Matt Hamon

Matt Hamon, a photographer and University of Montana art professor, shot his latest exhibition, "Ratljóst," in the Rocky Mountains and Iceland. 

Photographer Matt Hamon titled his latest exhibition, "Ratljóst," an Icelandic word that translates closely to "sufficient light to find one's way."

The eerie and entrancing light, which could be late dusk or before the dawn, distinguishes his selection of photographs, particularly the landscapes, from traditional notions of "magic hour." The pictures were shot in the Rocky Mountains of the U.S., and in Iceland while the University of Montana professor was on sabbatical.

The show, which opens this Friday, July 12, at the Montana Museum of Art & Culture, "return(s) the viewer to the 19th-century romantic notion that intense emotional states are a pure source of authentic aesthetic experience," according to a news release. "This experience, with an emphasis on awe, even terror — especially when confronting the natural beauty of storms and wild landscapes — was thought to elevate human existence to something nobler than the scientific truths emerging from the forming scientific disciplines."

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Hamon, who lives outside Missoula, has been gaining international recognition for his work. His project, "The Gleaners," documented people who scavenge leftovers from indigenous hunters at the annual bison hunt outside of Yellowstone National Park. The portraits were featured on CNN.com and photography sites around the world.

Other recent honors, according to his website, include first prize in the Portraits Hellerau exhibition in Germany in 2018, and the inclusion of his work in the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Royal Photographic Society's international exhibition.

The reception runs from 5-7 p.m. Friday, July 12, in the Paxson's Gallery in the PAR/TV Center at UM. The show is on view through Oct. 31, with additional work at Montgomery Distillery.

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