on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Tristan Todd – Portrait of a Photographer

Focusing on Challenging local Subjects to induce Flow States

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.



As I am sure many photographers across the globe got to experience first-hand during COVID, being restricted to your local area for photography can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on your personal outlook and what’s close by. It is my opinion that these restrictions, given the proper mindset, can really expand your creativity and range as a photographer, and allow you to deeply explore themes and ideas close to home while reducing your carbon footprint – all good things! In the case of this article’s subject, Tristan Todd, that is exactly what he has been able to do over the past three years. Tristan has committed himself to focus solely on landscapes that are close to his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, and I think the results of that focus have really shined through in his more recent work.

In conversation with Tristan, he shared with me that a lot of his photography is conducted in the lush rainforests accessible by a short bus ride from his home and that this closeness has allowed him to become much more familiar with the terrain, when to know when conditions are ideal for certain types of images, what times of day to arrive to make the most of any given situation, and of course, increasing the amount of time spent making images as opposed to travelling. Now, one could argue that Tristan highly benefits from being in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful destinations already, and there is absolutely truth to that; however, I personally believe that this approach can really improve one’s images over time no matter where you live, and it can greatly extend your love and appreciation for the craft of landscape photography.

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