Here is the winning image for Alien Skin’s November Photo of the Month award. The monthly photo-sharing theme was healing. Congratulations to Kyle Ford!
This month’s guest judge is commercial photographer extraordinaire, Simon Griffiths. He has been providing us great photography advice for a long time. In fact, he was one of our advisors during the birth of the original Exposure.
About the winning shot, Simon said, “All the entries this month were wonderful. I could pick any one of them as a winner within different categories, but this shot showed a sense of emotion within a brooding landscape that best represented the theme of healing. The subject was captured in a moment of peace and acceptance that might represent what she has perhaps been dealing with in her life. Who knows exactly what is going through her mind, but you know something is — and she is at peace about it. As a storyteller, this picture tells the kind of story that I want to know. I’m a big believer that a decisive moment can far exceed the need for brilliant composition, exposure, and technique. This image renders that decisive moment without being over produced or over staged, yet is beautifully captured and composed. One can sense her feeling the healing wind blowing her hair as she is deep in thought. It’s a great representation of the monthly theme.”
Kyle shares awesome photos in the Exposure Users group on Facebook quite often. Here’s a little more about him.
How did you get into photography?
I have been shooting since 2006, and it all started with trying to find a humanities credit at Southern Utah University. I can’t paint, draw or anything else artistic but I have fond memories capturing my family with an old film camera when I was young.
I took a few classes while I was working towards my bachelors of science. The class that still holds the largest impact was the very first one. My instructor, Brad Phillips, announced this was not an “easy A” course and that if that is what we were after we should drop the class. He wasn’t bluffing, he graded harshly. If you took your critique’s advice and revised your work, it would improve your grade. Because of that, essentially every assignment was two shoots and a learning experience. His tough and honest critiques are what motivated me then and still drive me today to always improve my photography.
After that, I sort of just fell into shooting senior photos back home in Ely, Nevada and reluctantly started shooting weddings as well.
What’s your style? Do you have any favorite photos?
I really couldn’t tell you what my style of photography is. My wedding work is much cleaner than my personal work, though. I’m inspired by shooting film on my Leica M3 and Hasselblad 500CM. What it brings is a different state of mind, where every shot carries so much weight. That’s something that’s lost a bit when you shoot digital and have several huge SD cards in your bag.
My favorite photos recently were the images from our spring trip to Utah. We toured a handful of national parks for a week with some friends who live in Salt Lake City. I have always loved shooting landscapes as personal work. It’s calming and peaceful waiting for the light at sunrise and sunset in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Other than your camera, what is your favorite photography accessory?
My favorite editing accessory is my Wacom Intuos. I just don’t get how people retouch an image with a potato (mouse). Photoshop is integral to my retouching workflow. Almost every single image I make goes through PS for some improvements.
How has Alien Skin’s software changed how you process your photos?
Exposure has changed how I process my images hands down. My favorite: grain. Even if I get my toning out of Capture One perfect I almost always add some ASE grain to my images. Though often I add some light color adjustments as well.
Learn more about Kyle on his blog, or follow him on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
There were lots of great-looking photos shared last month, some of them are listed below. Congratulations to everyone who submitted. These are fantastic!