Female Landscape Photographers Who Inspire

February 9th, 2014 by photocascadia


By David Cobb

© Darcie Sternenberg Photography

The other day I was asked my thoughts about today’s outstanding female landscape photographers. So below is a list of 21 practicing women landscape photographers whose work inspires me. (This isn’t meant to be an all-inclusive list by any means.) I’ve linked their names to their websites, so you can enjoy their photos too.

 Erin Babnik splits her time between California and Slovenia, and her jaw-dropping images from Slovenia and Italy’s Dolomites are truly an inspiration. She comes from an art background and by the looks of it, she’s not afraid to put on a pack and wander off into the backcountry.

Oscar Wilde mentioned “youth was wasted on the young,” but he hadn’t met Kari Post. I first learned of her when she won the International Conservation Photography Award with an image of a snowy owl. She likes to photograph wildlife, but also has strong landscape and intimates to complement her portfolio.

Nevada Weir has been a mainstay in cultural photography for many years, and I find her landscape photographs (particularly of Asia) to be strong.

In the realm of the urban landscape, Julia Anna Gospodarou is probably my favorite. Her black-and-white architectural images are stunning, and I truly wish I could learn how to photograph like she does. I think I need to take one of her workshops.

Two travel photographers I love to follow are Yen Baet and Lucie Debelkova for their countryside and urban images caught at the blue hour. I enjoy living vicariously through their photographs and one day hope to see some of the places they’ve so beautifully captured.

I first met Mary Liz Austin in the field (actually in a pear orchard) with her full-frame camera, and I’ve admired her scenics from around the U.S. in calendars, books, and magazines.

Elizabeth Carmel is a frequent contributor to Outdoor Photographer Magazine and I’ve viewed her prints in galleries near Lake Tahoe. As far as I know, she’s the first person to photograph the now-often photographed bonsai rock at Lake Tahoe. Her landscape photography is inspiring and best viewed in person and close-up.

Deb Harder is little-known in social media circles, but I find her landscape images of southern Oregon stunning and impressive.

I’ve wanted to travel to Texas for years now to capture the classic blue bonnets and paintbrush under oak and fog, but because of the nine-year drought I haven’t made it. Lately, I’ve noticed the images of Laura Vu are inspiring me to travel to the “Lone Star State.”

I first knew of Varina Patel as a participant of the Nature Photographers Network (NPN), and I was impressed with her nature photography then. She’s only improved her skill as a photographer over the years.

Valerie Millett derives from an art background as a painter, so her transition to photography and composition has been smoother than most. If you’re looking for interesting images of the Arizona backcountry from a passionate photographer, check out her work.

Isabel Synnatschke seems like she’s always on the go from her base in Germany. If you’re interested in finding a new spot to photograph in the U.S. (especially the desert Southwest) or Europe, this is the woman to follow online.

Born in Indonesia and now living in Qatar, Helminadia Ranford captures spectacular images in soft light situations. She travels quite a bit, so her images vary from Asia, to North and South America, and the Middle East. Her processing is flawless.

I first met Darcie Sternenberg during one of my workshops. Everyone on the workshop was pointing their camera in one direction and she in the other–now I know why. Her black-and-white images carry an ethereal feel and are broken down into the simple elements of light and dark.

Cindy Jeannon lives and photographs in a world of stark beauty. Her compositions are simple yet complex, and her reverence for nature is felt while viewing her landscape images.

Hailing from the Greek islands, Mary Kay can capture light with the best of them. Her atmospheric photos and classic compositions complement a beautiful style of photography that almost always includes water.

Danielle Lefrancois is based near Banff, Canada so her north-country landscape is pretty spectacular. She captures it well at all times of the day and in all seasons.

Ann McKinnell’s style reminds me more of a disciple of Ansel Adams, and her photographs seem to carry the weight of a large-format composition. It’s refreshing to see that some traditions carry on in photography.

I photographed with Jennifer Wu a few years ago at Mount Rainier National Park during one of the best sunsets I’ve witnessed there. Named to Canon’s “Explorer of Light” team, she excels in the realm of night photography and has been perfecting her craft for many years.

I believe Hillary Younger is the only female landscape photographer from Tasmania, and her rugged coastal images of light and color bring her “neck of the woods” alive. She occasionally journeys elsewhere, but she certainly has her region dialed in for beauty.

Like I said earlier this is nowhere near a complete list, but a list of female landscape photographers whose work inspires me. I hope you will check out their sites, and maybe they’ll inspire your photography too. If there are some I missed or other photographers you wish to add, please comment and add them to the list.

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  • jan turner

    what an amazing collection of women photographers–so inspiring! thanks for this !

    • photocascadia

      They certainly are that Jan. Thank you for the comment. ~ David

  • Michael Bollino

    Great list, David! If I could, I’d like to suggest Sarah Marino. She her work is some of the deepest and most well rounded of any photographer I’m aware of, male or female. She’s also co-authored two definitive guidebooks to Iceland and Death Valley. Cheers!

    • photocascadia

      You certainly can Michael, and thanks for the addition. ~ David

  • Definitely a great list of women I have followed! I would agree with Michael about Sarah. I can also name a dozen or more excellent female photographers.

    • photocascadia

      Thanks Patricia, and yes there are quite a few more out there for sure. ~ David

  • Thank you again David,
    Amazing group of women to be included in.

    • photocascadia

      You’re welcome Valerie, you earned it. ~ David

  • Hillary Younger

    Thank you so much David, I’m speechless to be included in such exalted company, and to be seen in this light by someone whose work I so admire. Big, big smile down under 🙂

    • photocascadia

      I’m glad for the big smile Hillary! ~ David

  • Sue

    Thanks for this. Gorgeous photography from all these women.

    • photocascadia

      Yes it is Sue. ~ David

  • Great list, David! I am fortunate to know Deb Harder and Darcie Sternenberg. Their work is incredible. I’ll be sure and look for the work of the other women you’ve listed. I still remember the days when it was a man’s world in photography, so I do appreciate the fact that you are promoting women in this special way.

    • photocascadia

      I’m glad it’s no longer a man’s world in photography Barbara, and we can see other perspectives. One of the great early female photographers was Imogen Cunningham who was an early influence of mine and certainly inspired my flower photography. ~ David

  • David, this is such a nice surprise! Photo Cascadia is one of my all-time favorite photography blogs on the web and to see my name here included in your list is such an honor!
    Thank you so much!! 🙂

    • photocascadia

      You’re welcome Isabel, love your work! ~ David

  • Wow David!
    Thank you so much for putting together such a great post filled with amazingly talented ladies! I am honoured to be included! 🙂

    • photocascadia

      You’re welcome Dani, I love looking at your mountain images from the Canadian north. They bring back good memories from my 1,100 mile walk along the Canadian Rockies “Great Divide Trail.” I need to get back to the Kakwa and also the Wilmore Wilderness. ~ David

      • That’s great to hear David! The trails are always calling!! I will have to check out those places!

  • What a wonderful surprise to see my name here! Thank you, David! I’m delighted that you like my work.
    Amazing photographers on your list, that shows very good taste!

    • photocascadia

      Love your black and white images Julia Anna! ~ David

  • Aaron

    Was just talking about this this morning. Don’t forget about lace anderson as well. Thanks chip!

  • Varina Patel

    You have a wonderful list of photographers here, David. And thanks for including me! When I first started teaching, we rarely had any women along on our workshops – just one or two here and there. Over the past five years, that seems to be changing. The ratio still seems skewed towards men, but we often have four or five women with us out of twelve or so for a full workshop. I love that! I’ve often been the only women in a room full of male photographers… so it’s nice to have a few women around too! 🙂

    • photocascadia

      I’ve seen that workshop change from men to women over the years too Varina. I actually had one workshop of all women, so that was a change of pace too. Love your images! ~ David

  • David, thank you so much for your kind words! I’m honored to be included here and am very happy to see female landscape photographers as a topic on Photocascadia. Thanks for doing your part to shed some light on a segment of the photography community that could really use a boost!

    • photocascadia

      Happy to shed some light Phrasikleia. I hope to visit Slovenia this fall, so thanks for the inspiration and fantastic mountain images. ~ David

  • Hi David,
    Thank you so much for including me on your list! I am absolutely stunned to be honest. I would never have guessed that you had even heard of me let alone think I am inspirational. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. You really made my day!! Especially with the Ansel Adams part 🙂

    Of course I’ve been following the work of many of the other female photographers on your list, but there are a few here I didn’t know so thank you for sharing them with me. It’s very generous of you to not only help other photographers learn photography but also to build their audience.

    Thank you so much!


    • photocascadia

      You’re welcome Anne, and I’m glad I could introduce you to a few more photographers too. ~ David

  • Hi David,

    Wonderful list of very talented photographers, thank you for sharing it! May I introduce you and your readers to “Landscape by Women” group, a group of fantastic female photographers based in UK. The group was created by my friend Vanda Ralevska and myself to give more exposure to some very talented female landscape photographers living in UK. Our website is http://www.landscapesbywomen.co.uk and we also have a FB page, https://www.facebook.com/LandscapesByWomen and a Flickr group.

    Best regards,

    Beata Moore

    • photocascadia

      Thanks for sharing Beata, great information to know. ~ David

  • Darcie Sternenberg

    Thanks again, David! Have really enjoyed looking at these websites-

    • photocascadia

      You’re welcome Darcie, looking forward to seeing more of your work this fall. ~ David

  • Some accomplished female photographers with significant landscape work: Paula Chamlee, Linda Connor, Jitka Hanzlova, Terri Weifenbach, Karin Apollonia Muller, Camille Seaman, Simone Nieweg

    • photocascadia

      Thanks for the additions QT, I’ll check out their work. ~ David

  • Anil Sud

    Don’t forget about the work of Linde Waidhofer.

    • photocascadia

      An excellent addition Anil. ~ David

  • I see someone beat me to it, but Sarah Marino’s work is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  • Take a look at the work of Linda Lantzy of Idaho Scenic Images, http://www.idahoscenics.com. Some of the most superb landscape photography ever done, from Idaho and the Pacific Northwest .

    • photocascadia

      Thanks for the addition Ken, she has some superb work. ~ David

  • Nice to see the ladies get recognition. I would include Lori Kincaid on this list.

    • photocascadia

      Thanks for the addition Richard. ~ David

  • Ed Korpela


    Wonderful talent!

    I too wanted to reaffirm Sarah Marino and want to add another for you to consider – Barbara Jones (photosecosse). I think Barbara’s work stands as tall as any I’ve ever seen – worth a look.

    Nice blog entry!


    • photocascadia

      Thank you for the addition of Barbara Jones, Ed. She has beautiful work and a nice aesthetic. ~ David

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  • canvas prints

    what a great list of artists. i like to call photographers artists as its true art in the making. i so love the work from jennifer wu.

    • dmcobbphoto

      Agreed. ~ David

  • I needed a list like this, thanks for doing it.

    • dmcobbphoto

      You’re welcome Leanne, and I hope they inspire you too. ~ David

      • They have, we have started our own magazine that showcases women photographers, the women who photograph everything other than portraits and weddings, It is amazing to see so many talent female photographers, but they don’t quite get the recognition that they should.

  • Brenda Tharp

    Thank you for taking the time to post this list, David. It is refreshing to note that female outdoor photographers inspire you and no doubt others as well. We don’t always get noticed, unless we reach a certain level of acclaim, somehow, but we are quietly doing our thing out there. As a professional outdoor photographer, I was pleased to read this list, because even I don’t know all the women on this list and it will be great to check their work out!

    • dmcobbphoto

      I’m glad this list can help and inspire in some way Brenda. I thought it also could be a catalyst for those out there “quietly doing their thing.” I love your books by the way!


    Good article, Thanks!