While hiking in Los Osos recently, I discovered a small forest preserve of Oak trees. It was a beautiful place, and my fiancé and I spent a couple of hours hiking around and getting lost in the trails that ran through it. The colors and patterns of the trees and leaves reminded me a lot of my friend Kyle Naylor’s art work. His work consists of mixed media based design, starting with sketches and drawings, and then scanning them into photoshop where he digitally manipulates them further. Due to the process his work has a very organic feel to it, and his use of color and space gives his work a distinct look.
I was wanting to shoot Kyle’s portrait for a while, and after discovering the oak forest I knew I had the perfect location. I told Kyle to bring his sketchbook, laptop, and smile, and we headed out to shoot. During my previous hike, I kept in mind a couple of locations that really stuck out to me and after checking those out again, we decided on a huge oak tree on the edge of the woods. My vision was to have Kyle sitting in the grass and trees, with the sun as a backlight. Thus creating a nice light wrap through the leaves and around Kyle. I set up a strobe and large shoot through umbrella high and camera right to ad some fill light on Kyle, without being extremely obvious. I chose the umbrella because it has a really soft fall off, and isn’t as contrasty as a soft box can be, especially at a distance. The umbrellas can really help illuminate a whole scene evenly, which also helps mask a real obvious lighting source.
We shot for about an hour, had some good laughs, and then headed back to my place for some burgers and beer. All in all, a great evening, and photo shoot. You can check out Kyle’s work here. My photo hardly does the guy justice. He is an incredible artist, and person. Thanks Kyle!