Ian Brown

Ian Brown is a fine art nature photographer based in Australia’s world heritage Blue Mountains.  As a lifelong bushwalker, climber and environmentalist, Ian has immersed himself in wild places.  His art arises from an affinity with the natural world and an understanding of its processes.  He particularly enjoys musing around looking for intimate compositions.

Ian tries to make images that are closely observed, strong and evocative, hopefully inspiring, sometimes mysterious, and yet ‘true’ to the subject.  Respecting and valuing the beauty, integrity and richness of nature is crucial to his practice. His photographs have been described as ‘elemental and hugely majestic’ and ‘a monument to the Blue Mountains’

Ian has exhibited widely in the Blue Mountains and in Sydney, and his prints are held in many private collections.  His photographs have been used in many conservation campaigns and in numerous books, calendars, magazines and wilderness diaries.  He has been a finalist five times in the prestigious ANZANG nature photography competition.

Artist statement

” The natural world is endlessly fascinating, with infinite levels of detail. For a photographer it can be chaotic and bewildering, and not every scene that makes your heart sing makes a good photograph. Since I prefer a naturalistic style and ‘intimate’ photographs, my first task is to look…a lot…to find potential images with that powerful combination of subject, composition and lighting, and sometimes that special other thing that is beyond both words and thinking. After a lifetime of bushwalking and natural history and a deep connection to nature, I find its easier to ‘see’ images when I understand the particular environment and take my time to tune in. Then I often have to return at a more propitious time!”- Ian Brown 2019


(Available for purchase within Selected/Collected Works sections)

The Edge, Govett’s Leap, Blackheath

Unusually for me, this was a planned photograph. So I went there at dawn after rain and the composition only works because the tripod was perched right on the edge of the 200 metre cliff to avoid distracting foreground bushes – I harnessed both myself and the large format camera to a handy tree. Govett (a colonial surveyor) never jumped from here; ‘leap’ is an old (but good) Scottish word for a waterfall.

Curved Abyss, Wollemi National Park

One of many hundreds of narrow sandstone canyons in the Blue Mountains, looking upwards into the interlocked potholes that sculpt the walls, which are just one to three metres apart. I usually go alone into these bone-chilling canyons, so I can take my time with photography.

Boolambayte paperbarks, Myall Lakes

I arrived in heavy rain at Myall Lakes National Park for some fieldwork on a guidebook. The next day the weather stopped abruptly and by late afternoon I was at the end of a walking track on the shore of Lake Boolambayte. It was one of those magically calm, quiet and serene evenings after a storm. The lake was brimful and rippling gently in clear yellow light. I was in raptures.

Poised, Garvie Ranges, New Zealand

The high and dry ranges of central Otago were only lightly glaciated, but have been subjected to millennia of severe frost action. This has weathered the schist into numerous sculpted tors and towers, sometimes known as ‘old men’. This one was on the very crest of the range, and when I returned for dawn light it was swept by a howling and frigid gale. To secure this image I had to use the tripod at its lowest setting and lean my body weight on it.


This image is from the same beatific evening as Boolambayte paperbarks. I was attracted to the subtle bands of light around the reeds, created by the slow rippling water.

Fiordland skyline, New Zealand

Fiordland is perhaps the most powerful landscape I have experienced. I love it so much that I’ve spent many months of my life climbing and walking there. The daunting weather, the huge and vast topography, the steepness, the tumbling rivers, waterfalls, alpine lakes, primeval rainforest and gorgeous alpine growth meld into a marvel. When the weather stops, the evenings can be crystalline. This scene is just near the highest peaks of the Hunter Mountains, two days’ walk from the road.