We are excited to share our conversation with VIEWBUG community member Kyle Rosso (Kylerosso) who is a self-taught photographer from Vancouver, Washington, and has received various awards for participating in the VIEWBUG photo contests.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, how do you describe your photography style?

My style isn’t really cemented yet. I am relatively new to photography and like to experiment and play around. I am self-taught and haven’t had any schooling in photography. But I definitely love a moodier shot. I live in the Pacific Northwest so I am drawn to landscapes. But I love a good candid portrait.

2. In one sentence what has photography done for you in your life?

Photography has introduced me to a community of creativity that has helped me grow my craft as a photographer.

3. When did you start taking photos and what inspired you to get started?

I bought my first DSLR 4 years ago right before my son was born. A Nikon D3300. I wanted a decent camera to take pictures of him. But it wasn’t until this year that I really started taking it seriously and focusing on it as an art.

4. What has been your favorite shoot and why?

My favorite shoot was in the woods just west of Portland, OR. A man had turned a Boeing 727 into a home. I didn’t know what to expect when I got there. I’ve only heard of this place. I was blown away when I arrived. It was huge and parked in the trees. I don’t know how it got there. No one was there. The homeowner was gone. But the plane was weathered and made for a really moody shot. Some of my favorite shots are from that day.

5. Do you remember a difficult photoshoot session? What happened?

Recently I planned a trip to Lost Lake, OR. It is a lake that is in the middle of Mt. Hood National Forest. I planned on shooting the Milky Way over the lake and Mt. Hood. When I arrived, the region was covered in smoke. The fires had just started on our way there. We had no idea how poor the air would be. Low visibility and really windy. The first day was too smoky. But in the evening it started to clear. I made the choice to wait until the following night to start shooting. We had no service, so I couldn’t check the conditions. We woke the next morning to fallen pines all around the cabin and we were evacuated that day. So I never got the shot I was going for. Pretty bummed, but I’ll get it someday.

6. What do you carry in your camera bag?

Nikon Z7. I carry the Nikon 20mm f1.8, Tamron 35mm f1.4, Nikon Z 24-70 f4, and the Tamron 70-200 G2. Various filters and other accessories. As well as my tripod.

7. Do you have a favorite location and time of the day to shoot?

I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful area. Too many locations to narrow down to a favorite. The Columbia River Gorge is always pretty special. From waterfalls to wildlife, it never disappoints. It’s tough to get out at my favorite time of day because I have two little ones, but sunrise and sunset are the best light and always make for a better photo.

8. Can you share three tips with your fellow photographers?

The first tip I would have is to just get out and shoot. As much as you can. You can only get better by getting out and shooting. Second, I would say to really use your camera to its full potential. What I mean by that is learn the settings, shortcuts, and tricks your camera allows. It’s so helpful to have your camera setup and programmed to make a shot easier. It’s all about workflow. And third, try and get out with fellow photographers. You can always learn something new by shooting with someone else.

9. Please share one of your favorite photos with us with a short tutorial:
I took this photo in Spirit Falls, WA, it was taken late afternoon around 16:00. The light came through the trees at the bottom of the valley. I used a Nikon Z7, Nikon 20mm f1.8. 10s-ISO 64-f11. I saw that this was a popular spot for kayakers to shoot the falls. I wanted to catch some in action. But after the hike down into the canyon, I found myself alone enjoying the peacefulness of the most beautiful waterfall I’ve ever seen. It is not my best shot by any means, but my favorite because of the journey to get the shot. The only edits I made in the post were increasing the exposure and shadows. I added a little warmth and lowered the blacks. Bumped up clarity a smidge and I was done.

10. Please share some thoughts on your ViewBug experience as a photographer?
ViewBug has been so amazing. Unlike other photo contest communities, Viewbug has so much talent. It’s a great place to get inspired and learn.
You can see more of Kyle's photos by visiting his profile @Kylerosso and you can get more insights and photo inspiration by checking out our latest favorite tutorials for double exposure photography and portraits in black and white.