on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Chris Murray – Portrait of a Photographer

Intimate & timeless expressions of nature

Matt Payne

Matt Payne

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 four cats, Juju, Chara, Arrow, and Vestal.


For the eleventh iteration of this column, I wanted to showcase the work of a photographer who has focused his lenses on the oft-forgotten Adirondack Mountains of New York – Chris Murray. Chris is a photographic artist flying under the typical social media radar whose work is deserving of more attention and appreciation. Chris works primarily in the landscape of his home: the woods, lakes, mountains, and streams of New York State and the Adirondack Mountains. When I look through his work, I am immediately struck by how cleverly and tenderly he has developed a deep relationship with his home and the natural subjects he has found there. His images of his subjects are intimate and timeless expressions of nature, exuding ideas and emotions ranging from excitement to melancholy.

According to Chris, his interest in photographing landscapes is derived mainly from his love of the natural world, the same love that led him to choose geology as his first profession. In photography, he strives to make images that reflect his sensibilities and how he sees the world. His goal is to make images that are not a literal documentation of place, but rather a creative expression of his relationship with the subject. Chris’ photography tends toward the quiet and intimate with a creative focus on simplicity and detail. This is perhaps most profoundly seen in his work with local forests and trees, where he has focused a great deal of attention. In these images, I can see how he is able to weave his personal artistic expression of the world he sees with the relationship he has of that world in a way that conveys both complexity and simplicity at the same time. This duality allows for the expression of emotional states as well as the distillation of other concepts and ideals such as harmony, resolve, resilience, and contemplation.

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