With 130 million users and counting, the world has never seen such a tsunami of photography aficionados. Well, the world has never had camera enabled smartphones and the appetite to voraciously devour pictures of slippers, saucers, reflections, shadows, and of course, the ubiquitous cat. All in the multi-hued and filtered beauty of Instagram. And you expect me to draw out ten amazing nature photographers who are snapping the beautiful world around us with more care and creativity than the rest of the other 130 or so million?
I emerge all googly-eyed from the exercise after being struck by the flair of these ten photographers, and stuck with my own frailty with the same camera app. You travelled the world with ten Instagram accounts; now, let’s run around the globe again with ten amazing nature photographers on Instagram. Don’t miss these.
Follower count: 64,318
A dedicated wildlife and nature photographer, Kevin Russ spent an entire year in the American Wild West and documented it with the camera on his iPhone. I read on fstoppers.com that he lived off his print sales. Most of his photos are captured without the use of filters, and that in my opinion bumps up the beauty of the landscape. Why would you mar God’s own vibrant shades? He is living a life which we’ve all dreamed of at some point in our lives; but for now let’s live through his photographs. In the video below, he talks about his experiences:
Follower count: 3,104
The follower count here probably pales when compared to anyone else on the list, but let’s not miss this Instagram account because of that. A web developer has the creative chutzpah, and so it is with Marcus who has a passion for photography. He also carries around his trusty Canon 60D, so he shoots primarily with the DSLR and then uploads it to Instagram after processing it in Snapseed. The noteworthy thing about his photos is the descriptions he takes care to include, and the detailed how-tos on his blog.
Follower count: 636,741
The figure above is mind-boggling, but fully deserving. Being a pilot, he probably has the best views, but the photos prove that his best work is closer to the ground. As far as I could tell, quite a few shots got the Sutro treatment (Instagram filter). He is also behind Lite.ly, a venture around photo presets for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture. You can download Instagram inspired wallpapers for your device on his blog and also buy prints from the shop.
Follower count: 73, 658
His photography is less about sweeping natural landscapes, more about going real up-close to the natural world. This Instagrammer is passionate about macro photography. He says on his blog that autumn leaves, wild iguanas, dew on grass, mountain goats, rare wildflowers and beach sunrises all inspire him equally. The iPhone (or any camera for that matter) needs specialized macro lenses for this genre of photography and he has a few macro-iphoneography tips for you if you are interested on his blog.
Follower count: 158,687
Her Instagram photos are not about landscapes, but more centered on cityscapes in and around New York City. What I find inspiring is that she captures the simple beauty in everyday things. It almost makes me look around my immediate world and see it with a more mindful eye. Perhaps, it will work for you as well.
Follower count: 80,353
This professional photographer from Turkey makes heavy use of filters, but you can see the end result for yourself. Landscape shots intersperse with shots of city skylines and architectural landmarks. I couldn’t find much about him as his personal blog was down, but he is all over the web in all the poplar hotspots for photos, from Facebook and Pinterest to 500px.
Follower count: 598,236
This graphic designer knows a thing or two about clean lines and symmetry. You will get enough evidence of that on his design blog. There’s a minimalism to his approach. But you may well ask, what’s the secret behind that massive Instagram follower count? It’s difficult to say because I haven’t trawled through his entire collection of close to 1000 posts. He does capture everyday life in the U.K rather well from city life to beaches, from cloudscapes to the rural countryside.
Follower count: 130,222
In my efforts to bring you ten individuals with differing Instagram styles, I stumbled across Brenton Clarke Little. He is a graphic designer who lives in the vicinity of the Ozark Plateau in central United States. The steep valleys and narrow valley floors are perfect for landscape shots. Without heavy use of filters, his Instagram photography brings out the beauty of the region.
Follower count: 76,108
One tends to place a National Geographic photographer on any list just based on reputation alone. Invoke the name of National Geographic and you will start imagining the world and all the adventures it has within it. Of course, you will also think of beautifully composed photos. Cory Richards is a NatGeo photographer and a self-confessed professional hamburger connoisseur. No proof of the latter in his Instagram gallery, but there’s enough proof of the former here. He is also an adventurer who has been on many an expedition.
Follower count: 166,153
In one brief word – skylines. Mountains against the sky, sunsets, sunrises, and overcast skies are the Israeli photographer’s specialty. Take a look at his Instagram shots and you will most definitely yearn to go to these very spots. I am almost certain he uses Instagram’s filters to subtly tinker around with the natural colors of sunrises and sunsets. The final effect is just enhanced.
A selection of ten Instagram photographers from a nine figure user count is an exercise in futility. It wouldn’t have made a difference had I picked a hundred. There are many more super photographers out there who have their individual styles. Disregard the little descriptions I have included here. Follow the accounts instead. Gaze at their art. Follow the ones they are themselves following. Finally, come back here and tell us your absolute favorites when it comes to Instagram photography. Nature photographers preferred!
Image Credit: Stig Nygaard (via Flickr)