Although primarily trained in all commercial aspects of photography, Kyle’s abiding passion is street photography. It began unexpectedly during an excursion to Nepal in 2014. On the bustling streets of Kathmandu, where there are no traffic rules (photos of people scrambling for their lives, and hanging on the side buses that promised only to slow down to drop off or pick up the quick and fearless), and where the hospitality and warmth of the people was extraordinary (photos of a weathered Buddhist monk, low lit interiors where food is shared with the stranger, and laughing children with perhaps their favourite uncle).
Inspired and back in Canada, equipped with
camera(s), film and NAIT class assignments, his photo thesis was “The Life in the Square” (an exploration of people who pass through the square). This is our Churchill Square, the central gathering place in Edmonton, for festivals, food, busking, music, and lifestyles of all sorts. He described his approach: photograph anonymously but use a model release (when asking for permission to photograph), shoot at the 'decisive moment' (a term coined by Henri Cartier Bresson), gather evidence over time for the history of the place, and make sure that photos are fresh and not posed. Most important, is to get the trust of your subjects. Communicate that the intent is to tell the story with a picture and not to categorize. He made it clear that for the street level the photographer’s intent and story telling ability are central. This is a responsibility one needs in order to be an authentic street photographer.
His choice of gear: small, compact, easy to conceal rangefinder cameras (one of which was Voigtlander Vito B purchased at the local Antique Mall for five bucks!), and 35mm B&W film. Kyle said that colour detracts from the story. Film forces him to think more about the composition of his photographs. It also keeps him from looking at the back of his camera to see if he got the shot. In the long run, this helps keep him aware of what he is shooting. His entire gear bag is designed, he said, “To give me more time to think before I shoot ... because the story is king.” Good advice for all of us who are waiting every day on the street for photography’s decisive moments.
Since 1995, the annual IACC NAIT Scholarship is made available to a deserving individual who is in the second year of the NAIT Photographic Technology Program and who has exhibited exceptional congeniality and helpfulness during the second semester in the program. Members of the class to which the recipient belongs democratically nominate this person for
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