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Landscape photography has been around for about as long as photography itself. Because of the long exposure times associated with the first cameras, photographers had to work with still subjects, and landscapes were an obvious choice. During the 19th century, many people did not have the luxury of traveling far from home, so pictures of landscape allowed them to see different parts of the world, making landscape photography a popular art form for collectors at the time.
As photography slowly gained acceptance as a true art form in the early 20th century, artists used photography to create their own unique interpretations of the land through distinctive compositions and cropping. Pictorialist photos also became popular at this time, requiring the artist to intentionally blur or alter their landscape photos in favor of artistic expression rather than exact representation.
The growing popularity of landscape photography in the 20th century can be closely tied to the exploration of the American West. Ansel Adams is one artist often associated with landscape photography for his awe-inspiring views of the Western American landscape. Edward Weston is another artist known for landscape photography, though his unique compositions can be seen as closely tied to abstract painting.
Landscape photographers such as William Henry Jackson were responsible for now-famous landscapes becoming prominent, such as Yellowstone National Park
Ansel Adams' "Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California" sold for $545,000 at Christie's New York in April 2014
Edward Weston's "Dunes, Oceano" sold at Sotheby's New York in April 2007 for $228,000