on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Matt Payne

Featured Photographer

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.


Michéla Griffith

In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.


For this issue, we’re turning the tables on Matt Payne, who writes our ‘Portrait of a Photographer’ series. Looking back over these as part of my preparation for this interview, I can see some common threads - what we in the UK tend to call intimate landscapes, a personal approach, an open minded or relaxed outlook, and concern for nature. These can be found too in Matt’s own photography; just as with our images, our words and work inevitably reflect who we are. Matt’s own website contains a breadth of photography, but I was most drawn to the less ‘epic’. This is in no way a judgement of relative quality but like many Matt’s photography has evolved and with time he is increasingly drawn to the smaller views that perhaps speak better of our interactions with nature. Respect for nature has been fundamental to Matt’s experience of the outdoors from the very beginning.

Autumn Nights

Autumn Nights

Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, your early interests and education, and what that led you to do?

Sure! My name is Matt Payne – I grew up in a city on the front range of Colorado called Colorado Springs. My great-great-grandmother came there in a covered wagon back in the late 1800s and so I’m a 5th generation native of Colorado. I’m very proud of my Coloradoan heritage and this place is very important to me.

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