The history of landscape photography
The birth of photography
Landscape photography is an age-old niche, being one of the first styles to be used. The first ever camera photograph is said to have been taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce back in 1826. The image displayed a view of his estate in Burgundy, France, and took over 8 hours to capture.
This shot encouraged other like-minded photographers, to try their hand at shooting landscapes or cityscapes as their static subjects.
Establishing photography as an art form
During its early years, photography became a standardised process as opposed to the art form we refer to today, due to the fact that it was so easily accessible. Over time, skilled photographers began to explore more intricate photography processes, known as pictorialism, simply to separate their skilful work from that of others.
It wasn’t until the late 19th century that photography was separated from painting as its own art form. This motion was started by Peter Henry Emerson, who was an early landscape photographer who encouraged photographers to look to nature for inspiration.
Ansel Adams & environmentalism
Considered one of the pioneers of landscape photography, Ansel Adams grew the popularity of the photography niche in America during the early 20th century.
Adams was both a photographer and an environmentalist, which meant that his landscape photography meant much more to him than simply sharing his experiences. His images played a role in encouraging people to preserve the wilderness, which became incredibly influential during the time of the Industrial Revolution.
The progression into urban landscape photography Over in the UK, what were once British towns, soon grew into large cities as a result of the Industrial Revolution. With this boom came many more urban landscapes displaying city skylines and panoramas of their boundaries.
By 1970, urban landscape photography had become extremely popular, providing a complete contrast to what was the original landscape photography niche.