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greatest contemporary photographers

The Greats of Contemporary Photography – An Essential List

Since its inception, photography has been at the centre of how we express moments, capture movements and document our humanity. Great photographers have influenced art, music, fashion and society and great publications have been built on their legacy and imagery. 

At DDW, we celebrate these pioneers of our culture and invite you to follow their work as they continue to provide a literal and metaphorical lens on our world. We cut through the bombardment of social media imagery and serve you with a refined list of some of the greatest contemporary photographers of our time:

Misan Harriman

Ellen Von Unwerth

Pamela Hanson

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Island life @oceanviewclub

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Mario Testino

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I have always found groups of girls with attitude an attractive subject to photograph. When I met these Samburu girls in Kenya, I was not only amazed by their looks but also by the energy they projected as a group of friends. It is incredible how friendship is a global sign of bonded people and there are equivalents all around the world. The way they were with each other was just like New Yorkers or Cariocas (from Rio de Janeiro), although their clothes clearly define them as Samburu’s. This community is amazing; the men and women adore their clothes and multi colour pieces. I found it fascinating that even though each piece is very similar, they are personalised in some way. It is certainly ‘A Beautiful World’ worth discovering and finding out how all people relate to each other in the end. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ -⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Los grupos de chicas con actitud siempre me han parecido un tema atractivo para fotografiar. Cuando conocí a estas chicas Samburu en Kenia, no sólo me sorprendió su aspecto sino también la energía que proyectaban como grupo de amigas. Es increíble cómo la amistad es un signo global de unión entre personas. La forma en la que estaban juntas era igual a la de grupos de amigas neoyorquinas o cariocas, aunque su ropa las define claramente como Samburu. Esta comunidad es asombrosa. Los hombres y las mujeres adoran su ropa y sus piezas multicolores. Me pareció fascinante que, aunque cada pieza es muy similar, están siempre personalizadas de alguna manera. Sin duda, vale la pena descubrir "A Beautiful World" ("Un mundo hermoso") y ver cómo al final todas las personas se relacionan entre sí.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣-⁣⁣⁣⁣ A BEAUTIFUL WORLD, KENYA. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #ABeautifulWorld #MarioTestino #Kenya⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣

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James Harvey-Kelly

Jeff Bark

Daniel Jackson

Tim Walker

Luis Alberto Rodriguez

Damon Baker

Vincent Peters

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Adriana Lima • Bazaar • unpublished

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Annie Leibovitz

Steven Meisel


“You don’t take a photograph, you make it”

Ansel Adams

UP NEXT: Life through the lens…