Matt McLean Photography
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One of my early memories about photography comes from a family trip to Yellowstone National Park. I was 12 and carried what amounted to a disposable film camera. I remember it being gently suggested that I try to include people in my photos (for example, family!). While I had no particular thoughts about photography at the time, my parents always taught my sister and I to enjoy and appreciate nature. This memory makes me smile – it seems I’ve always preferred to let landscapes speak for themselves.

Photographer Matt McLean at Mono Lake

When digital photography became prevalent, I picked up a slim, credit-card sized camera that was exciting technology in the era before smartphones. The most important thing I learned from that camera was the joy of always having one with me.

It wasn’t until a close friend took up photography as a hobby that I began to look at my images more critically. My friend’s enthusiasm influenced me a great deal and I began to dedicate time and energy to going out with my camera.

My own enthusiasm ebbed and flowed as my interests changed over the years (though I never forgot to carry a camera with me in some form). Things changed when I visited Iceland for the first time. In preparation for the stark, beautiful landscapes the country is known for, I switched to a Sony RX-100 and took the time to dig into best practices. The trip really sparked my determination to create high-quality images and to keep learning and improving.

Since then, sharing my hiking and traveling experiences through photography is one of the things that makes me happiest. Hitting the trail and being outdoors with a camera brings me a profound sense of peace. The camera takes me to new places and encourages a deeper familiarity with my surroundings. I love that there’s always more to learn, and I get immense satisfaction from the process and from hearing that others enjoy the results.

I’ve developed a composition style that rewards a deeper look into the image. My photographs emphasize geometry, layer, depth and scale. I attempt to make each image reflect what I saw and how I felt at the moment I took it. The result is a visual documentation of the environments I’ve been fortunate to experience.