• Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, below are several photographers who have been recognized as some of the masters of the field.  Links to see some of their work have been provided. 

    Websites with list of photographers and information about them:

    The great masters: a collection


    1. Berenice Abbott - best known for her black-and-white photography of the street life and architecture of New York City during the 1930s
    2. Ansel Adams - For over six decades, Ansel Adams turned his camera on the American wilderness, becoming one of the most recognized photographers in the world.
    3. Diane Arbus - Among the most prominent and influential photographers of her generation, Diane Arbus is perhaps best remembered for her frank studies of marginalized groups and subcultures. Yet in addition to the nudists, transvestites, carnival performers, and the cognitively-impaired or developmentally-delayed residents of asylums, Arbus also photographed socialites, celebrities, and anonymous strangers passing through New York’s streets and parks.  
    4. Richard Avedon -Avedon capitalized on his early success in fashion photography and expanded into the realm of fine art. http://mocp.org/collections/permanent/arbus_diane.php
    5. HarryBenson - Scottish born photojournalist who has photographed world leaders, historical events and musicians/bands. 
    6. Dawoud Bey -is interested in the portrait as a site of psychological and emotional engagement between the photographer and his model. 
    7. Keith Carter-  American photographer and educator, and artist noted for his dreamlike photos of people, animals and objects.
    8. Chan Chao -Hoping to bring a greater awareness to the democracy movement in Burma, Chan Chao traveled to the Thai-Burmese border in 1996 to document students in camps set up to fight Burma’s military regime. The intimate quality of the photographs highlights the individual characteristics of the subjects –personal clothing, scars or hairstyles, body posture. The photographs of the subjects, often holding objects of everyday life, have a warm and personal quality that demonstrates that these individuals are more than participants in a conflict. 
    9. Alvin Langdon Coburn -pioneer of abstract photography with his "Vortographs"
    10. Imogen Cunningham -American modernist, best known for closeups of flowers and plants
    11. Roy DeCarava -documenting the African-American experience and its cultural icons
    12. Robert Doisneau -Happy photos of Parisian life in the mid 20th century.
    13. Rineke Dijkstra -documents people in transitional moments: mothers shortly after giving birth,young people entering the military, matadors still bloody from a bullfight,young club kids just off the dance floor, and preadolescent bathers on various beaches in the United States and Eastern Europe. 
    14. William Eggleston -deceptively ordinary color photos of contemporary American rural and suburban life
    15. Walker Evans -imagery of American society during the Great Depression
    16. Roger Fenton -the first war photographer: the Crimea, 1850s
    17. Lee Friedlander -Contemporary, humorous, visually exciting
    18. Emmet Gowin -"Gowin's simple yet intensely seen daily events take on the quality ofritual" - Jonathan Green
    19. LaurenGreenfield - Adocumentary photographer who created a project which surrounded around theideas of an early loss of innocence and the influence of Hollywood culture andvalues which eventually took the titleFast Forward: Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood
    20. AndreasGursky - compellingimages of a commercialized image world demonstrating over abundance andexcess.   
    21. John Gutmann -1930s America but NOT the Great Depression, a precursor of the streetphotographers of the 50s
    22. Lewis Hine -activist documentary work from early 20th century, from Ellis Island to childlabor to sweatshops
    23. Hill & Adamson -mid-19th-century calotypists, interesting collaboration between artist andtechnician
    24. WalterIooss -Walter Iooss is an award winning sports photographer focusing on sports andbeauty. He has worked for sports illustrated for 47 years and with300 sports illustrated covers.
    25. Yousuf Karsh -Canadian portrait master, created some of the iconic portraits of world leadersin the 40s and 50s.
    26. DavidHume Kennerly - pulitzer prize winning photographer ofhistorical events, war, presidents and many others.
    27. Andre Kertesz -Eastern Europe to Paris to New York, ranging from surrealist imagery to streetphotography
    28. William Klein -New York street photography in the mid-fifties
    29. Josef Koudelka -Czechoslovakian, 1970s images of his Exile in Western Europe
    30. DavidLaChapelle - David LaChapelle is fixture in contemporaryphotography, known internationally for his exceptional talent in combininga unique hyper-realistic aesthetic with profound social messages
    31. Dorothea Lange -documented American poor during the Great Depression
    32. Jacques-Henri Lartigue -a child photographer, with exuberance and delight, France before World War I
    33. Clarence John Laughlin -haunting images of abandoned cotton plantations and cemeteries in New Orleans.
    34. Annie Lebovitz -an American portrait photographer whose style is marked by a closecollaboration between the photographer and the subject.
    35. Nikki S. Lee -is a Korean-born, New York City-based artist.  Lee's most noted work, Projects
    36. Helen Levitt -street photography from early 1940's New York City.
    37. Loretta Lux -a fine art photographer known for her surreal portraits of young children.  (1997-2001),begun while still in school, depicts her in snapshot photographs, in which sheposes with various ethnic and social groups, including drag queens, punks,swing dancers, senior citizens, Latinos, hip-hop musicians and fans,skateboarders, lesbians, young urban professionals, and Korean schoolgirls. Leeconceives of her work as less about creating beautiful pictures, and more aboutinvestigating notions of identity and the uses of vernacular photography.
    38. Vivian Maier - A photographer who did not gain any attention for her work until very late in life.  With photography as a mere hobby, she documented life in large American cities such as New York and Chicago.
    39. Sally Mann -best known for her large black and white photographs, first of her youngchildren and their lives as seen in her series called "Immediatefamily", then of landscapes suggesting decay and death.
    40. Mary Ellen Mark - one of very fewcontemporary photographers who manage to work in the realms of art, socialdocumentary and photo-journalism without compromising the integrity of any ofthem or herself.  Known for photographing people who are radicallydifferent from herself while still maintaining a humanitarian concern for hersubjects.  
    41. Ralph Eugene Meatyard -surrealist vision from middle America in the 1950s and 1960s
    42. Joel Meyerowitz -moving from street photography to landscape; from black-and-white to color; andfrom 35mm to 8 x 10 format
    43. Lisette Model -an important pioneer in street photography and portraits from the edge
    44. Tina Modotti -revolutionary images from 1920s Mexico
    45. Eadweard Muybridge -1880s, the first to use the camera to analyze motion too fast to be seen withthe naked eye.
    46. Nadar -Paris, 1850-1870, portraits, early photographic pioneer
    47. Shirin Neshat -Her work refers to the social, cultural and religious codes of Muslim societies and the complexity of certain oppositions, such as man and woman. The work of Shirin Neshat addresses the social, political and psychological dimensions of women's experience in contemporary Islamic societies.
    48. Arnold Newman -One of the greatest portrait-makers in the history of photography
    49. Timothy O'Sullivan -Civil War and American West, wet plate photography
    50. Paul Outerbridge -1920s and 30s surrealism and fetishistic nudes; a pioneer in color photography
    51. Martin Parr - His satirical, witty approach to documentary photography leaves the viewer not surewhether to laugh or cry. A prime example of this is his book titled 'Sign ofthe Times', in which he entered peoples houses (an Englishman's castle) andphotographs the ordinary, though he also combines the image with a quote fromthe owners. when this is done you gain a whole new appreciation for the images.His photos are often taken using macro lenses and ring flash as well ashigh-saturation colour film
    52. Robertand Shana ParkeHarrison - Robert ParkeHarrisoncollaborates with his wife, Shana, on the conception and execution of compleximages that combine performance, sculpture, photography, and painting. Theirinnovative approach to picture making draws upon their use of paper negativesand collage to construct stories of loss and struggle amid landscapes scarredby technology and over-use. At the heart of these pictorial tales is a loneindividual—ParkeHarrison himself as “Everyman”—engaged in Herculean struggleswith nature and artifice. The mythic world he creates mirrors our world, wherenature is domesticated and controlled. In actions that are both humorouslymetaphorical and lyrically poetic, ParkeHarrison constructs beguiling storiesthat make us consider what we have done or are doing to our earth.  
    53. Gordon Parks -documented the post-WWII African-American experience, portraying the commonpeople and icons of the civil rights era
    54. Irving Penn -much, much more than just a fashion photographer
    55. JohnPfahl - an American Photographer, born in 1939 in New York. He is best known for his series titles Altered Landscapes. 
    56. Melissa Ann Pinney -For more than fifteen years, Melissa Ann Pinney has been concentrating onfemale identity and its layered construction. From childhood through puberty,from motherhood into old age, Pinney has focused her camera on theever-changing identity girls face as they mature. 
    57. AnnPloeger:Pacific Northwest portrait photographer - her work is modern and edgy.
    58. Jacob Riis -photos were only a tool for his crusade against poverty in early 20th centuryNew York City slums
    59. Alexander Rodchenko -1920-30s in Russia, formalist, odd angles, a new way of looking
    60. Sebastiao Salgado -documenting the human condition in late 20th century, from Ethiopian famine toBrazilian hell mines
    61. Cindy Sherman -artist using the photographic self-portrait as a means to express narrative.
    62. Lorna Simpson - "Iwould hate to think that my work is perceived as a portrayal of victimization.It is not enough for me to relate an experience through the work only to have aviewer say, ‘Oh, that’s too bad,’ and walk away from it. I want to relate thedynamics of a situation, both how that situation occurs and how it affectspeople’s lives. In another sense, the work is not answer-oriented. It’sintentionally left open-ended. There’s not a resolution that just solveseverything." – Lorna Simpson.  Also see: http://www.afaweb.org/exhibitions/details/LornaSimpson.php 
    63. Aaron Siskind - was anAmerican abstract expressionist photographer.  Siskind's work focuses on the details of nature and architecture. He presentsthem as flat surfaces to create a new image out of them, which, he claimed, standsindependent of the original subject.
    64. Sandy Skoglund - In the late seventies Skoglund’s desire todocument conceptual ideas led her to teach herself photography. This developinginterest in photographic technique became fused with her interest in popularculture and commercial picture making strategies, resulting in the directorialtableau work she is known for today.  
    65. Stephen Shore -master of large format camera, working in color depictions of urban scenes andlandscapes.
    66. Laurie Simmons :Photographs dolls, toys, dollhouses and other combinations of inanimateobjects, which reflect popular culture, Americana and kitsch.  In2000, in collaboration with architect Peter Wheelwright, she created Kaleidoscope House, a dollhouse that shelater photographed. The Instant Decorator(2004), based on reproductions in a 1976 decorating book of the same name,features images of Modernist architecture collaged helter-skelter with imagesof women and men sampled from popular magazines and catalogues.Also see: http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A7015&page_number=3&template_id=1&sort_order=1
    67. W. Eugene Smith -documentary photography with a moral edge, the King of the Photo Essay
    68. Frederick Sommer -Surrealist imagery somehow from realist content
    69. Mike and Doug Starn - twinbrothers who combine different disciplines such as photography, sculpture,architecture and site-specific projects into their work.  Their art isconcerned largely with chaos, interconnection and interdependence, time, andphysics.
    70. Edward Steichen -protege of Stieglitz, pioneer in pictorialism before moving on to fashionphotography
    71. Joel Sternfeld - JoelSternfeld’s projects can perhaps be divided into two general groups:site-specific landscapes somehow connected to human presence (though people arerarely present in them) and shot during distinct periods of time, and a moreranging, long-term examination of the United States accomplished largely byphotographing Americans contextualized by their environments.  Also see: http://documentaryworks.org/punctum/onthissite.htm 
    72. Alfred Stieglitz -the Prophet of photography as an art form, his own excellent work is too oftenoverlooked
    73. Paul Strand -another Stieglitz protege, pioneer of Straight Photography
    74. William Henry Fox Talbot -early photographic pioneer, developed some of the first methods of fixingshadows on paper
    75. JerryUelsmann - ...Uelsmann, who has been exploring, andpushing the boundaries of the photographic medium for over 40 years,experiments with complex multiple prints, negative imagery and othertechniquesto convey his personal vision.   http://www.uelsmann.net/
    76. Max Waldman -celebrating theatre and the dance, 1960s and 1970s.
    77. Carleton E. Watkins -premier landscape photographer of the American West in the 1800s
    78. Weegee -1930-50 New York City, turned tabloid murder photos into an art form
    79. Carrie Mae Weems - Known for her sometimes biting use of humor, she employsnarrative structures, a choreographed cast of props and characters, and avariety of media to explore and explode stereotypes of race and gender. Herresulting photographs, videos, and installations usually reconfigure oldphotographs, sculptures, and artifacts that comprise the physical record ofAfrican American culture in order to make new works that comment on racism anddifficult topics seldom addressed in mainstream media. 
    80. Edward Weston -photographer's photographer, f64, landscapes, portraits, still life, all donein same realist manner
    81. Minor White -cofounder with Ansel Adams of the Zone System, also a great educator
    82. Garry Winogrand -compulsive street photographer, imagery is edgy, disorienting
    83. Lothar Wolleh -a master of the portrait, featuring photographs of modern artists
    84. Vivian Maier - A photographer who did not gain any attention for her work until very late in life.  With photography as a mere hobby, she documented life in large American cities such as New York and ChicagoMasters of Photography