Landscape photographer and host of my own podcast - AMA!

Matt Payne
Mar 31, 2018

Hi everyone! I'm an avid landscape photographer from Colorado, specializing in night photography and mountain photography. I am also the host of the popular landscape photography podcast, "F-Stop Collaborate and Listen." I just returned from Iceland, where I witnessed and photographed three nights of incredible Aurora Borealis. 

You can check out my work and podcast on my website.

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Conversation (110)

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What are the best focal lengths for landscape photography?
Apr 20, 9:08AM EDT0
For a beginner landscape & nature photographer, which photoprocessing software is the best?
Apr 20, 4:18AM EDT0
Is there any fastest way to become a great Nature/Landscape photographer?
Apr 20, 12:27AM EDT0
As a landscape photographer do you focus on creativity rather than a technique?
Apr 19, 3:29AM EDT0

Hi, I think both are important. Technique is generally a means to the creative end.

Apr 19, 10:50AM EDT0

It certainly can if you are smart about your expenses and marketing your work. I think there's this misconception out there that photography is a lavish lifestyle. Most full-time professionals I know are not making a ton of money. Very few artists make money on print sales alone. You have to really diversify your income.

Apr 16, 6:49PM EDT0
In what ways is the seclusion and isolation associated with photography appealing to you?
Apr 15, 10:06PM EDT0

As an extrovert that surrounds myself with people day-in and day-out, photography does allow me to get some time to myself, which I greatly prefer when I am in the outdoors. It allows me to slow down, think, and reflect on what is important to me.

Apr 15, 10:29PM EDT0
What has been one of the most awe-inspiring photographs you have captured by chance?
Apr 15, 5:45AM EDT0
Apr 15, 10:28PM EDT0
What are some of the stereotypical traits and mannerisms that disappoint you about photographers in general?
Apr 14, 1:48PM EDT0

This is a really interesting question! I think just like any other hobby or profession, photography can bring out some negative traits in humans. The one that disappoints me the most is selfishness. 

Apr 15, 10:27PM EDT0
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person, and how does this definition of yourself reflect in your work as a photographer?
Apr 14, 8:28AM EDT0

I am not a spirtual person in the most traditional sense of the term; however, I do find myself getting a spiritual experience in being in some of the wilderness I travel to when I am photographing. I think this does translate into my work. You be the judge.

Apr 15, 10:26PM EDT0
What do you think is the most rewarding part of the photography? Is it financially fulfilling?
Apr 14, 1:50AM EDT0

Photography is a great artistic and creative outlet if you let it be. I personally really enjoy creating things and photography allows me to do that. It also allows me to capture moments I can remember for the rest of my life, which I have been really appreciative of! Financially, it can be rewarding if you are smart and put effort into marketing it.

Apr 15, 10:25PM EDT0
Do you prefer working on projects or on individual images?
Apr 13, 2:23PM EDT0

Most of my images are shot during distinct trips, so I guess you could say those are projects... and I really do like editing projects at the same time. 

Apr 13, 2:25PM EDT0
You must have done a bit of hiking over the years. Do you still get out for a hike often?
Apr 13, 2:01PM EDT0

As often as I can. More in the summer. My goal is to finish climbing the highest 100 mountains in Colorado this year!

Apr 13, 2:12PM EDT0
Are you always keeping an eye out for what's new on the camera market?
Apr 13, 6:32AM EDT0

Pretty much yes; however, I am very happy with my current camera and lens selection and don't see myself buying a new camera any time soon. I tend to upgrade every 2-3 years, personally. Lenses last much longer.

Apr 13, 12:02PM EDT0
Which locations hold a special place in your heart?
Apr 12, 12:04PM EDT0

The high mountains of SW Colorado. They are amazing.

Apr 12, 6:59PM EDT0
What is the appeal of landscape images to you that you do not find in other genres, such as still-life or portrait?
Apr 9, 8:52AM EDT0

I have always been drawn to nature ever since I was a child, so there is just something about the landscape that allows me to connect my artistic side with my appreciation of the natural world. 

Apr 10, 10:20PM EDT0
How much do you research your place before photographing the final shot?
Apr 9, 2:48AM EDT0

Sometimes I do meticulous research and other times I just go to see what I can find. Both are valid approaches with varying results. I actually prefer to discover a location and find ways to photograph it. There is something magical about that experience.

Apr 10, 10:21PM EDT0
Where is your photography going? What type of projects would you like to work on?
Apr 9, 1:40AM EDT0

I feel like my photography is taking me to new places in the world and is forcing me to want to see more and more of our earth. I also have some ideas for some portrait projects that will force me to grow as an artist.

Apr 10, 10:22PM EDT0
How do you decide that you have got the shot you always wanted?
Apr 9, 1:40AM EDT0

I'll let you know when I get it. =)

Apr 10, 10:23PM EDT0
Was your family supportive of you wanting to become a photographer?
Apr 8, 6:13AM EDT0

Family support has never been a problem for me - since I don't rely on photography for all of my income, it is not a huge strain on the family as long as I pay for all of my trips and gear with the money I earn on prints etc.

Apr 8, 9:32PM EDT0
What tips do you have for taking beautiful landscape photographs?
Apr 8, 4:03AM EDT0

The first suggestion I would have is to go to your local library and check out as many photography books as possible and learn the exposure triangle. The next thing I would do is study other photographers' work and ask your self how they shot certain things - be curious and experiment - don't feel sky in asking them how a shot was obtained!

Apr 8, 9:32PM EDT0
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