The world's best photographers do much more than simply take pictures; they tell stories with their images and capture the essence of the people, places, and things they shoot. While some of the greatest to do it are also considered the most influential photographers, the two are not the same. Sure, the best photographers can have an impact on the industry and influence others aspiring to do the same, but these masters of the lens are simply the best to pick up a camera and photograph what they see.
When it comes to a list of the best photographers of all time, a select few instantly come to mind. Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, and Richard Avedon certainly top the list here. However, plenty of other famous photographers have proven themselves to be some of the greatest, whether they primarily shoot fashion, portraits, or the world around them. Regardless of subject matter, these are the greatest photographers to ever pick up a camera.
Vote up the photographers you think are best, or those who created the best images that stand the test of time. You can also add any that may be missing from the list.
Ansel AdamsDec. at 82 (1902-1984)
Vivian MaierDec. at 83 (1926-2009)
Richard KalvarAge: 76
Jay MaiselAge: 89