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Paul_Edmondson_115864 © Paul Edmondson / Offset

As a former Forest Service Archaeologist, Seattle-based photographer Paul Edmondson imbues his images with a potent sense of wonder and discovery. Shooting landscapes throughout the Western United States, he explores the mysterious relationship between mankind and the natural wonders of the world. Here, he traces the curves of the breathtaking Painted Hills of Oregon’s John Day Fossil Beds.

Located in the eastern-central region of the state, the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a hot-bed of scientific innovation, containing layer upon layer of fossilized organisms, some dating back forty-five million years. The national park is a site of great environmental diversity, preserving evidence of prehistoric creatures like small horses with toes and oversized rhinoceroses.

The Painted Hills themselves are composed of richly colored volcanic ash. Depending on the time of day, the light, and moisture levels, the layered hills can appear a variety of reds and yellows. Under Edmondson’s gaze, the landscape appears mysterious and otherworldly, an empty meditative space in which to contemplate our shared earthly history.

Paul_Edmondson_115866 © Paul Edmondson / Offset

Paul_Edmondson_115862 © Paul Edmondson / Offset

All photos featured in this post can be found on Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is an exclusive category channel partner on Feature Shoot.