Inside this issue
Portrait of a Photographer – Cecil Whitt
Deep Admiration and passion of the American Desert Southwest
Matt Payne is a landscape photographer and mountain climber from Durango, Colorado. He’s the host of the weekly landscape photography podcast, “F-Stop Collaborate and Listen,” co-founder of the Nature First Photography Alliance, and co-founder of the Natural Landscape Photography Awards. He lives with his wife, Angela, his son Quinn, and his two cats, Juju and Chara.
For the fourth iteration of this column, I decided to focus on the artwork of a photographer that mostly flies under the radar here in the Southwest of United States – Cecil Whitt. Cecil and his work exemplify the mysteries of the desert Southwest and conjure up a wide variety of emotions and ideas including solitude, surprise, serenity, rugged individualism, grit, determination, exploration, and optimism. I was first introduced to his work through my podcast when a former guest, David Thompson, recommended I explore Cecil’s artwork in depth. At first, when one visits Cecil’s website, you are greeted by a massive collection of over one-hundred-and-fifty thumbnails which I first thought represented individual photographs. Much to my amazement, excitement, and awe, I soon realised that each thumbnail represented an entire gallery of images, each with their own depth of character, pantheon of feelings, and interesting story arc. Cecil’s website is a literal treasure trove to dig through – each time I visit I find myself exploring and devouring something new that intrigues and inspires me.
I had the pleasure of meeting Cecil when our mutual acquaintance Paul Rojas invited me to join them for a weekend of photographing in New Mexico’s badlands, deep within the desert.