IPA Interviews with Winning Photographers

Interview with

Kevin Boyle

1st Place in Night Photography Category 2015

What kind of photography do you most identify with?

I identify mostly with fine art, utilizing a mix of long exposure, light painting, and architectural photography.

When did you discover your passion for photography?

I had always used cameras in my personal and professional life, but it wasn’t until my father passed away in 2011 that I had an awakening as to what messages I wanted to convey.

What’s your most embarrassing moment related to photography?

I was photographing an abandoned grain elevator (Neidpath Elevator 2012) in a ghost town in the middle of Saskatchewan, Canada. I had suffered heat stroke during the day and felt like a $5 bag of crap. I went back out into the field at midnight to paint the elevator with light in the pitch dark. After setting up my tripod and opening the shutter, I ran through the black field to get to the elevator (about 100 yards), and turned on my flashlight just in time to fall into a draining ditch, soaking me head to toe. Dripping wet, I continued to shoot and lit the elevator up with my lights from a crouched position. While kneeling, there was a small band of my lower back that was exposed, which the mosquitos happily feasted on, leaving me with a raised, red, lower back tattoo. In the finished print, in the bottom left corner, you can see a white squiggle which is where I fell into the ditch. I decided to keep it in there as a reminder!

What is your dream project?

My dream project is to travel from small town to small town across North America and document the people and towns in cinematic fashion, and then take the proceeds and re-invest in rural arts programs.

Name 5 photographers who have inspired you

Stan Douglas, Gregory Crewdson, Vik Muniz, David Burdeny, and Edward Burtynsky.

What would you do without photography?

Learn to paint.

How do you know when a body of work is finished?

I don’t really think a body of work will ever be finished for me. The subjects I photograph mean a great deal to me personally, and it is hard to walk away from them. I find new ways as I grow as an artist to photograph similar, and sometimes the same subjects. I have three series currently on the go (Range, DaySleeper, and HERD) and I continue to let each one grow and mature as I do.

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Is there one photograph of yours that you are very proud of? Why?

Three Barns (2013). It was the first image that I looked at and knew that I had something unique. Whether or not it ever sold in a gallery didn’t matter. I had the opportunity to have it featured in an auction at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and it hung on the wall next to prints of Edward Burtynsky and Fred Herzog.

What was your first camera?

My first camera was/is a Nikon FM with a 50mm f1.4 lens. I still have it and use it while walking around. The thing is bulletproof.

What camera do you use now and why?

I don’t just use one camera. Depending on what the purpose of the photograph is for I use either a Pentax 645Z and a Mamiya RB67.

The Pentax allows me to photograph tack sharp images and print up to 60″x80″. The color is amazing, and it’s the same sensor as most $20000 cameras. I don’t need anything more than that.

The RB67 (with Kodak Ektar 100) is my heart and soul camera… the one I use when I want to take some time and really immerse myself in the process. These photos are just for me.

What role does the photographer have in society?

The photographer has an opportunity to convey a message through art or documentation of changes in society.

You can find out more about Kevin’s work here

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