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Tell us about the location in the photos.

These photographs were taken during a seven day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, via the Machame Route. I made this trip with a group of friends from high school and we were supported by a small army of guides and porters. As the highest free standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is a fascinating landscape with diverse climatic zones ranging from rainforest and heath to alpine desert and arctic.

Climbing the mountain is comparable to traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days. Machame, one of the longer routes to the summit, allowed us to experience all of the climatic zones of Kilimanjaro and gradually acclimate to the changes in oxygen. The climb itself is not very technical, however, the constantly changing weather and altitude make it a worthwhile test. The final ascent consists of waking up at midnight with a few hours of sleep for a six hour hike to the summit which is physically and mentally exhausting. The reward is watching the sun rise from the rooftop of Africa, an experience of a lifetime.

How did you get started in photography?

I became interested in photography during college as a means to document the rural towns of the south, partly for my love of history and partly as a response to the sprawl and development altering the landscape. During that time, I discovered photographers who inspired me, learned to take better photographs, and realized that less is more. Since then, my focus has shifted to documenting my own life and travels.

Does anything in particular influence your photography style?

Edward Hopper, Van Morrison, Ross McElwee, my brother, and other photographers on Flickr (several who have been showcased here on Expedition Bureau).

What photography gear do you use?

I keep it simple with an Olympus XA2 camera and Fuji Superia X-Tra400 film.

Are there any products you swear by?

A Rand McNally Road Atlas.

What is your dream adventure photography location?

Patagonia.

Information:

headshot

Name Matt Bower
Location Atlanta, Georgia
Featured In Issue Seven - September 2014
Gear & Equipment Camera: Olympus XA2, Film: Fuji Superia X-Tra400 film
Websites Portfolio, Flickr
Chosen By Chris Moody