The World's Most Famous Photographers


Gear Focus

Jun 17, 2020

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There are thousands of amazing photographers throughout the world, and far too many to name in this blog. However, we’re going to do our best to highlight some of the biggest names from the past and in the modern day as well as some of the work that earned them a spot on this list. Continue reading to learn about some of the world's most famous photographers of all time.

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus Since the 1950s, Diane Arbus made a name for herself as one of the best photographers in the world. Renowned for her photographs of individuals throughout New York City, she focused on promoting equality through her work, and her models were often considered unusual in the 1950s and 60s. Because of her choice of models, she earned the nickname of “the photographer of freaks.” Early in her career, Arbus used a Nikon 35mm camera, but she later captured many of her famous photos with a Rolleiflex camera. All in all, she rightfully deserves a place on this list, and we’d suggest checking out her work.

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz Annie Leibovitz is one of America’s most distinguished photographers. She’s best known for her time as a staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine. One of her most famous photos includes a photo of the Rolling Stones’ front man Mick Jagger in an elevator in 1975. However, arguably her most-recognized photo of all time is her photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Many of Leibovitz’s photos have been displayed on the front cover of magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and, of course, Rolling Stone. Leibovitz has used several different cameras, including a Canon 5D Mark II, Nikon D810, Fujifilm X100, Hasselblad 500 C/M, and Mamiya RZ67. She regularly states that her lens of choice is a 35mm.

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry Best known for his photo Afghan Girl, McCurry has received several awards due to his keen eye in photojournalism. Through his work, he found himself covering major conflicts such as the Lebanon Civil War. With his passion for children and the people in the Middle East, he started a nonprofit to improve education for people in Afghanistan. When McCurry snapped Afghan Girl, he used a Nikon FM2 with a 105mm f/2.5 lens and Kodachrome slide film. However, for most of his career, McCurry has stuck with a Nikon D810 with a 24-70mm lens.

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams Arguably one of the most influential photographers on this list, Adams was best-known for his black-and-white landscapes and nature images. With their sharpness and high contrast, Adams’ images are still renowned to this day. In addition, Adams was among the earliest photographers to really dive into the technical side of the art, experimenting with tonal range and precise exposure. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Adams also founded Group f/64, a group of photographers who shared a similar style of sharp-focused images. Adams was known for using several different pieces of gear; he opted for the Kodak No.1 Brownie camera as well as 35mm cameras, which he used through the 1930s.

Peter McKinnon

Peter McKinnon Of course, we can’t discuss modern photography without talking about Peter McKinnon. He doesn’t just have a successful YouTube channel that supplies photographers with excellent tips, tricks, and product reviews—he also has some unreal images. He’s probably the most versatile photographer on this list, since he takes landscapes, portraits, lifestyle pictures, and photos of just about anything else. In other words, McKinnon rightfully deserves a spot on this list of the world's most famous photographers. Interestingly enough, McKinnon also uses several different camera bodies and lenses, but he’s stated that his current go-to camera is the Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR. As for his lens of choice, he regularly speaks highly of the Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Wide Angle. Whether you’re a fan of all of these world's most famous photographers or you’ve only ever heard of a few, you need to check out their work. Without the work and creativity of early photographers, who knows where we’d be today. If you’re looking to boost your skills like the world's most famous photographers of all time and you need a place to buy used digital cameras, look no further than Gear Focus. We were founded by photographers for photographers, and just like you, we’re always practicing our craft. Check out our large inventory of new and used gear today.

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