on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Klaus Axelsen – Portrait of a Photographer

Leveraging form, shape & texture in the landscape

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.


One of the most compelling aspects of photography is the fact that every photograph is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional world, and yet there are photographers who are able to utilize techniques to trick the human eye into seeing two-dimensional objects in three dimensions. Even more fascinating is that through the use of shutter speed and aperture, a skilled photographer can also incorporate the fourth dimension - time. The subject of today’s essay, Klaus Axelsen, is a master at leveraging various tools in order to bring forth multi-dimensional visual delights in his photography. There are four tools and compositional aids in particular that Klaus uses to accomplish this task - form, shape, texture, and movement.

I was first introduced to Klaus’ photography when he submitted some stunning images to the Natural Landscape Photography Awards. I was so moved by his photography that I insisted that his work be represented in our perennial fine art photography books. Since then, I’ve spent some time looking closely at his images to try to determine what makes them so successful.

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