top of page
  • Filip Hrebenda

Marc Adamus

Marc Adamus

In Landscape Nomads, we believe that the primary inspiration for landscape photographers should be the landscape itself. However, if we want to push ourselves further in what we enjoy, it's very beneficial to also draw inspiration from successful artists who have a unique perspective on our genre. That's why every month, we will bring you inspiring interviews with personalities of landscape photography, known for their exceptional work. Our first photographer of the month is none other than Marc Adamus. His art is known to almost every landscape photographer. For many years, he has been an inspiration to many because of his new, unique compositions from the most remote places in the world. Despite Marc's current travels, we managed to connect with him and ask him a few questions.

Firstly, we would like to thank you Marc for finding time for us in your busy schedule. Many call you the father of modern landscape photography. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in landscape photography?

I have always loved exploration and wilderness adventure. It started in my teens with countless hiking trips and some mountaineering. Here I found freedom but also truth. Every view and every moment were earned. I enjoy route-finding and rarely take trails. For me, the experience I enjoy most is a communication with the wilderness environment and the discoveries that come with it. My father is an ornithologist. He took us on dozens of bird watching trips when I was young and I see now, this was his photography. What the photographic experience is to me, finding the birds are to him. It is waiting, listening, exploring, hoping to capture something special of the time in the wild. I suppose the essence of this process is embedded in man and speaks to our earliest history.

By the time I was 22 I had climbed many summits as well, all of the ten-thousand-foot peaks in the entire Northwest, among others. Through mountaineering I found Galen Rowell, an elite and famous climber of the day who also happened to be an extraordinary photographer. When I first saw his photographs I was blown away, I wanted to learn to do something like this, to capture my adventures and the places I loved in such a unique way. It’s impossible to overstate the impact his work and writings had on me at this time. My son is named after him.

It's nice to meet people who have such a positive influence on us. Where do you draw inspiration for your landscape photography now? Do you have any favorite contemporary artists?

The works of Guy Tal, Von Wong, and William Patino all speak to me in different

ways, but there are many others.

"My interest is in discovery, getting away from the masses, communicating with the landscape."

Marc Adamus

"Tower of the Gods" / Patagonia fjords © Marc Adamus

Your photographs are distinctive in that they mostly depict new, unseen places How do you choose your locations? What factors influence your decision?

My interest is in discovery, getting away from the masses, communicating with the

landscape. That is where I find the voice in my photographs. I don’t always like to

know what will be there before I arrive. It’s a conversation with the landscape, and

my mind is most open to the possibilities when it is new to me. Most of my images

come from the first time I ever saw a place.

Marc Adamus

"Mystic Valley" / Patagonian fjords © Marc Adamus

Can you walk us through your creative process when planning and capturing a landscape photograph?

It’s often a background-first kind of thought process that involves isolating focal points and then combining them with types of compositional structure, such as layers, leading lines or framing, which draw the viewer near to far. Usually I am looking for transitions that follow the light so I can simplify the scene and it’s many complex details.

And what about post-processing? Is there any technique that goes "over the line" for you? How do you set your "editing ethics"?

Definitely.  For me it’s always been very simple. If it couldn’t have happened, don’t do it.  I don’t like to alter the permanent subjects I would expect the viewer to see in a way that I think would be unrecognizable to them if they were there taking their own image. I won’t put a moon in a place it could have never been, for example, but I will flip a sky around or add atmosphere as long as it is in keeping with the angle of light which would have actually occurred.

Marc Adamus

"Down by the Bend" / Alaska © Marc Adamus

What challenges do you often encounter when shooting landscapes, and how do you overcome them?

Grueling terrain, heavy equipment, long travels in vehicles, planes, travel expenses, permitting, guide and local hiring, wild animals, food storage and acquisition, water purification, extreme cold, extreme heat, rain and snow, long weather delays, customs and border regulations, computers of all kinds for any reason, remote communications, etc. I think you just have to embrace new challenges all the time. You can’t be someone that enjoys the simplicity of routine. I need to be physically and mentally prepared.

Do you have a favorite landscape photography project or series that you've worked on? What made it special to you?

The Northern Patagonia Fjords. Because it’s a huge place, some 50000 sq km, and much of it had never really been photographed before. The difficulty of doing so along with the discovery of new and unnamed places that no outsider had ever been made it special, and it continues to this day.

Marc Adamus

"Three fingers" / Patagonian fjords © Marc Adamus

"Not all trips should be photography trips. Not all scenes should be photographed."

Are there any lessons or mistakes from your career that you think could benefit others?

Not all trips should be photography trips. Not all scenes should be photographed.

That really says it all. What has been the most rewarding experience for you as a photographer throughout your career?

The ability to channel one of my greatest passions into my life’s work.  Here I get to take the things that have interested me my entire life and the things I am best at, from meteorology to logistics to the physicality of hiking and exploring, and shape them into an experience that benefits others and myself.

What kind of a response from viewers are you hoping for when they look at your work?

I want them to feel like they could be there, but not know specifically where there is. I want them to want to come and explore, to see what magical world lies beyond the everyday.

Marc Adamus

"Greeting the moon" / Canada © Marc Adamus

How do you perceive social media? Are they your preferred form of presenting your work, or is it just a "necessary evil" for you?

Social media of all kinds can become unhealthy, as with many things in life, if used the wrong way or for the wrong reasons. I think it’s important to recognize that when you visit a social platform, there are in fact corporate forces that are trying to influence your decisions, reward extremism and distract people from the real issues that will affect us all just so they can go about making profits. So in that sense, I do view it as an evil. But then again, if we recognize this first, I think its possible to benefit from the sharing aspects as well.

We share a similar opinion. What can we expect from you in the coming years? Where are you planning to go for an exploration next?

I am going to be continuing a massive project on the Karakoram that will involve months of trekking, I am leading a new kind of landscape photography trip in Antarctica and I am finishing my new book, “The Way Home”, late this year.

Marc Adamus

"Overlook" / Karakorum, Pakistan © Marc Adamus

We are looking forward to your new book! Would you like to convey any message to our readers?

Yes. We are at a point in human history where we have the ability to give away our decisions, our knowledge, our thought, our craft, our art and almost every aspect of our lives to the machine, to the forces that are developing AI in a race for money and power and embedding it in our everyday lives under the guise of convenience. Fight that until the very end.

Thank you for your inspiring words, Marc! We wish you continued success on your next adventures.

We believe that this interview has captured your interest. You can find more from Marc at the following links:

Enjoy the selection of Marc's work:

(All pictures are original work of © Marc Adamus. For purchasing prints or other services, contact Marc through his website:

Recent Posts

See All

1 Comment

Ali Geršičová
Ali Geršičová
Apr 09

great interview.... very inspiring.... thank you 👏👍

bottom of page