it that way at all. The art is in the eye of the photographer. If that person can stop us in our tracks from taking a picture in it's natural state then that person/photographer is a true artist in my opinion. Photography to me has become too artificial today. We all think we can take pictures,digital camera's are readily available to everyone so the competion out there is enormous so taking a shot that is wonderous and natural and capable of taking ones breathe away "in its own right" is what photographic art is all about.

  • jdventer March 4, 2010 02:20 pm

    I didn't hear any one say that photographers should not edit their photos, but people should feel free to express honest unmalicious opinions. I didn't hear meanness or flaming in the comments. I heard some people say they thought some of the photos were not good examples of landscape photography; other people that they loved the photos. Part of the what differentiates one photographer from an other is the editing choices they make.

  • Highlander69 March 4, 2010 05:42 am

    I noticed a few people hinted that a true "photographer" shouldn't have to edit their photos. One note to add if you are using a digital camera... unless you are shooting totally in "Raw" and printing from that file, your camera is actually doing processing of your photo behind the scenes to whatever your camera manufacturer has decided is the best processing for the shot you took. A raw photo and a jpeg don't look the same if compared side by side. I agree, you should be able to take the photo to show as realistic as possible, but as others have stated, who has the time to spend waiting for the "perfect" weather condition to show at the exact time and you actually being able to be lucky enough to be there??!! Reality check ! With landscape, you have to work with the conditions when they appear at that moment because they will never be the same again, or keep coming back hoping they will come close to what you want to capture.
    The photo below is from a Canon Powershot S500... no special lens (it's a pocket sized cheap camera).
    After living in Colorado for 16 years and being the one behind the camera, I know the color on this should be a lot better but I chose not to do anything with it. The in-camera software set the processing which doesn't match the reality. Now, my old 35mm with a polarizer and the right film would have given me a better shot colorwise, but then again... different films and filters are basically "processing" like any other form.
    I agree with alot of HDR being baked, but that's my opinion. Where does it say a photographer and an artist "have" to be two different things??!!
    Can anyone truly say that Ansel Adams was only a photographer and NOT an artist???
    As far as I know, none of his photos are straight from camera shots. Some are composites but all are "processed" to his vision of what the shot should look like. Has anyone ever been to the "tetons and snake river" and seen it look just like his photo?? Yeah, I didn't think so....
    I thought the whole idea of photography was to capture a moment in time to express the way the photographer sees it and wants it to be seen?

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/subconscience_sight/3911884846/' title='IMG_6565C' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2627/3911884846_8a68418a49.jpg']

  • Corona Landscape – Landscape Maintenance Services March 3, 2010 04:35 am

    Incredible photos. Thanks for the post

  • Ajith March 2, 2010 12:37 am

    Except for the images "Zen Tree" and "Take you there", the images looked manipulated. I am an amateur photographer. The images look good in composition to me but far too unnatural after finishing.

  • Daniel March 1, 2010 03:12 pm

    "I have to agree with Lorian’s comment posted: February 25th, 2010 at 9:05 am. If you cannot post a positive comment… if you totally dislike what you see, then please keep your comments to yourself."

    If you don't want comments to fall where they may or cannot stomach them, then don't post your images in public and hide away with your delusion. If you believe in your work, then you can take the criticism. Eliminating criticism is the first step to totalitarianism and fascism. Do you really think that's the way to go. If you do, then you aren't an artist but a pretender. in it for wealth or ego.

  • Daniel March 1, 2010 03:03 pm

    When I see these made-on-computer images I really, really, really, really, miss Galen Rowell. He never resorted to such trickery. Heck why even bother with a camera--just grab a good 3D graphics app like Maya, Modo, or others and build it from scratch. These images are so doped up, they look like they were done that way any way. I am not saying they are beautiful images--they are. And those who made them are artists and should be recognized and masterful fantasy artists. But to call them "photography" is a real stretch. In fact it is a lie.

  • Anne March 1, 2010 12:06 pm

    I don't think the artist (photographer) meant these photos to look "natural." They wanted them to be manipulated, just for the pure ability to do so and add popping color. I wouldn't want it all the time, but I think since they look like paintings, they are cool.

  • Anne March 1, 2010 12:02 pm

    I like the HDR. I think it makes them look like paintings. Each to his own...

  • gary schneider March 1, 2010 11:35 am

    apparently some of you don't understand art through the camera. your original picture is the start of what you see. then manipulate it as you need to reach your vision of the scene. overcooked colors are just a part of a picture. to have your picture speak of your vision is what it is about. Yes this sells pictures as art. However there are times when you have pictures that are photographs which will sell to those of us who like a photo for its reality. Sometimes this is best and for4 some it is not. Your eye sees things you want to express this can be done in various ways. All are fine. Just keep your mind open. Hdr will not sell to national geographic and others loking for pure photographs. However many love the manipulation these are sold as fine art photography. Most end up being loved by some and hated by jealous people who do not appreciate the art in photography.

  • jdventer March 1, 2010 09:54 am

    I appreciate the pictures but I would not call them as landscapes. All photographs are representations involving interpretations but some of these reach farther into the realm of graphic interpretations as apposed to photographs or even enhanced photographs.

  • jdventer March 1, 2010 06:23 am

    The most of the example shots seem over the top to me especially the colors and color saturation.

  • Rod March 1, 2010 04:10 am

    HDR prints, particularly these, are so over the top, that they no longer represent any sense of reality. These aren't great photos -- they are over manipulated computer generated images. The skill of the pnotographer isn't evident in any of these photos -- fabricated computer generated crap.

  • Elaine March 1, 2010 01:18 am

    The photos are breathtaking!
    can anyone tell me how to get such colours?

  • ahmad robledo February 28, 2010 06:31 pm

    Overall, the images are great, only some HDR images are over-manipulated.

  • Jojie February 28, 2010 10:18 am

    @Nate Jelovich - love the collection you provided!
    HDR or NOT I couldn't care less. The images granted are manipulated mostly by colour manipulations. Which means it still requires some greate detail, planning, thought or whatever though process that came out.

    My photos and nope not linking them here either. My photos have all of these from HDR to none. I process them based on how I imagined them to be (and it's hard to get an image of what you want it to be unless you are there on that right moment). With that, I proccess them accordingly. Most of my process are simply colour saturations to bring out the colour and contrast. Some HDR, some just cropping. In the end it depends on how I want it to look like.

    The first thing I do ofcourse is take the photo to the best of my ability so I don't have to manipulate them much, and go there on certain times to best suit. but I can't be at the same place everday to take the best photo and or keep returnign to the same place to get the photo I want so I do the best I can to grab the best images of that given time to suit my needs.


  • JeanineE February 28, 2010 06:38 am

    Thank you for the inspiring images. I've linked to this article from my new blog, Rosie Girl Dreams, to share with my readers (http://rosiegirldreams.com/http:/rosiegirldreams.com/2010/6-sharing-saturday/sharing-saturday-02-27-2010/). Much thanks again!

  • George February 28, 2010 04:37 am

    There are some fantastic images !!!!!!
    My favourites: Break in storm; Gateway rock; Shine on you; Evening shore; The advance of light; Zen tree and more ..
    All breathe taking. Don’t get discourage by old school photographers who were told what is nice or not and think only images done with rule of 3rd can look good. I bet you any money you can sell 100x more of these images then the people who are bashing your work here. Please ignore them and keep up the good work !!!!!!

  • Don Peterson February 28, 2010 02:12 am

    Thought I would jump into the "blender" with this shot taken recently at the Point Reyes lighthouse on the California Coast. It's been modified using Adobe Lightroom.[eimg url='http://www.don-peterson.com/Galleries/Samples/PointReyes.jpg' title='PointReyes.jpg']

  • Don Peterson February 28, 2010 01:52 am

    As artists, honest, constructive criticism is how we learn. It's all about learning, not about pulling a veil of insincere cliché over our work. Most of us appreciate this forum for its potential to receive honest feedback. We appreciate this kind of straightforward, open commentary. Without it this forum would be uninteresting, banal.

    As a side note: HDR is a relatively new technology and needs to be finessed a bit more. It's like getting a new router tool for Christmas; suddenly everything needs a dado or fancy scrollwork.

  • jason February 27, 2010 11:38 pm

    Nick g; almost all of the comments you quote are aimed squarely at the image, not the photographer. The only one that's even close to "slagging the person" is the last one.

  • Nick G February 27, 2010 11:08 pm

    Jason and Ton Gunn... I stand by my comment and would add that the main thrust of the comments against the photographs in question as the samples shown below, are ridiculing the photographer... and I don't feel that any of you have that right. You might not agree with HDR or the overuse of it, but that doesn't give anybody the right to slag the person.
    Comments quoted from submissions above....

    Are you kidding me? Sorry this is so wrong to me as anyone can manipulate an image
    I’ts not really photography -it’s your ability to use Photoshop and programs to change images : just not the same.
    If it is a good photo, there is no need for HDR…
    These photos arent photos. We can all take a mediocre image and tart it up to make it look….erm …. unlife-like. Yuk yuk yuk.
    A photo and a photographer should take the snap and leave it be.
    I’m sorry, but his is a pretty lame collection of landscape images.
    These are terrible. If you can’t do a good shot without HDR, you are not a good photographer.

    These effects were around in the old 'darkroom' days, to a lesser degree of course, but nevertheless, as the saying goes..."There is nothing new under the sun".

  • Tom gunn February 27, 2010 10:26 pm

    To Nick g: why on earth do you think that comments must only be positive? On a forum such as this where photographers come together to talk photography, it's a great benefit to our fellow photographers to get honest appraisals of their work. If it turns into nothing but a back-slapping exercise then it ceases to be instructive.


  • jason February 27, 2010 10:09 pm

    Congratulations, nick g, you've abolished the entire field of artistic criticism. I'm sure all the universities will be shutting down their arts departments, newspapers and magazines will be slashing their coverage, and we can all happily shout "OMG AMAAAAYZING" at everything we see. Woo.

  • teebee357 February 27, 2010 09:37 pm

    Well, I think Lorian is right ... Lord of the Rings movie is not a documentary (no real world); it still has its fans. Same with HDR, is not real photography; nonetheless it is sort of art... "Outstanding" is a personal opinion only, no need to be so critical. Ultimately, any form of digital art is more or less a collection of pixels. There are people who don't understand Picasso; his paintings still worth a fortune! What I want to express is that the art cannot be judged in black and white, yes or no, bad or good ... there should be always some other intermediary steps!

  • faris vio February 27, 2010 09:16 pm

    amazing.. nice photography

  • Karen Stuebing February 27, 2010 08:03 pm


    I think some people think that some of these photos are just too baked. Personally, I think some of them go beyond photography into the realm of digital art. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

    Yes, photographers have always manipulated their images. Some even use specialty cameras like lomographics and pinholes to get different effects.

    HDR was born out of the need to overcome the more limited dynamic range of digital cameras. Where you can actually have "purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains."

    Sometimes I use HDR. Sometimes I don't. It depends on the photo. Sometimes I can't control the toning to get a pleasing result. Sometimes, I just like the photo the way it is.

    I'm still a novice at HDR and I suspect with time, my photos are going to start taking on more surrealism because it does appeal to me.

    You asked for landscapes.

    Here is one which is just basic editing of levels, etc.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenstuebing/4390746096/' title='After the Storm' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4390746096_c121bb7765.jpg']

    Here is one using HDR.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenstuebing/4343860559/' title='Budding Willow Tree' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2747/4343860559_9a70a02c5f.jpg']

  • yvonne February 27, 2010 07:22 pm

    HDR? What does that mean? I agree with most of the replies. As soon as I started to look at these photos I was turned off only because to me they totally look "fake". I understand that we all have the right to our "interperation" or rather our own "idea of beauty" yes, for sure....however.... a photograph, in my humble opinion, should resemble a photograph not a "watercolour painting" unless so stated.

  • Nick G February 27, 2010 02:10 pm

    I have to agree with Lorian's comment posted: February 25th, 2010 at 9:05 am. If you cannot post a positive comment... if you totally dislike what you see, then please keep your comments to yourself. I for one see photography as an art form, and as such, the way that the artist sees his or her work is totally a personal thing. HDR is a popular form of photo manipulation, much the same as Photoshop is to most of the detractors here. If used to enhance the artists ideas then cannot and should not be condemned by somebody who fails to appreciate a 'different' form. There is no right or wrong in art and the way an individual perceives it, so please, if you don't like what you see, remember that many probably don't like your efforts either. Keep your negativity to yourself and do everybody a favour.

  • dave February 27, 2010 02:03 pm

    overdone photoshop- what ever happened to real photography.

  • Shellie20 February 27, 2010 10:43 am

    I do like to look at images whether they are HDR or not. I just dont like to too over processed ones. There is a fine line between photography and graphic art (I am a photographer not a PhotoShop Guru). However, in saying that, what really is HDR? It is just another way of processing an image. In the old days it was done with chemicals in a tray, pencil marks, rubbing & burning etc while processing a film in the dark room, now days the "dark room" is a computer. But yes, do have to agree, some are a little too over-cooked for my liking. Definately Graphic Art. Still lovely to look at.

  • Horst-H. Zocher February 27, 2010 09:50 am

    It seems to me that none of the shown photographs is a regular one, they all seem to be HDR or otherwise heavily altered. Since I know a few places where the pics were taken, I can say that a regular person never gets to the place at that particular time of the day, that has to do with the times when parks are closed (Utah). In other cases the investment of time and money to get to that particular spot is pretty hard to cope with for an amateur photographer who does not have a chance to get much of a financial income from the taken pictures. This should be mentioned when good photographs (no doubt about that) are shown as examples.The last time I was in the "Four Corner Region" we still used analog equipment, but Moab will be on the itinerary for my next trip. Keep om going with your good work,
    P.S. My website is off for the time at the moment.

  • Karen Stuebing February 27, 2010 07:54 am


    I think some people think that some of these photos are just too baked. Personally, I think some of them go beyond photography into the realm of digital art. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

    Yes, photographers have always manipulated their images. Some even use specialty cameras like lomos and pinholes to get different effects.

    HDR was born out of the need to overcome the more limited dynamic range of digital cameras. It grew into something much more. Where you can actually have "purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains."

    Sometimes I use HDR. Sometimes I don't. It depends on the photo. Sometimes I can't control the toning to get a pleasing result. Sometimes I just like the photo the way it is.

    I'm still a novice at HDR and I suspect with time, my photos are going to start taking on more surrealism because it does appeal to me.

    Then again, I shoot in black and white sometimes too. To me, photography is all about exploring and learning.

    You asked for landscapes.

    Here is one which is just basic editing of levels, etc.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenstuebing/4390746096/' title='After the Storm' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4390746096_c121bb7765.jpg']

    Here is one using HDR.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenstuebing/4343860559/' title='Budding Willow Tree' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2747/4343860559_9a70a02c5f.jpg']

  • Karen Stuebing February 27, 2010 07:03 am


    I think some people think that some of these photos are just too baked. Personally, I think some of them go beyond photography into the realm of digital art. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

    Yes, photographers have always manipulated their images. Some even use specialty cameras like lomos and pinholes to get different effects.

    HDR was born out of the need to overcome the more limited range of digital cameras in capturing highlights and shadows. It grew into something much more. Where you can actually have "purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains."

    Sometimes I use HDR. Sometimes I don't. It depends on the photo. Sometimes I can't control the toning to get a pleasing result. Sometimes, I just like the photo the way it is.

    I'm still a novice at HDR and I suspect with time, my photos are going to start taking on more surrealism because it does appeal to me.

    You asked for landscapes.

    Here is one which is just basic editing of levels, etc.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenstuebing/4390746096/' title='After the Storm' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4065/4390746096_c121bb7765.jpg']

    Here is one using HDR.

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/karenstuebing/4343860559/' title='Budding Willow Tree' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2747/4343860559_9a70a02c5f.jpg']

  • Kennysarmy February 27, 2010 06:52 am

    ugly and over-processed = sorry....

  • gary schneider February 27, 2010 04:50 am

    I didn't read all comments but those that I read were completely missing the point. A photograph after editing reflects the photographers vision as to what he sees or want to send to you the viewer. Fine art photograhy is used to convey this vision. All of your photos seem to convey this direction. Anyone can take a picture if you follow the rules fo fine photography. How you edit and convey your vision to others is your statement. If you just want a photograph showing the stark reality then you are not an artist just a photographer. How much you alter the photograph is your statement. Fine art photography is a statement of your vision. Get real.

  • Don Peterson February 27, 2010 04:46 am

    One thing we might learn from these photos is "moderation." I have created a few HDR images but finally gave it up because I liked the images I created with good exposure and standard Photoshop editing better.

    Here are some images from a recent trip to Point Reyes Lighthouse on the California Coast.: [eimg url='http://www.don-peterson.com/Galleries/PointReyesLighthouse/' title='PointReyesLighthouse']

  • Nate Jelovich February 27, 2010 04:44 am

    Well at least I know how to stir up the bees' nest! What's so great about this is that we all have different opinions. Some things these are great compositions, other don't. Some think it is too much manipulation, others enjoy it. Truth is, it's all subjective.

    I do agree with @TDS. Haven't photographers been post-processing (manipulating) their photos LONG before the digital age and HDR was even around? A photo is a photo and the post processing does not take away that fact... It is a silly argument to say that these aren't photographs because they have been manipulated.

    Either way, I'd love to see your own photos of what you consider better landscapes. Really. You can send them to me, or post a link.


  • ginginny February 27, 2010 04:23 am

    i think they're gorgeous!!! some more than others, but come on.... zen tree..... how can anyone think that's over the top? as well as "take you there", "the forest is dreaming", and "rise against the storm". "mobius arch" is fantastic, too!

    just how many of these types of photos have you seen and loved before you found out they were "hdr"?

    i feel people just made up their minds that they are going to dislike hdr, no matter how nicely it made the photo and stick to that opinion. how closed minded of them.

  • nikola February 27, 2010 04:10 am

    Beautiful nature does not require the HDR, it looks artificial, like the other planets.
    However, little to do,in the Picasa is OK (like I do)!http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/22976573.jpg

  • Nate Jelovich February 27, 2010 03:54 am

    Well, I am glad I at least know how to stir up the bees nest. This is the funny thing, it's all opinion. Some people like the compositions, some don't. Some like the use of HDR, some don't. I just find it completely unnecessary to be totally rude and flat out jerkish about it. But I guess that might just be my opinion too!

    And yes, I agree with @TDS. Haven't photographers been manipulating (aka, post processing) photos WELL before digital and HDR techniques? There are probably thousands (maybe this a good blog post topic?) of ways to change, edit, manipulate, enhance, ruin - pick your poison - a photograph, and HDR is one of them (however you slice it!).

    Thanks for all the input folks! And personally, I would love to see your examples of your own landscape photos. I can ALWAYS learn and love to look at truly OUTSTANDING photos.


  • chrisb February 27, 2010 02:53 am

    Such a lot of negativity regarding these images.I think the problem maybe that there are photographers and there are artists and rarely do the two meet in one body.Beautiful pieces presented as an artists conception rather than an exact of what the lens saw.
    Thank you

  • Gerrie Malan February 27, 2010 01:48 am

    As one of the old guard who developed our own negatives, printed our photos, made our own enlargements with our old fashioned enlargers, I am not a stranger to touching up photos. But the pictures above (yep, that's what I think they are) have moved far beyond the definition of photographs. It seems more like pictures on Chinese porcelain plates. The same is done to portraits with some modern programs - you take a person with less than perfect features and create someone he or she has never been and never will be. There is a simple term for it: ARTIFICIAL.

  • Highlander69 February 27, 2010 01:27 am

    Let's try this again...

    This is the before...
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/subconscience_sight/4360954589/' title='IMG_8733-Before' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2724/4360954589_8aaa9b46a9.jpg']

    This is the after...
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/subconscience_sight/4360955025/' title='IMG_8733' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2697/4360955025_54af38133d.jpg']

  • Roy February 27, 2010 12:58 am

    In my opinion these picture's are too manipulated! The subject has to be: The 25 most 'stunning' HDR landscape picture. Don't get me wrong, I love HDR picture's once in a while, but this is too overwhelming!

  • srinivasa rao b February 27, 2010 12:45 am

    Beautiful Photographs, Potraying Mother Nature at her best moments.

  • Mark February 27, 2010 12:00 am

    Am I missing something here? Were all or at least most of these printed on velvet?

  • margaretha toerien February 26, 2010 11:59 pm

    I'm afraid I'm with the masses.... most have wonderful composition, but it looks like a (very good) paint by numbers exercise. Such a pity!

  • Tom February 26, 2010 11:54 pm

    Are you kidding me? Sorry this is so wrong to me as anyone can manipulate an image..guess I'm just old fashioned or spoiled as I don't really see anything but manipulated compositions. Whatever happened to capturing dynamic scenes naturally without photoshopping the crap out of it bet old A. Adams would be insulted. I prefer finding wonderful natural perspectives, non manipulated (wind, rain, fog, movement, colors, textures, spectacular views, etc) capturing fantastic lighting instead of just manipulating an image?

  • sishir February 26, 2010 11:16 pm

    photos are outstanding and remarkable

  • Graham February 26, 2010 09:45 pm

    And on it runs. Used to get a lot of this on martial arts forums where armchair experts pontificate and criticize, yet if you could get them to actually turn up to a seminar to put it on the line and SHOW rather than tell, they seldom produced much. Not putting any of you in that category as I don't know any of you, so this really isn't a dig, it's a reasoned argument - why not show rather then tell? After all, we are WRITING arguments about visual image results. Bit daft really innit? A lot of people on this thread have very set ideas, and for all I know you may well be spot on. I'd like to see your better pics please, the befores and afters showing the proper elements of composition and the best use of HDR. Direct comparison saves a lot of spleen venting, and then we can all admire and learn from your advanced skills.

  • SeaDave February 26, 2010 07:53 pm

    I am sure there is a place for HDR, and in my opinion it should be used to enhance a photo. We all struggle at times with the variations in sky/land exposures and HDR can help to 'create a better picture'.

    I particularly liked the photos by Jim Crotty; Marcus Panek and Janel Kaufman. Some others drifted into the world of fantasy, however if that is what you like then good.

    To me I ask 'would I print & frame this and hang it on a wall ?' Some of these I would others not.

    Ultimately it's "beauty in the eye of the beholder".

    Here's a shot I took earlier this year of a sunset over the Isle of Arran in Scotland. The photo is more or less ex-camera with a little cropping and a little increase in contrast. No HDR.
    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/seadave/4251451686/' title='Arran Sunset' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2681/4251451686_f6cf144ba7.jpg']

  • louis February 26, 2010 07:19 pm

    I'ts nor really photography -it's your ability to use Photoshop and programs to change images : just not the same..

  • shovona February 26, 2010 05:50 pm

    loved all.. awesome will not do justice with them..so dnt have wrds to xplain..

  • Leviter February 26, 2010 05:05 pm

    Why oh why so much HDR. And why do people think HDR makes all pictures beautiful?! Check the composition and make a photo which is interesting by nature. If it is a good photo, there is no need for HDR... take a look at the 'old school' photographers like Ansel Adams. Beautiful photos and none using HDR (apparently).

  • jason February 26, 2010 04:45 pm

    Most of the comments above are missing the point entirely. These aren't great photos ruined by HDR, most of them are distinctly mediocre as compositions. (with the exceptions of one or two that are outright terrible, and a few that are good but a bit trite)

  • Ashley Adams February 26, 2010 04:44 pm

    Amazing images. The Zen tree is especially haunting. I personally LIKE the strong use of color. Check out http://www.psprint.com/postcards if you want to get these printed.

  • Michael Cheung February 26, 2010 04:29 pm

    [eimg url='http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/JshPGRO4sDAaHtNCrquyZQ?feat=directlink' title='JshPGRO4sDAaHtNCrquyZQ?feat=directlink']
    I understand the fuss over HDR and agree that it's often overused, but I find it very useful to capture impossible lighting situations. Like the photo above, I wouldn't have been able to capture both the sun's rays and Mesa Arch with a single capture. HDR helped me take the photo that I saw with my eyes.

  • Jyotis February 26, 2010 02:27 pm

    Manipulating pictures in any editing software is a skill and I have no problem accepting that. But that doesn't mean you have to over do it and make picture unnatural. Too much strong color, not pleasant to eye. Didn't like those.

  • Stephanie Loomi February 26, 2010 01:15 pm

    I'd like to see the RAW files....just for comparison.

  • wayne February 26, 2010 01:00 pm

    I quite like HDR but these are a bit over done, it would have been good to have done comparisons with an origional

  • Eugene Baker February 26, 2010 12:00 pm

    For me, I view these images are works of art much as a painters canvas that do not represent the reality so much as the artists depiction of the scene and the feeling. I particularly like the images by Janel Kaufman since the impart a sense of almost lonely wistfulness to me.
    Quote: "Art is in the eyes of the beholder"

  • Sam February 26, 2010 10:58 am

    While I don' have a problem with HDR as a whole, in my opinion a few of these images do need to be toned back a little as it does take away from the great composition of the shots.

    The one thing that did raise my attention is that The Advance of Light by James Neeley photo posted above does look remarkably like Echoes of Silence by Peter Lik (google it if you haven't seen it). I probably wouldn't have noticed except that I walked through one of Peter Lik's galleries in Las Vegas yesterday and was blown away by the print in question (especially since I just left Arches NP two days earlier). Just my opinion.

  • Sarah February 26, 2010 10:48 am

    These are such beautiful photos, it makes me want to go on a hike with my camera right now.

    I recently became interested in landscapes again after visiting a Peter Lik gallery. If you are not familiar with him, do yourself a favor and check out his blog. http://blog.peterlik.com/

  • Alex February 26, 2010 10:43 am

    Some good photos are overlooked in this heated discussion of HDR, but I'd like to give big compliments to Mike Dason's "Rainier Alpenglow" and Inge Johnson's "Mobius Arch". They both captured awesome landscapes in beautiful lighting.

    Re: HDR, to me, it's just another method like burning or dodging done in a traditional darkroom. How it's used depends on each photographer's esthetic taste. I follow Ansel Adams's philosophy: "You don't take a photograph. You make it."

  • TDS February 26, 2010 10:35 am

    I began set up my first darkroom in 1964. The following year I moved from a 620 to my first 35mm... an Argus C3. Prior to digital photography, we manipulated EVERY photograph in the darkroom. The most obvious manipulation was cropping but we also used techniques such as dodging, burning, and vignetting. Sometimes we would place two negatives, one on top of the other, in the enlarger and "create" a photo that never existed in reality. Prior to making a final print, we would always print a test strip that showed a portion of the "to be printed" photo with various exposures in the enlarger. Then, we would pick the best best exposure. All of this is post-production manipulation. I know that it was not unusual for me to spend upwards of an hour in post-production manipulation to get the exact print I wanted.

    What confuses me is why, now that the darkroom has moved into the computer, we are supposed to resist post-production manipulations. I always thought photography was an artform. And as an art the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    The first time I saw HDR I fell in love with it. Obviously, it doesn't work with portraits or action; but used judiciously, it can be quite creative and artist in landscape, nature and outdoor architecture.

  • Gina O February 26, 2010 10:32 am

    Thanks Nate for the post. I love the examples you showed us mainly for their compositions and colour. HDR is obviously not everyone's cup of tea but I do enjoy this style of photographic art.....it gives the images a painterly effect.

    For those who don't like HDR, leave constructive criticism (some of you have) but not 'hate' remarks....it really doesn't make you look good or professional.

    I love this site and all that it teaches me :)

  • MinnySoda February 26, 2010 10:25 am

    You can get glass/mirror like effects by actually taking a picture of water when the wind is not blowing. I've taken many. Example: Mt Gould & Mt Rainier. You don't need special effects or use longer shutter speeds, sometimes being there at the right moment is enough.

    I have taken a similar photo strait out of the camera as Marcus Panek's 'North Gateway Rock'. There are many 'veiws' just like it in area around Sedona, Arizona. You really don't need that much 'touch up' when you have great views to begin with.


  • Regina February 26, 2010 10:21 am

    Being a fan or not being a fan of HDR I find it offensive to say things like "ugly and nasty" or to say that "These are terrible. If you can’t do a good shot without HDR, you are not a good photographer." and all the other rude comments are absolutely uncalled for. You can come up with a more constructive way to express your dislikes about an image or it's processing then being down right mean I'm sure and if not then perhaps you are too juvenile to make a proper critique in the first place.

    As for the images I think they are all beautiful and I can find likes and dislikes about every image! Many of them are yes over processed HDR, but perhaps that was the artists intentions from the get go. The Sunflower moon 1 image must be HDR. there are too many details that a camera simply cannot capture without the aid of some sort of photo manipulation reguardless of how good a photographer you are! But I absolutely love the image! Rise Against the Storm is another image that is beautiful but it bugs my personal taste, the noise both makes me crazy yet I find it intriguing because it looks old and grainy. "The Tree" gorgeous shot obvious manipulations but the only thing that I find distracting is that because the image is centered I anticipate a symmetrical image the rays of light on one side and not the other does take away for me. It looks as though it could be a finger that got in the way! "Zen Tree" Absolutely surreal and stunning image regardless of the amount of processing ! "The Last Best Place" I love the sepia and the moodiness of this image but the hot spots I am not a fan of! HDR tends to bring these out much more if there are already hot spots in the original. Over all I think they are all works of art be you a fan of it or not and the artists that have given permission to have them posted here should get the proper acknowledgment they deserve.

    I am a huge fan of HDR and I do use it in my own work and have an equal amount of pure photography in my portfolio. I have more HDR work hanging on walls of my customers then I do pure photography. After being asked to submit pieces of my work to be published in a book 4 out of 5 of those images were HDR. Since starting HDR my sales have tripled from when I shot pure photography, does that make me a bad photographer? perhaps but as long as the money keeps flowing in I will continue with what works for me!!!!

  • Mike February 26, 2010 09:39 am

    HDR How Dredful Really

  • Jerry Guba February 26, 2010 08:34 am

    We are getting to much into HDR. What ever happened to just taking a good, well composed, good exposed photograph. These images are starting to look like comic book images. I agree, nice to look at but way to much.

  • Alain February 26, 2010 08:32 am

    I can only agree with the 2000 comments about too much HDR.
    Most of them show adorable composition though.
    I would love to see a composition with "just the tree on the cliff" of the picture Toco Sunrise

  • Eric February 26, 2010 08:21 am

    @ Jessica

    they are using a longer shutter speed to blur the water and give the appearance of silkiness or smoothness.

  • Brian February 26, 2010 07:19 am

    Not sure about "outstanding". Most of them look horribly overdone to me. And I'm a fan of HDR!!

  • Mike Criss February 26, 2010 07:04 am

    I love HDR but not overdone HDR. Not sure why people like the outrageous version when it can be a great tool in less than ideal light. Denali HDR

  • rd February 26, 2010 07:03 am

    I'm not surprised at the HDR . As you see from my "website", I'm on IK. every day I see those images that are chosen for the front page. There are lot's of really good landscape images to choose from, literally thousands, I've even got a couple on there myself. Not sour grapes here - but way too often HDR is truly overused. I've seen it used well, but more often overdone.

  • Jennifer February 26, 2010 06:56 am

    I am new to this site and don't know what the heck HDR is but plan to find out. In my opinion, the colours are very vibrant. The pictures are gorgeous. I am obviously an amateur and was starting to think I had ALOT to learn if I want my pictures to turn out like these. I was starting to feel discouraged. However, if it is just photoshopping that is creating the vibrant colours and such, I agree with a previous poster, what happened to just taking a great shot? Are my pictures, or anyone else's, not good enough that I need to photoshop to some degree each one of them?

  • stacy February 26, 2010 06:31 am

    I love the forest is dreaming and take you there! I love seeing them posted! I have taken several photos of path and roads and trails in the woods in different seasons, times of the day, and weather. In fact I have a few that like exteremely similar. It gives me confidence that my photos that I love are good enough! I also think that the others are still kinda cool!

  • Dolly February 26, 2010 06:07 am

    The pictures are stunning(they catch the eye). The composition and the colour make up, result in somethings very Interesting.... Every form of art has to move forward from where it already is.

    With the multitude of softwares available.. It is obvious that someCREATIVE people will experiment.
    The results of the experiment are good or not/ liked or not liked are subjective.

    This site is for creative, constructive purposes....If you as an individual did not like the results then you will make sure that you do not go in that direction...if you have, you will try something for yourself and take it forward from there....

    So, simple question who appointed those pompous, self rightrous dudes up there to go hammer and tongs at the HDR images?? Maybe I'd meet you in your favourite dress and tell you- dude wher'd you get it from, backstreet -garage sale... that does not mean your dress sucks or that you have bad taste ... our point of views differ... And neither of us have the right to do what the P, SR dudes were doin up there...

  • Julie February 26, 2010 06:00 am

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions of what photography should be. Are you looking at these images as or photographs though? We are in the digital age with a number of tools within reach. High Digital Range Imaging is a tool and obviously not for everyone's taste. Look at the compositional elements to these photos/ art images. Find something that works in them before you slam them to the ground. Artists and photographers get a bad name for what a number of people just did in their comments. Don't make art pointless. Too many of my 12 year old students tell me this all the time. Be an example and mentor each other on good critiquing methods. Not every picture is to my taste but I can see the successes in each. Learn from them.

  • Don Peterson February 26, 2010 05:26 am

    HDR is an interesting technology and in print sounds like a great idea, but all of the HDR images I have seen appear artificial to me. It is one thing to subtly adjust exposure and contrast of an original image but combining a number of images at different exposures to make a single photo makes the photo appear to be obviously manipulated and detracts from the esthetics of the image. I agree with Jeremy when he says, "Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean that you should do it."

  • Highlander69 February 26, 2010 05:20 am

    @Greg Taylor and others....
    Here is a before and after example from a frosty fog morning a couple weeks back.
    No HDR here, just contrast, white balance, and a few small adjustments in Lightroom 3 beta.

    I do agree, it's all opinion. Some HDR's are amazing, some are over done to my taste. But I'm not going to bash them for their creativity. If we all saw the same thing all the time and had the same opinion, where would the uniqueness be?? I like broccoli other people don't... who is right ??? NEITHER!!
    And is the world really going to stop if your opinion isn't in the majority??!!
    For me... I'll just enjoy all the wonderful things there are to see in this world!

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/subconscience_sight/4360955025/' title='IMG_8733' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2697/4360955025_54af38133d.jpg'][eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/subconscience_sight/4360955025/' title='IMG_8733' url='http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2697/4360955025_54af38133d.jpg']

  • Phil February 26, 2010 05:15 am

    I find Janel Kaufman's images to be the most appealing and inviting. I also liked "Zen Tree"
    Personally, I view over-the-top HDR images as being unnecessarily manipulative and self-indulgent, with an intrusive over-play on color. As "computer art", if that's your thing, they certainly meet that standard. When I look at HDR images the question that most often arises is at what point did the photographer abandon his integrity to pander to the unsophisticated viewer. I realize that this is a totally subjective point of view and in no way do I wish to disparage the efforts of those who subscribe to this technique. In the final analysis, it is what it is.

  • David February 26, 2010 05:08 am

    I've got to disagree about the pictures being HDR images. I love HDR images myself and this is a great collection of images . Whether a picture is HDR or not , the point is it is either a good image or it isn't

  • Janie Walker February 26, 2010 05:06 am

    Gosh you lot moan a lot. Maybe they are too manipulated, but they are stunning.

  • scott February 26, 2010 05:01 am

    Nate, at the risk of being screamed at by these purist snobs; the photos are interesting, pleasant to look at, and make me want to get off the sofa and take some shots in the wild. Isn't this what photography is all about?

  • Leo Jo Estercam February 26, 2010 04:56 am

    I agree about the HDR remarks, they are over-done; HDR means in my opinion High Dynami!c Range but with respect to the real colors so that the look real again despite the difficult light. Here I see a lot of over tomemapping; a pity.
    Compositions are great and the moment it was taken is perfect.

  • Matthew Palmer February 26, 2010 04:49 am

    These photos arent photos. We can all take a mediocre image and tart it up to make it look....erm .... unlife-like. Yuk yuk yuk.

    A photo and a photographer should take the snap and leave it be.. I like most people manage it!. If the image you take is rubbish, learn how to do it better.

  • Skip February 26, 2010 04:47 am

    I was looking forward to 25 outstanding photos, I did see a couple. The rest waaaaaaaaay to much HDR. Disappointed.

  • sven felsby February 26, 2010 04:33 am

    HDR can in fact produce powerful results, but these examples show the risk of overdoing the technique. I object to the value-nihilistic "if you don´t like, don´t look" stance, which effectively rules out any negative opinion. Rubbish.

  • Aaron289 February 26, 2010 04:16 am

    Woah! Holy over-editing batman!!! Here's a couple of things that are worth a close read by any photographer, especially any landscape photographer:

    National Geographic's own guidelines for post-processing:

    And a message from David Griffin himself on what is acceptable in detail:

    Note how many times they refer to, essentially, 'keeping it real!' And note that HDR is allowed....but in moderation and, really, to produce the kind of results you'd get on film's tonal range rather than blowing past that and into what, unfortunately, in my opinion, we see in this particular collection.

  • Graham February 26, 2010 04:05 am

    Well, from a newbie to photography's point of view, I don't know what HDR is. (Need to read the updates sent through on here more.) I can see they've been played with, and as far as excellent landscape photography is concerned, if you've had to play with it, it wasn't that good when you took it was it? From an appreciation of the artistic end result of an image, I think they are all stunning, and admire anyone who has the know-how to produce these effects. I get bored with techie purists nit-picking to the Nth degree all the time. I just like pretty pictures. Eat that. :)

  • Gina Dover-Jaques February 26, 2010 03:51 am

    I'm so sorry to repeat the theme but this does not feel like photography to me. Long exposures, fine but so much other manipulation with HDR etc. they no longer look like photos but overly manipulated graphical art, almost cartoonised. From someone that adores simple and mostly black & white pure images!


  • Jessica February 26, 2010 03:49 am

    "The forest is dreaming" and"take you there" are my favorites. I would love to know what time of day these people shoot in to get the glassy water. My aunt got a shot like that at her cabin and the water looked like it was mirroring the autumn trees above it. It was a truly stunning image and utterly natural. Every time I shoot water it's choppy.

  • Absurd February 26, 2010 03:46 am

    To the normal person, these images are amazing. Yes, you can tell some tweaking has been done but the effect is still stunning. I always wondered how people make their photos so surreal and why mine had an "ordinary" feel to them. Good Post in my opinion. And the author works where his images are sold as wall art. Know what your audience likes/wants!

  • LeRoy February 26, 2010 03:34 am

    I'm sorry, but his is a pretty lame collection of landscape images.

  • cc_foto February 26, 2010 03:29 am

    i can tell these pics are great, but i preffer the untouched ones. but i think they still are great

  • Geoff February 26, 2010 03:26 am

    Sorry but these have been totally ruined by to much contrast, colour and photoshop, or whatever software was used, and I susupect that there are some very good photo's lurking in them some where.

  • Graham February 26, 2010 03:20 am

    Awful cartoonesque pictures, they are not photographs.
    There is no 'art' in this. Thanks heavens for Charlie.

  • mart37 February 26, 2010 03:15 am

    I am not sure about you all, but I am somehow getting tired by HDR

  • caroline February 26, 2010 03:14 am

    I'd have to agree, if HDR isn't your thing, well, check out another article then. It's subjective, I get it.

    But why is almost every single photo, out of 25 photos, HDR'ed to high heaven?

  • Sammy da Bull February 26, 2010 03:12 am

    @david genac: I think ur putting words in his mouth.

    So now there are rules of the 'digital photography' game that makes a photo either a 'photograph' or 'computer art'...??

  • Nate Jelovich February 26, 2010 03:08 am

    @david genac "He suggests that "real landscape photography" is photography that has HDR applied to it. "

    That's not even true... the contrast is between snapshots and composition, not HDR or not. Real landscape photography requires skill, know-how and technical experience. Just want to clarify so it doesn't sound like only HDR photography is real landscape photography.

    Ansel Adams and snapshots don't even belong in the same sentence. He fulfilled not only the three simple points listed above (reiterate so there is no confusion: skill, know-how and technical experience), but MUCH more.


  • Rich February 26, 2010 03:08 am

    While I can agree with Nate that each of these photos could be called "outstanding" in some respect, It would seem that some (we all know which) might be more appropriately called outstanding examples of HDR rather than outstanding examples of Landscapes.

    Yes, we all engage in post-processing to get the look we want, but my personal taste in Lanscapes is breathtakingly believable.

    At the risk of rampant criticism, here are a few of my own.


  • Peter Bennett February 26, 2010 03:07 am

    Most, if not all, seem highly edited.

  • Rudeofus February 26, 2010 03:05 am

    One reason why so many people are vitriolic about this collection of landscape images is because they were presented by DPS as "Look folks, this is what good landscape shots should look like!" at the top of this article. These images show one very peculiar concept of creating landscape shots, and not general examples to learn from. It's like saying "gee, this is how you should paint" and then just show you the Black Square by Kasimir Malevic.

    And the scary part: some folks have already commented on the nice composition of these images, yet for most of us all these traits are completely obliterated by the massively overdone HDR. One gets so overwhelmed by these fake colors that one isn't willing to dig deeper into these images, and as a result their inherent qualities are entirely lost :(

  • David Genac February 26, 2010 03:02 am

    Maybe HDR has it's place, and I, too, do a lot of photo manipulation in Photoshop. However, the author (who works for Imagekind) wrote:

    "Real landscape photography is not as simple as a snapshot you take on your family vacation. Take a look to see 25 truly outstanding landscape photos on Imagekind."

    He suggests that "real landscape photography" is photography that has HDR applied to it. Ansel Adams and his monochrome "snapshots" would not be considered real landscape photography. A lot of the photos above would be improved simply by changing them to grayscale.

    You can't take a wedding dress, turn it into a pillow, and still sell it as a wedding dress. HDR should likewise not be considered "photographs", as they are computer art that utilize photos.

    This digital photography "lesson" does seem to be more of an advertisement for HDR images on Imagekind.

  • Wroksie J February 26, 2010 03:01 am

    When I first saw the pix, I thought they were all ugly, primarily because, while I know that lighting can make even the most common places seem other worldly, I can think of very few, specific places that may be as sensational as these photos as far as color diversity and saturation. Namely, Iceland, New Zealand, Madagascar and the sahel.

    Toco Sunrise looks very cartoonish to me. Break in the storm, evening shore, and the forest is dreaming are almost as unrealistic, but commercially the pictures make sense. As a novice photographer, I often feel as limited/restricted as many of the landscapes look. Finally, I hadn't heard of HDR until this post!

    To me the photographers are saying that these landscapes are so magnificent that I will create a hyperbole for effect. That view point makes sense to me, but passing it off as anything else, is confusing.

  • Peter Fleming February 26, 2010 03:00 am

    Fantastic compositions so why oh why oh why spoil them with so much overkill of processing. It is not the HDR per se that is the problem (have no issue with that if used to get full dynamic range) - it is the overprocessing. In small doses it is fine - but calling these the top 25 landscape pictures is totally wrong - I agree with jmarieg - I am expecting bugs bunny to jump out of the images at any time LOL.

    OK OK I'll get down off my soapbox now.........

  • charlane February 26, 2010 02:58 am

    it can't be said enough (in my opinion) that HDR has gotten to the point that it is mostly over used and over done. so much so that i tend to flinch when i see a shot using it because it's just too much. to me the best part of processing at times is the subtle hand where you see the beautiful of the composition and what the eye would see. Not the overdone colors and the whatnot.

    not that some of these people are not talented. but it often makes me wonder what the shot would look like if it wasn't so overdone, overwrought and manipulated. for example, the moon shot is obviously out of proportion....it looks like some sci-fi shot instead of a beautiful night scene. just like on tv when every night shot is a full moon....boring.

    that being said, there are some gorgeous images in here too...like "forest is dreaming"

  • A February 26, 2010 02:57 am

    @Sammy da Bull: No, I think that's a fine use of HDR.

  • Sammy da Bull February 26, 2010 02:53 am

    Also, I like the one comment of:

    "I’m tired of the HDR too.

    But I do want some info on Sunflower Moon 1 by Jim Crotty…doesn’t look like HDR…wanna know details about the exposure and time of day."

    So what if it is HDR...?? Then you don't like it...?? LOL

  • Garry Meus February 26, 2010 02:48 am

    I think the "Forest is Dreaming" by Janel Kaufman is probably my favorite of the entire collection. Thanks for sharing Nate!

    Although I'm not a huge fan of HDR, I recognize the "wow" factor that can be produced artistically with this medium. And in most of these images, the photographers/artists have truly been able to create that factor. Very inspiring!

  • Sammy da Bull February 26, 2010 02:48 am

    Geez.....1 person makes a point about HDR, and the sheeps follow in.

  • cdrown February 26, 2010 02:33 am

    I am definetely an amateur and have no clue what HDR is (although I am going to check out the definition now!) but the photos look too contrived to me. The landscapes etc are so beautiful in themselves but the color just doesn't add to them. I would love to see them in their natural state.

  • Ken Ballou February 26, 2010 02:31 am

    The images are awesome, the ability and drive to capture the original images should be a testament to the photographers regardless of whether you like or dislike manipulation. How they choose to improve the original captures is left to their own tastes, too many "purists" place way too much emphasis on capture rather than improve.

    It would be nice to see the original image or images alongside the final products for comparison, but the photographers chose to show the best image possible rather than attempting to please everyone. They are showcasing their art, not providing tutorials.

    Images that "pop" are desired today. Images that require imagination to fill details have lost their charm, much as the ability of individuals to imagine has been lost in todays vibrant, electronic, amuse me society.

  • Don Davison February 26, 2010 02:19 am

    lorian and Matt got it right.

    This is an opinion piece.

    Why not look at at the photos and see if there is anything you can learn?

  • Bill Perry February 26, 2010 02:16 am

    I agree too much HDR takes away from the image and it looks fake.

  • Matt Schreiner February 26, 2010 12:59 am

    Thank you Lorian! I was mulling over a reply as I was scrolling down through the comments, and getting more and more frustrated with the "These Suck" "Ewww, HDR!" and other comments along that vein. You hit the nail on the head as to what I was thinking, and expressed it perfectly.

    If HDR isn't you thing, that doesn't mean you have to tear down others. Some of those photos are jaw dropping... and lets face it, we ALL post process to get the look we are aiming for. HDR is a tool. If you don't use it, then so be it. Photography is about art to many of us. I wouldn't begrudge someone their tools, even if _I_ don't personally use that tool very often.

    The sampled photos are all terrific and inspiring (at least to me!) works of art! :)

  • jmarieg February 26, 2010 12:08 am

    Oh, no!!! More garish paintings on velvet! Let's face it. HDR really does have a place in photography, but there seems to be an overabundance of cartoonish skies, super-saturated colors and unrealistic reflections in many of these landscape photos and just many of the photos I'm seeing lately. Photography is art, no doubt about it, but if you want your landscape photos to show us the true beauty of nature, proceed with a judicious eye. If you want to represent nature in the abstract, then HDR to your heart's content.

  • mike.j.p February 25, 2010 11:16 pm

    'The Last Best Place' is outstanding. Agree that there is far too much hdr, if the professionals could learn to tone it down just a bit, then I think the end result could be so much better.

  • Karen Stuebing February 25, 2010 10:58 pm

    I'm an HDR fan and I have to agree with the above comments. The majority of those photos are baked.

    I can appreciate their beauty but it would have been nice to see some "regular" landscape photos as well. What's wrong with a sunset with silhouettes?

    I have to agree with the Thomas Kincaide comparison but the truth is that's what sells.

  • Tom gunn February 25, 2010 10:39 pm

    Like the majority of respondents here, I dislike the look of the excessive processing that most of these images have been subjected to. Yet, if the creators achieved what they wanted, then all is well. Each of us on this site have our own creative vision as photographers for what we want to achieve, and if the people who made these images are happy with them, that's absolutely fine and dandy.

    Many of these images are the sort that lots of people would be happy to have on the wall in their living room. They are bright, cheerful and have something of a "Wow factor". Perhaps that was the aim of the photographers, to create sellable images. I have no problem with that and it surprises me that many here do.

    Snobbishness is reeking from many of the replies on this thread. Taste is taste is taste. If you think your taste is better than someone elses because you dislike the HDR images, then that says a lot about you. If the photographers who made these images manage to sell some of them, then I say well done to them.

    Cheers, Tom.

  • Flores February 25, 2010 07:26 pm

    Artistically, yes, those pics are great. But, big but, too much overdone and out of natural view of landscape. Photography in my point of view is to make it as it is in nature or at least close to the nature. I like the natural view not human made view. If we speak on art, then you may change and edit it as you want to. Never will be called overdone. So it is an art of landscape or is it a landscape photography?

  • Anand February 25, 2010 06:31 pm

    Didn't feel like taking a second look at these "paintings".

  • jason February 25, 2010 04:36 pm

    Lorian; you would have a point, except what we're responding to is opinion ("outstanding", "awe-inspiring")

  • Rolling Stone February 25, 2010 04:13 pm

    I like Janel Kaufman's natural images.

  • Alastair February 25, 2010 02:35 pm

    I've no problem with HDR when it's not blatantly obvious it's HDR. In many of those shots, the images look so over cooked and so over saturated, you simply would never see anything like those colours in real life. Taking "Break in the Storm" by James Neeley for example. Clearly, the sliders have been turned up to 11 in that image. Without that, it would be (and actually, is) a very average image. Because it is massively over saturated, the Flickr "great shot! **** animated dolphin jumping though a hoop of stars ****" crowd will love it. The trees in that image would NEVER be that luminescent green, in that kind of weather, naturally.

    Nature, in the right conditions, is inspiring, stunning, colourful, beautiful and outstanding in it's own right. Some of these photos are that too, but many of them stand out like a sore thumb.

  • Brandt Bolding February 25, 2010 01:46 pm

    So much post processing...most of it really annoying...and certainly would agree with previous poster...these would be pedestrian of not for so much post. Jay Maisel..."light, color, gesture. Can't really tell if there is anything great about the qualities of light or color in these examples...because they've been altered so much. Gesture...not anything to speak of really.

  • Mei Teng February 25, 2010 12:25 pm

    Very well composed images. Mobius Arch is my favourite.

  • Major Bokeh February 25, 2010 10:50 am

    @lorian, @fortunato,

    This IS a forum where mostly constructive feedback is given and we all come here to share and better our craft/hobby/profession.

    But if you've been on this site long enough you will see there is a definite issue with the misuse of HDR. Sometimes it done very deliberately. Pushed to a surreal and artistic extreme. But if we put it up to a vote and clearly judging by these replies, these images don't seem to be able to be considered as exceptional. There are a couple that do stand out with compelling composition and exposure but the remainder if presented without the extreme HDR post processing would actually be rather pedestrian.

    That's my opinion. It's not alone. It's not a tantrum. Just a desire for more of what I have come to expect from this site...to be inspired. This post missed.


  • fortunato_uno February 25, 2010 10:28 am

    WoW ! I'm not sure, maybe it's just me, but twice now I've read replys from articles by this sight. they all have been like meat to hungry pit-bulls (or parana you choose). I'm greatful that they were willing to post some of thier images on an opposing sight. Ok DPS isn't selling thier wares, and the authors' sight is but, they didn't post it in the cretique, they put them right out in front so you can see whats selling . I don't like all of them my self. on the other hand these are being sold. so we should be greatful that we have the insight of such magnitude. when else did you get a show of the better selling images on any sight? I'm not saying you shouldn't comment on the images in a negative way, but not many (if any) of these replys said anything about the selling factor, the real point (I think).
    Now for my thoughts of the work? well I like 75% of them. taste trully does vary.

  • Dev February 25, 2010 10:25 am

    Another vote for "way too much HDR". A lot of those images don't look at all natural.

  • buddy February 25, 2010 09:38 am

    I like all of Janel Kaufman's pictures. Applying HDR to most "nature" shots creates an artificial drama that registers as "unreal". Nature already brings us beauty and truth, why mess with that??

  • M February 25, 2010 09:29 am

    I agree, if you don't like it, don't look at it. HDR or not these images are great. Just keep an open mind.

  • ursanam February 25, 2010 09:27 am

    I agree with Lorian. HDR is just another means of trying to capture the mood. Reading through, it seems that most agree that the composition is spot on. You still need a keen eye and technical know-how for that. After that it's just artistic expression. Personally, I love the vivid colors and the wide dynamic range. Photography is different things to different people, it's not necessarily always what the eye sees, it could also be what the mind envisions...

  • Lorian February 25, 2010 09:05 am

    Constructive Criticism
    Part of Speech: n
    Definition: criticism or advice that is useful and intended to help or improve something, often with an offer of possible solutions

    placing excessive emphasis on one's own moods, attitudes, opinions, etc.; unduly egocentric

    a personal view, attitude, or appraisal

    Just because it isn't your style doesn't mean it's garbage. Just fyi 'overdone' is an opinion. Do I believe some of these are what I consider overly processed? Yes. Do I also feel that some of these photos are fantastic? Yes. I just don't go around bashing other people for something that is my personal view. If I do I certainly provide some good to go along with it.

    Since it appears that the common practice is to bash others based on our opinions then I believe most of you need to seek professional help concerning your unresolved issues. I mean really go all out and get the best because you need it.

    Disclaimer: I have no affiliation to the photos posted. I'm just a dude that's sick of the "THESE SUCK!!" comments just because they don't 'suit your fancy'. I come here to learn from "professionals" yet everytime I view the comments it just looks like a bunch of kids throwing tantrums that they don't like what's posted. Pathetic.

  • David February 25, 2010 07:33 am

    Boring, over cooked, subtlety is certainly not their game. Whatever happened to photography? Pop art, Sci-Fi total waste of penis extension via computer

  • Jose Deleon February 25, 2010 06:45 am

    ...to add to my last comment... They really need to fix the black cloud thing.

  • Jose Deleon February 25, 2010 06:42 am

    I don't think they're ALL HDR and while I can appreciate the format I have to agree with everyone here that it is starting to become a little overdone. It's one of those things that better in small doses. I enjoy seeing something a little more natural than the hyper reality HDR seems to create.

  • Billy February 25, 2010 06:25 am

    I agree with most everybody, overkill on the HDR images. The whole way through I was thinking, "boy this guy really likes a certain type of image".

    That was just one long pointless advertisement for Imagekind.

  • Bumfan February 25, 2010 06:18 am

    I agree about the HDR overkill. These shots would all have been amazing without such garish processing. Maybe four or five of them look like regular exposure photos with maybe a little color enhancement, but the rest are beyond extreme. And the "Forest" shot really gets on my nerves because it is a mirrored image and not a true photograph. C'mon, no gimmicks. I could take a portrait of my son, do the same thing and claim I have conjoined identical twins.

    I also agree that HDR should have its own area on the site and not be mixed in with the "normal" photography. It's kinda like placing the heavy metal CDs in with the classical section at your favorite music store. They need their own section.

  • Nai no Kami February 25, 2010 06:07 am

    chrisc and major bokeh: your comments combined make me posting what I think a redundancy.

  • yohov6 February 25, 2010 05:50 am

    Whatever happened to taking a picture and leaving it as it was meant to be?
    Too much manipulation spoils the original in my humble opinion.

  • Major Bokeh February 25, 2010 04:46 am

    Can we form a group on this site exclusively for HDR and then leave it off of the mainstream content please?

    HDR is like karaoke. Every once in a while you get a good example, but most of the time it's painful and causes you to wince.

    The title to this post shouldn't include the term "outstanding" by any means. How about "25 Horrifically Manipulated Landscapes"

  • Brian Hoffman February 25, 2010 04:05 am


    It isn't that I (and probably others) don't like HDR. Its that we don't like overcooked HDR.

  • ChrisC February 25, 2010 03:46 am

    Sunflower Moon 1 is definitely HDR -- look at the haloing around the trees. It's subtle but it's definitely there.

    As much I really like HDR photography, it really does feel like a lot of these are over-processed. IMO HDR should be used to make up for deficiencies in sensor technology and to bring photographs more in-line with what we can see with our eyes.

    Not to make garish, haloed images.

  • Jake Markland February 25, 2010 03:41 am

    wayyyyyy to much hdr. hdr is cool and all... but in small amounts. very small amounts

  • Rachel Heath February 25, 2010 03:18 am

    Some of these photos are awesome and some look like a video game or screen saver. The Forest is Dreaming is gorgeous!

  • A February 25, 2010 03:17 am

    I'm tired of the HDR too.

    But I do want some info on Sunflower Moon 1 by Jim Crotty...doesn't look like HDR...wanna know details about the exposure and time of day.

  • jason February 25, 2010 03:16 am

    I have no problem at all with HDR. I think it's just a coincidence that nearly everybody who uses it ends up with eye-gougingly ugly results, like most of the images above.

  • Gabriele February 25, 2010 03:08 am

    The one called "The Forest Is Dreaming" is clearly an half shot reproduced mirror-like.
    A great part of them are too "photoshoped" in my opinion.
    The composition is very good instead (always in my opinion).

  • Nate Jelovich February 25, 2010 03:07 am

    I can never understand why so many readers of this blog have such a problem with HDR. It's just another method of photography. Sure, not everyone's favorite style, I get that... but really, it's THAT bad? Seems like several artists prefer it as a method in producing their work. And the style can produce some beautiful shots.

  • Ian February 25, 2010 02:54 am

    These are terrible. If you can't do a good shot without HDR, you are not a good photographer.

  • jdepould February 25, 2010 02:54 am

    I wouldn't even mind the HDR so much if they just backed it off. Blend it so it looks natural! Sheesh.

  • Brad P February 25, 2010 02:50 am

    I agree with the other comments that some of these photos are far too obviously "overprocessed" via HDR. I like a lot of the pics at the end a little better, because you can't tell if they are just very subtle use of HDR or if they were done with some good ND filters and excellent exposure.

    In general, though, lots of good compositions and some very amazing scenery regardless of the processing.

  • LFHB February 25, 2010 02:37 am

    Some are beautiful, but I don't like the use of HDR in others. I think HDR can be easily misused, and I think most of the photos shown here were a misuse of the technique. When it comes to landscape photography (specially long-exposure), this guy rocks: Jorge Santos.

  • Joe February 25, 2010 02:12 am

    Almost all are HDR, by the looks of it. Very pretty to look at, but they don't really count as great photos, IMHO.

  • Greg Taylor February 25, 2010 02:05 am

    Thanks for the post. I would like to see the image before manipulation. All the photos have strong composition and all the elements of great photographs - so like everyone else I wonder - why the extreme use of HDR?

    I like photographs for the realism of the final product but many of these look like paintings and that's not what photography is to me.

    Thanks - you've given me a great idea for a new blog post.

    Here's the behind the scenes look at my favorite Landscape / Portrait Photo I shot in 2009. http://grtaylor2.com/2010/01/focus-1/

  • taf February 25, 2010 01:59 am

    I agree... HDR-overload...

  • Sarah February 25, 2010 01:47 am

    Indeed: why the heavy, heavy emphasis on HDR? Far too many of these images look like Thomas Kinkade knockoffs.

  • dcclark February 25, 2010 01:47 am

    Some of them are HDR (especially some of the first ones in the list with the wacky colors and blotchy bits). Some of the later ones aren't, or if they are, they're done well enough that you can't tell.

  • Alex February 25, 2010 01:45 am

    These are one type, HDR!!!!

  • Tolek February 25, 2010 01:42 am

    Terribly! Much too multicolored and unnaturally!! Not at all my taste.

  • Chris February 25, 2010 01:34 am

    I'm certainly not a professional by any means, so in my "average Joe opinion," these photos seem entirely too manipulated to me. I've only recently even heard of HDR...is this HDR?

  • Dan February 25, 2010 01:30 am

    Agree about the HDR comment - it looks horrible and just gives the appearnace of a landscape created using CGI software.

    Still some really nice shots in here though

  • Jeremy February 25, 2010 01:19 am

    Far too much HDR. Ugly and nasty. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean that you should do it.

  • Harald February 25, 2010 01:17 am

    Great compositions, but I personally think the HDR tonemapping is overdone on most of the images.