on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Cesar Llaneza – Portrait of a Photographer

The master of Spanish abstractions

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 animals, humans are taught from an early age to fit in. This happens gradually and naturally and tends to involve learning social cues, dressing like everyone else, talking like everyone else, and doing things like everyone else. These are known as customs, rituals, and normative group behaviours, which all serve valid purposes, mostly notably survival and social bonding. Unfortunately, our ability to fit in and do things like everyone else has negative consequences on our creativity and ultimately leads to stagnation in the arts. Fortunately, there are a few artists that decide to go their own way.

They are the few brave fish that swim upstream while the rest are swimming downstream. They are the explorers, the dreamers, and the people I tend to admire most in our world. Today’s article is about one such photographer, César Llaneza Rodriguez, who wields bravery and curiosity as his tools to maximise creativity by being different from the rest. In practical terms, he utilises a myriad of creative photography techniques to reveal symbolism in abstract subjects, including intentional camera movement, white balance blending, external lighting, sequential multiple exposures, and the use of bold colours and shapes.

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