Alyssa Kilzer speaks with Cole Rise, a photographer whose work achieves both surreal and cinematic qualities. They discuss his technique and process, travel, and his inspirations—including the challenging and maybe impossible question of why and how we are here and the size and existence of the universe.
Cole Rise’s photographs are both comfortingly familiar and hauntingly distant. He sets up emotional and mysterious scenes while focusing on the details and the larger forms in nature. As a result our world is portrayed as beautiful and strange. The permanent and ethereal beauty of nature is in the transformative sky, with its glaring sun, soft fog, bright constellations, or heavy clouds, in the volumes of the earth, the water and rocks, and, occasionally, in the frozen motion of an air born figure within these dream-like settings.