Have you ever seen a photo that stops in you in tracks and makes you stare with awe? Matt Reynolds’ photos do a good job of that, but don’t take our word for it—look at the landscape above. That’s just one of his photos. Want the full story behind this photo? Keep reading!

1.) Can you tell us a little bit about your “Edge of the Earth” photo?

It was taken in the Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

I was staying for 4 nights in a town located below this mountain range, called Ortesi. A postcard pretty, mostly car free, village filled with timber houses and flower box windows that you would expect to see in a movie set.

I had seen images of the unique peak before and what really had me interested was the way the grass on the one side grows right up to the edge and yet the other side is all rock and often ice.

Locally they refer to the valley I was staying in as the sunny side of the Alps and this vantage point above Ortisei really shows that well, the right side of the image gets sun frequently but the left side rarely does. I really liked the contrast of warmth on the right side and cold on the left side.

It was end of September when I visited and while I did not have an exact composition planned I knew I wanted to photograph the mountain peak close to sunrise based on some preplanning I had done.

The first morning I was up early, but did not feel comfortable hiking in the dark so I took the cable car up the minute they opened. While it takes you to the top and about 200 meters from where I took this photo, it was too far past sunrise for a good photo and the day was quite overcast. I spent my time planning compositions, taking practice photos to determine which location and focal length I preferred and then hiked down so I would be more comfortable with tackling it early the next morning.

The next morning, I headed out retracing my steps from yesterday and was able to capture this image. The clouds were moving fast and I stayed in the same location for quite some time trying to capture the low cloud movement similar to photographing waves on a beach, on days when the clouds are fast moving each photo can look a little different, this was one of the last frames I took before the clouds covered the mountain top.

I named the image “Edge of the Earth”, because standing on this ridge alone on a windy, cold morning it truly felt that way. In front of me was a drop into the abyss, so I felt like I was standing on the edge of the Earth.

2.) What gear/software did you use to create this image?

Image was taken with a Sony A7Rii camera and a Sony FE 16-35 lens, at 29mm on a tripod.

Post processed using Lightroom and Photoshop.

3.) What do you like to photograph?

Primarily landscapes but also nightscapes and cityscapes as well. Interesting light is the main thing I look for so rarely photograph during the normal day time hours.

4.) Were you inspired by a KelbyOne class or instructor to create this image? If so, which class or instructor inspired you?

I have always enjoyed the blind image critique podcasts. I watch them religiously and try to think about how an image of mine may be critiqued often before I even press the shutter.

What is the main subject I want the viewer to see, is there a subject, do I have a foreground, are there any leading lines to guide the viewer’s eye, can I create any by using a different focal length, different positioning, will this image tell a story, is the light interesting, am I making the best use of the entire frame, etc…
It does not work for everyone but I take better photographs when I slow down and really think things through.

More recently I have also found that by pre-thinking each image also allows me to process the RAW files with a vision / end goal in mind.

5.) What’s your favorite class on KelbyOne and why?

I currently have downloaded using the offline feature of the app Karen Hutton’s “How to Infuse YOU into Your Photography” and really loving the content.

While a fairly new video, I really like the mix of theory and on location video training followed up with post processing tips.

Discover more of Matt’s photos—check out his website and don’t forget to follow him on Instagram.