Creative Conversations with Adventure Photographer Kyle S. Ford

Written by Pratik Naik

I’ve had the pleasure to see Kyle’s work evolve over the span of many years. What I admire about him is his incredible work ethic, and continuously producing work that inspires us to go out and explore more. He photos scenes in a way that feel very relatable and true to reality. It’s a part of what makes his work so appealing. Naturally, I’m too lazy to be an adventure photographer. I really wanted to know what goes into that world and how it’s like as a professional. I also wanted to know what goes into his post processing choices!

Follow his work on his Instagram and his website

You describe yourself as an adventure photographer. For those not in the know, how would you best describe that category? Would it be fair to call it a mix of landscapes and lifestyle?

I would absolutely say it’s a mix of landscapes and lifestyle, often with a mix of sport/action work as well. Usually work with brands that provide products for brands that provide an experience or outdoor gear.

The imagery you produce is absolutely beautiful, what would you consider some of the most unrecognized dangerous of your profession?

Thank you very much. Some of the dangers have been wildlife, especially snakes in the desert. Some of the locations I shoot in the weather can change in an instant and being caught unprepared is never fun. Something recently that has been annoying more than dangerous but as I get older is more of an issue, body wear from the activities has started to rear its head.

How far do you usually go with processing your work and what is the overall intention of how you push your raw files? Is it primarily based on mood, your memory of the place, or something else unconsidered?

That really depends on the final product and who the client is. The landscape work I do I try to keep very natural, yet with a bit of extra something. The line is fine and I often have to dial it back after walking away for a day or so. The commercial work, I tend to clean that up much more. Often removing distractions in the scene and retouching model and product.

What would be your ideal client job if you had to come up with one? No budget spared!

I’d absolutely say that working for Redbull would be the dream job. Their athletes are second to none and I’d love to be a part of that team making history in the most beautiful places on Earth.

In terms of quality, what brands out there are producing the best photography to represent themselves that may serve as inspiration to others?

I mean National Geographic is the gold standard in this space. Redbull has some of the best videos I’ve ever seen. The North Face also does some incredible work and their Never Stop Exploring campaign changed Instagram forever.

Speaking of processing, you've really made us proud with some of your work with Infinite Color, what about it has been really helpful to you for people who haven't tried it yet?

Thank you very much! I’d say don’t be afraid to just play with it. People have a hard time with software at first and pressing things just to see what they do. I also really seem to enjoy the effects most in my work when done subtly, though I know some work lends itself to more aggressive processing.

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