Photography News 99 - Web



Arriving in the UK to live with his wife’s family during 2020’s first lockdown, Canadian photographer Kyle McDougall has acclimatised through a series of photo projects, aided by acquisitions from MPB Fromnew to old


Kyle McDougall is a contemporary landscape photographer from Ontario, now resident in the UK. His work is driven by a fascination with society, the flow of time and changing environments. He runs a YouTube channel focusing on the craft of image making, and is publishing his first book, An American Mile .

“MY FIRST YEAR in the UK was slap bang in the middle of lockdown,” McDougall begins. “And that was hard for all the same reasons as everyone else. Plus – as a photographer – I really wanted to get out and explore my new home. So, when restrictions were lifted, I started to travel – particularly to North Wales and Snowdonia. From near Reading, where I was living with my family, it’s a good drive, but nothing compared to getting from one part of Canada to another. There, I’d have to drive for days just to reach the mountains. “Even so, my wife’s family thought I was crazy, waking up at 5am, driving to Llanrwst or Beddgelert, sleeping overnight, then coming home the next day. Here, everything feels close, and the novelty for me is that the landscape can change so quickly.” The North Wales landscape is certainly a change from leafy Reading, but it was in the misty peaks and high lakes that McDougall found inspiration for his latest project, Reappearance . “I didn’t know the area until I moved here,” he explains. “But it was a nice contrast to my most recent project,

MONOWAY McDougall has gone black & white for his project in North Wales

An American Mile .” Indeed, with the latter focusing on dusty dereliction in the warm, dry south-west of the US, Snowdonia’s shivering and waterlogged hillsides couldn’t seem more distant. “It felt like a clean slate,” McDougall continues. “That really appealed to me after the confines of lockdown. There are similarities with my previous project, though, in that it’s concerned with these remote places that also have a very visible human impact. In North Wales, it’s the scars of mining and industry. Although you can feel alone and isolated in the wildness, you’re also surrounded by remnants – remains of churches and houses,

or the twisted machinery of a deserted quarry.” In terms of equipment and approach, there was a further departure. “I shot my previous portfolio on colour film,” explains McDougall. “For this project, I’ve been working with a Fujifilm GFX100S and shooting in black & white.” It is a shift in tone that suits his new subject matter, and comparing An American Mile to Reappearance is like moving from the sun into the shade. McDougall’s shift to monochrome was both a natural reaction to his environment and also “part of my adaptation to living in a new place”, he says. “It wasn’t a deliberate

26 Photography News | Issue 99

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