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N244
Zuidschermer, NH, 1846
Netherlands

Dramatic Fine-Art Landscape Photography, Processing Instructions and Photography Tours by Daniel Laan.

Daniel Laan

Daniel Laan

I am a professional landscape photographer and writer based in the Netherlands. While I love to convey dark, moody and ethereal aspects often found in melancholic music through photography and post-processing, landscape photography has always been a tool for self-discovery for me.

Bio

Photography started when I was about nine years old and held my dad's Pentax for the first time. My style sprung for a love for The Lord of the Rings and Magic: The Gathering. And I started landscape photography as something to keep my busy mind occupied in the outdoors.

Soon my articles, tutorials and reviews were published in many magazines around the world and on even more websites.

Today, I'm teaching the transformative qualities of photography through international workshops and landscape photography tours, where the focus lies on getting the most out of you instead of the landscape. My main body of work are the mystical, moody scenes I find not in nature, but in the depths of my own psyche. Nature serves as a host and a source of inspiration to materialize this painterly approach to fine-art photography. Outdoor photography serves a cathartic purpose that keeps my life in balance and it is this balance that I seek to transfer to students.

 Landscape photography is a form of self-expression for me, that's often articulated as moody, even sad images. Such images help me to capture a range of emotions and help having a more positive outlook as a result.

Landscape photography is a form of self-expression for me, that's often articulated as moody, even sad images. Such images help me to capture a range of emotions and help having a more positive outlook as a result.

Most of my life, I felt I am different. I care not for politics or cars or having the latest gadgets. I care (worry) about the environment, look forward to human settlement on Mars and hope that artificial intelligence cares enough about its creator. But small things matter to me as well. As I'm writing this, there's a happy cat purring on my lap and the trees outside look verdant after a long, grueling, 8-month autumn. It's both the support and the delicious vegan food of my loving wife that I appreciate, but it's the way she can peer out of her eyes into nothing that really sparks my fascination for her.

Work & The Environment

I'm a photographer, writer and a teacher by profession. My job here is about capturing the relationship with the world around us visually, while teaching others to be better landscape photographers themselves. A respected landscape photographer is one that respects the very landscape he seeks to capture. I teach students around the world to become better artists, but also better environmentalists.

For example, through nightscape photography I aim to teach my students the value of darkness in a world that grows more out of connection with the stars in the night sky. Light pollution is a serious issue to plant- and wildlife and we should be asking ourselves if we really need that much lighting anyway. Learn about the effects of artificial light in the video below.

Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns - seen so clearly from space - are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

Light pollution is just one of the current environmental issues our planet is struggling with. Temperature rise, deforestation, and the tons of plastic that drift through the rivers and into worlds' oceans to form islands the size of small countries made entirely out of plastic and dead animals. Our world is in a dire state and it pains me to see it all go on an accelerating path to an inevitable demise.

10% For Earth

Because of my emotional attachment to our planet, every 10% I earn through photography is going directly into various sustainable projects. While I have considered joining organizations as Greenpeace, 1% for the Planet and so on, I think that our contributions make much more of an impact if we know exactly where our money is going.

So with every workshop you book with Laanscapes; every video you purchase and every processing session over Skype, 10% of that fee is reserved for rebuilding the forest, light pollution awareness programs and efforts to get rid of plastic bags, aside from other environmental projects.

A Word on 'Reality'

Looking through the viewfinder for more than a decade makes you think about the world in more than one way. My paradigm shifted significantly over the years. Here's what I have learned thus far.

Different lenses record the landscape in a different way. A fish-eye gives us a very different perspective than a 300mm telephoto lens. We also perceive reality in different ways. Your perception of red for instance, may very well look different to my red. This brings me to how photography acts as extension of my vision of the world. My work often looks very different from what you might see when you visit the same location. I believe this makes my landscapes unique and evocative, since they not only capture the light and the land, but do a pretty good job of a display of my emotion at the very moment I pressed the shutter.

Laanscapes is an artful expression of my love (and sadness) for the natural world, not a statement against it.


Daniel Laan

28% landscape photographer, 16% writer, 14% user experience designer, 12% dreamer, 11% amateur astronomer, 9% musician, 7% hippie and 3% radical geek of all things science fiction.

Staff writer // Fstoppers.com
Staff Writer // Expert Photography
Regular writer // 500px.com

Awards & Publications

Caprice Magazine Issue 1 // January 2013
Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 10 // december 2015
Bokeh Magazine Issue 44 // July 2016
Landscape Photography Magazine Issue 68 // October 2016
Pictures Magazine 9 // September 2016
Bokeh Magazine Issue 50 // January 2017
Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 1/2 // Jan/Feb 2017
Nikon Nightscape Feature - Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 10 // October 2017
Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2018 - Included in the book // Jan 2018
Top 101 - International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018 // Feb 2018

Defotoblogger.nl // November 2016
Natuurfotografie.nl // December 2016
Provinciegroningen.nl - Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer // October 2016

Influences

My influences are as many as they are diverse. First and foremost: The cycles of the universe, the weather and nature are the prime sources from which I draw my inspiration.

Then there's the collectible card-game Magic: the Gathering and films like The Lord of the Rings and the Alien series for my post-processing style.

I know you want to read which artists inspire me. So here's a short list. Albert Bierstadt, John Howe, John Avon, Galen Rowell, Marc Adamus, Alex Noriega, Yuri Beletsky, Alexandre Deschaumes, Enrico Fossati, Vincent Munier, Daniel James Greenwood, Bruno Pisani, Andy Lee.