When I started looking at mirrorless cameras I naturally looked to find the best work that was being produced with the technology and looked for photographers using the system almost exclusively (or in some cases completely exclusively). I wanted to see what was possible with these cameras.
Having opted to go the Olympus route, I started looking specifically for Olympus photographers who were pushing the OM-D's to their limits and beyond. I found a few photographers who still today remain quite inspirational to me, but all for very different reasons.
In this post I want to share with you some of my favourite photographers shooting with the Olympus OM-D range of Micro Four Thirds cameras today. These guys were the proof, in my eyes, that this was a system capable of producing professional work. The photographers here in this post confirm what a great set up the Olympus OM-D system really is.
Here are my top 3 Inspirational Olympus Micro Four Thirds Photographers:
1. Neil Buchan Grant
Neil is a photographer who I found by accident and whose work I love more each time I look at it. With the other names in this post I went actively seeking their work on the internet, Googling 'Best Olympus Photographers', but Neil's was a body of work I stumbled across long before I had my heart set on Olympus, but Neil's work was also what set Olympus apart from the mirrorless competition.
Clean, beautiful and mesmerising. Neil's is a portfolio I go back to look through frequently and I always stop to admire each photograph in detail, rather than skip through quickly as is so easily done nowadays.
Neil was the first Olympus photographer whose work I can remember coming across as it was a portrait of his being used to promote the Olympus OM-D E-M5 in many magazines and on many websites. At the time I hadn't realised it was Neil's, but after picking up an E-M5 and continuing the research I found the portrait again in a blog post titled 'The Olympus E-M1 takes Manhatten!'. This was the portrait that stopped me in my tracks:
As you may know I host the Ready Steady Pro Photography podcast and after making contact with Neil online I knew I just had to get him on the show for an interview. I interviewed Neil for the Ready Steady Pro Photography Podcast back in 2014, in which Neil shared a great insight into his success as a travel photographer and his work photographing models and people in general. Don't get me wrong though, Neil does not make it into this list purely because he is a friend. Neil Buchan-Grant was always going to be the first name on this list!
For me, Neil is a photographer who is setting the benchmark and is a shining example of what is possible with Olympus Micro Four Thirds cameras. That said though, hand this guy any camera and I'm sure he'd produce gold every time. Which, is why I see the fact that Neil uses Olympus cameras as a seal of approval for me.
2. Steve Gosling
Landscape photographers typically go for larger sensors and lots of megapixels, but that naturally means bigger gear and more weight. The Olympus OM-D range lends itself neatly to shooting landscapes and no-one proves this better than Steve Gosling.
Steve seems to have a knack for the 'epic': his work and his portfolio is simply outstanding and full of photographs that are executed to a masterful degree. Technically and creatively Steve Gosling is a photographer I look to, to be reminded exactly how a photograph should be made and also how a black and white should be processed! Steve's work without doubt could be considered as fine art, with his portfolio containing some very unique and very captivating mono landscapes, featuring contrasty and impactful scenes.
I'm mad for black and white, as anyone who knows me will attest, which is likely one of the reasons why I'm drawn to Steve's striking and stellar landscape photography:
Another feature of Steve's work is a beautiful sense of film that is rare in todays digital age. For me Steve's style and approach produce landscape photographs with a wonderful sense of atmosphere. There is so much to love about Steve's work, but at the end of the day it possess a special ingredient that I just can't put my finger on. A je ne sais quoi if you will (if I'm allowed to be so cliche).
Steve's is a portfolio I can stare at for a great length of time and who's work I would love to have hanging on my walls as large prints.
3. Thomas Leuthard
I'd go as far to say that Switzerland-based Thomas Leuthard is a modern day great in the realm of street photography. A name I think that will be synonymous with the discipline in decades to come.
Just as with Neil and Steve's work, Thomas Leuthard's photographs have impact and posses the ability to make you stop to look closer and inspect the scene. Sillhouettes, low key and beautful deep shadows are a feature or Thomas' portfolio, but expect to see some impressive street / candid portraits too:
When you're out on the street with the camera it's not always the case that all of the right elements will fall into place for you to just capture a great shot, but Thomas seems to have a sharp and well trained eye for a story within a scene. Making use of textures, shadows, framing and reflections: there is always some more than just the image at first glance in Thomas' portfolio.
With an almost Ansel Adams-esque feel to Thomas' work you'd be forgiven for thinking that work on Thomas' site wasn't produced by the man himself: it seems as though the scene is set and Thomas is waiting for his character to walk onto that set and he does...every time. The difference between Ansel and Thomas though is that all of Thomas' work is clean, sharp and crisp: a testament to the innate skill that Thomas has no doubt developed after hours and hours on the streets with his camera.
A true talent with a body of work I find myself returning to on a regular basis. A benchmark for modern-day street photography has been set and Thomas Leuthard is the photographer who has done that.
What do you think?
For more work from Neil Buchan-Grant, Steve Gosling and Thomas Leuthard be sure to visit their sites using the links in this post. Subscribe to the blogs, follow them on social media and keep an eye out for their work: these guys never fail to impress!
Please note that all photographs featured in this post have been used with the express permission of each photographer. I would like to thank Neil, Steve and Thomas for their generosity in allowing me to use their photographs here on the blog!
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