©Matthieu Dupont

A tribute to the Ardèche photographer

Ardèche was his ‘other side of the world’.

A wonderful ambassador for our region, photographer Matthieu Dupont knew how to capture the beauty of his native Ardèche, which he loved exploring and sharing…

The Gorges de l’Ardèche and Pont d’Arc, the dolmens, the listed villages of Saint-Montan, Balazuc, Labeaume and Vogüé, nature sports, events such as the Gorges de l’Ardèche Marathon and Triathlon, the Festival Labeaume en Musiques, creative craftspeople, local winegrowers and producers, etc. Matthieu Dupont loved southern Ardèche. He loved the people. Dozens of his photos have graced a number of tourist guides and magazines. He also worked for several institutions, local authorities, companies, associations and the written press, mainly in Ardèche, but also throughout the south of France.

He had a gift for capturing the right image, for creating photos with a difference –  the one which sticks with you and you cannot forget.

A native of Ardèche and from Largentière, Matthieu was attracted to nature from an early age. As a child, he spent an enormous amount of time outdoors, fascinated by the variety of landscapes. Buying a camera at the age of 20 proved to be a revelation.

His passion for photography never left him and Matthieu became a professional photographer a few years later. “Unlike some people who go to the other side of the world to take in the sights, my ‘other side of the world’ is right here, close by, behind this mountain not yet climbed, this river not yet crossed,” Matthieu would like to say. “Why go so far away when there’s  fabulous scenery and an incredible playground right on your doorstep? And if, by chance, nature, in its infinite goodness, deigns to offer me THE light, one that’s ‘just so’ – rare, unpredictable, furtive… then that’s all I need to be happy.”

He knew how to ‘blend into the landscape’.

Matthieu was a scrambler, no matter the season. He moved through the countryside in ‘wild boar’ mode!  The Cévennes rains, the cold or thick fog never slowed him down. It was the opposite in fact! He was always on the lookout for images and ‘visual feasts for the eyes’. Discretion, humility, patience, modesty, wisdom, simplicity, willingness and compassion were his ‘human tools’. These were so invaluable when it came to ‘blending into the landscape’.

Matthieu encapsulated grace, beauty, a way of seeing.

His photos were always ‘positive’. Flashbulbs going off or ‘stolen shots’ were not his style. Neither were spotlights. Matthieu preferred the nuance of chiaroscuro. The light at dusk. He knew how to take his time and find the right shot. Matthieu preferred the babbling of streams and the gentle song of birds to the general din of the world, as these few words written in 2022 testify.

“Be curious, sensitive, capable of marvelling at nothing – the simple little things which surround us…”

Matthieu is no longer with us, but his photos remain. They are sublime and timeless.

Matthieu Dupont put down his camera for good in October 2022.


– This summer in the streets of Aubenas: a tribute exhibition of 50 photos organised by the Aubenas cultural department from 7 July to 5 September. Free entry.

– In the beautiful book ‘Plaisirs d’Ardèche’ published in summer 2022 by Septéditions, available in bookshops and at Tourist Office reception desks.

– www.matthieudupont.com


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