The ethereal landscapes of Matt Hill
Matt Hill is a UK-based photographer whose landscapes, which I stumbled across the other day, immediately struck a chord with their gentle, glowing drama. Perhaps it's his mastery of color that does it most, in the complementary hues of yellows and oranges, blues and purples. But there is also something in the perspective of these images, where the artist--or we the viewer-- stand on or looking over a stretch of land, often golden, grassy plain, toward robust, rugged, yet ethereal mountains in the distance. However the land often appears to drop away in front of us, obscured by darkness or mist. The distant hills and peaks rise out of a deeper place, giving us the increased sense of the their remoteness, their inability to be tamed or even accessed, surrounded by unseen valleys or canyons that we cannot cross.
Landscapes often lend themselves automatically to beautiful pictures; it doesn't take much for a snowy peak to impress. On the other hand, taking a step back from obvious natural dramatics and focusing on atmospheric details like a low cloud line, rising mist, or a darkening moorland horizon presents its own set of challenges, and Hill is adept at capturing the subtle yet clear power of the raw land. He considers the photography to be an adventure, and the editing afterward to be a meditation of sorts. These images allow us to take stock of the openness of remote landscapes while perhaps unconsciously addressing our own relation to these remote places. They quietly demonstrate nature's inherent limitations and the high, distant terrain which we cannot ever truly control or subdue.
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All images used with artist's permission.