Greetings, 500px! I am so honored to have been chosen again to participate in Editors’ Choice. It’s an amazing opportunity to curate some of the best photography in the world. Through this process, I was able to view some incredible imagery and become inspired to get out there and produce better work myself. I am a landscape photographer based in Durango, Colorado, and host of the popular landscape photography podcast, “F-Stop Collaborate and Listen,” where I get to have incredible conversations with the world’s best landscape photographers.

For this particular curation, I wanted to focus more on intimate landscape scenes and/or scenes that were able to convey a story, message, or emotion. I also tried to focus less on iconic locations, if possible, and tried to identify images that were not heavily digitally manipulated, as that is something I am striving for in my own work lately.

I have chosen two images in particular that exemplify what I was looking for:

Stand Strong by TJ "TJ Thorne" Thorne on

This image by TJ Thorne evokes so many different emotions for me and tells a thought-provoking story of survival, resilience, and bravery. I absolutely love how the single larch is isolated and made the hero of the image in this bleak scene produced by a late-autumn storm. Additionally, seeing and photographing a scene like this takes ingenuity, patience, and a creative eye beyond the typical icon-chasing we see today, so I applaud TJ for this tremendously-unique presentation.

Moenave Candles II by John Mumaw on

This image by John Mumaw tells a story of weathering time and finding beauty in rugged places. The sandstone is lit perfectly by the late sun and showcases textures and forms that have been produced by time, weather, and abuse, yet the rock exudes strength, beauty, and evokes wonder at the same time.

Explore more of Matt’s selections below, and check out his full curation in Editors’ Choice.

Follow Matt Payne

Instagram: @MattPaynePhoto

Kaleidoscope by Adam Kavalunas on

Fantasia by Matt Meisenheimer on

Sveinstindur and Fagralon by Alex Nail on

Last Sunset by Charlotte Gibb on

Cornice in the Clouds by Patrick McDonald on