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.

 
 
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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.

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.


Recent Awards & Publications

  • Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2018 - Runner Up “Light on the Land” Category // Feb 2019

  • Top 101 - International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2018 // Feb 2019 (3 images)

  • Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2018 - Shortlisted // Jan 2019 (15 images)

  • Praktijkboek Flitsen // Nov 2018

  • Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 8 // Oct 2018

  • Natuurfotografie Magazine Issue 6 // Oct 2018

  • 5/5 Nominations - Fine Art Photography Awards 2017 // Apr 2018

  • Top 101 - International Landscape Photographer of the Year 2017 // Feb 2018

  • Outdoor Photographer of the Year 2017 - Included in the book // Jan 2018

  • I AM NIKON Nightscape Feature - Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 10 // October 2017

  • Bokeh Magazine Issue 50 // January 2017

  • Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 1/2 // Jan/Feb 2017

  • Pictures Magazine 9 // September 2016

  • Landscape Photography Magazine Issue 68 // October 2016

  • Bokeh Magazine Issue 44 // July 2016

  • Zoom.nl Magazine Issue 10 // december 2015

  • Caprice Magazine Issue 1 // January 2013


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Work & The Environment

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 and every video you purchase, 10% of that fee is reserved for rebuilding the forest, protecting wildlife, funding light pollution awareness programs and efforts to get rid of plastic. The goal is to find and support environmental projects that strive to transparently restore the balance on Earth.

 
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A Word on 'Reality' and Photography

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. So do tilt-shift lenses. These guys can truthfully represent mountains as they appeared to you at the moment of capture, but can also wildly distort reality.

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 displaying my emotion at the very moment I pressed the shutter. As such, I think that anything goes as long as I am feeling happy with it.

I’m not here to tell you the definition of photography nor to say I’m crossing that line with my work. Laanscapes is an artful expression of my love (and sadness) for the natural world, not a statement against it. I regard post-processing to be an integral part of the art of landscape photography and an extension of self-expression. To be good at using software like Photoshop requires skill and dedication, just as much as knowing your way in the darkroom. Furthermore, if I join two separate images taken in different locations, I’m the first to admit this is a composite image.