This photographer’s work is a meditation on nature’s constant changes

From the ongoing project tentatively titled “The Field.”
From the ongoing project tentatively titled “The Field.” (Kyle Myles)

Kyle Myles is a self-taught photographer based in Baltimore. I first came to know him because somebody told me about a great little bookstore called Baltimore Photo Space devoted wholly to photo books. As it turns out, Myles runs the store.

I spend a lot of time in Baltimore (and my wife and I hope to move there in a year or so) and so I contacted him to see if I could drop by the store. Myles was very accommodating and let me come by on a day the store wasn’t open.

The store is an absolute delight for anyone interested in photography. It ranks up there with Dashwood Books in New York City. If you have a chance to check it out, you really should. Myles runs the store with his partner, also a photographer, Victoria Hardy.

It should come as no surprise that Myles’s own photographic work is accomplished. It is informed by a deep understanding and passion for the craft, not to mention being surrounded by incredible books at the store, along with prints from photographers they know and admire that they exhibit as well.

I recently contacted Myles to see if he had any projects he was working on that he would be interested in sharing. I follow him on Instagram and noticed he’s always working on personal photographic projects.

He got back to me and shared a series that he started working on a couple of years ago. It is a meditation on a plot of vacant land and how, over time, it has transformed, and continues to do so.

It’s also an exploration of how the world around us motors on, with or without us. For all of our technological advances and intellectual feats, the world turns on its own — we’re barely a speck in the overall machinations of existence.

The following is Myles’s description of the project, currently unnamed but has a working title of “The Field”:

“This project started in winter of 2020 when I came across a seemingly vacant plot of land. I spent the next few months documenting it before realizing something was taking shape. It’s a landscape that can be found just about anywhere in this part of the country and feels reminiscent of places I would spend time in as a kid. It’s served as my escape from the city and a place to explore.

“While the land itself is unremarkable, it’s the changes and evolution that take place there, both natural and man-made, that make it special. Each season brings new layers and shapes to the terrain. Tire tracks emerge, carving new paths through the field, and trash is discarded. Deer mat down the weeds while groundhogs and foxes dig up new holes in the hillsides. Most of my interactions are with the animals I startle. I rarely see any other individuals, so I have created my own fictional ideas of who these people are and how they inhabit the space.

“I imagine this work will continue for some time. I’ve yet to experience any loss of interest or excitement in the place, and until that happens I plan to continue. It’s the changes that keep me coming back.”

As with any creative endeavor, inspiration for the work will inevitably filter through. And with this work, you can see hints of John Gossage’s “The Pond.” And I’d say, at least philosophically, there are some flecks of the work of Lewis Baltz and maybe even Robert Adams, who photographed nature and how it changes — although much of their work is focused specifically on modernity encroaching on nature.

Myles’s work here seems to be more of a focused meditation on the land, although you do see modernity encroaching in some of the images, like the one of discarded playground equipment and what looks to be the base of a transmission tower nestled in overgrown flora.

It will be interesting to see how this work evolves and how the vacant lot changes along with time.

You can see more of Myles’s work on his website, here.

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