Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

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Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

Matt Payne, 39, has taken more than 60,000 photos
Matt Payne, 39, has been climbing mountains in Colorado since he was 4 years old. He has captured more than 60,000 photographs during the past decade, after deciding to take up photography.

Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

Matt Payne, 39, has been climbing mountains in Colorado since he was 4 years old. He has captured more than 60,000 photographs during the past decade, after deciding to take up photography.

Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

Matt Payne of Durango captured this photograph, “Stars over the Grenadiers,” at Molas Lake north of Durango.

Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

“My friend Hank Blum and I decided to shoot the lunar eclipse, which is also a supermoon and a blood moon from Shiprock,” said Matt Payne, a local photographer. “A 2 a.m. wake-up call and two-hour drive was all worth the effort when the moon perfectly placed itself behind Shiprock. What an amazing event to photograph!”

Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

“I decided to head to Bisti Badlands with my friend Todd to execute my longest star trail to date” said Matt Payne of Durango. “This photograph represents five hours and 18 minutes of star movement across the heavens.”

Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

Capturing images like this can often take hours of hiking in the dark, a hobby Matt Payne has been doing for about 10 years.

Durango man climbs Colorado’s 100 highest peaks, with a camera

“In order to capture the impressive Perseid meteor shower, I hauled my photography equipment on a grueling seven-hour backpack up one of the steepest trails in Colorado to the 13,000-foot gap between Pigeon Peak and Turret Peak,” said Matt Payne of Durango. “The result was this magical scene in which I was able to gaze upon cascading meteors for three hours while shivering high above Silverton (seen bottom left) and Durango as the setting moon illuminated the ever impressive Animas Mountain and Monitor Peak across the valley from me.”
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