My Other Life: Layne Koyle’s shots of greatness

August 17, 2012 by JoLynne Lyon

Layne Koyle recently won the grand prize in the scenic division of The Herald Journal’s outdoor photo contest with this stunner:

photo of a barn with a fence in the foreground, mountains behind

…Which led us to ask him about his other life as a photographer.

“I wouldn’t necessarily consider taking photos to be my other life,” he said. “But for this article we can certainly focus on that.”

Here’s the story of how he got that shot: “When some friends ditched out on taking a hike with me up the Wellsvilles last October, I figured I might as well take advantage of the beautiful fall colors that were already present. When driving by this barn in Mendon and seeing the beautiful mountain backdrop, I braked instantly to snap a shot at it.  Even now, I am in awe of the colors that were captured in this photo.”

Q: Why do you take pictures?

A: It makes me happy!  I sit at an office computer for most of the day while at work, so I have come to gain an appreciation for the joy that a photo can bring to a person.

pink flowers bloom on a mountainside below craggy peaksLayne took this photo on a hike up Mount Timpanogus.

One of my favorite things to do for holidays or vacations, is to travel to national parks or other scenic sites to see how well I can do on my own at capturing being there. … I like to find a way to capture the moment to the extent that a person becomes speechless!

Q: Do you do anything special to get a good photo?

A: Although I was a photographer on a Jr. High Yearbook staff, and have won various ribbons at county fairs in the landscape divisions, I have never been professionally trained in photography.  I like to think I have a good eye for it though.  I start out by getting a basic camera without too many functions. Next, I practice taking pictures using all of the different settings.  Then I just shoot away. I figure if what I am taking a picture of elicits feelings of awe and wonder inside of me, then it probably will do the same for others.

A desert arch

Mesa Arch, in Canyonlands National Park

Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve done to take a picture?

A: There was this one time when I treaded water in Porcupine Reservoir for about 10 minutes so that I could get a decent photo of my friends cliff jumping.

Q: Did you have a waterproof camera?

A: No, I was just using the same camera that I have used for the past 4 years.  It is a Kodak easyshare that I bought for about $75 on the day after Thanksgiving in 2008. I just held the camera above my head and treaded water with my feet! … Those photos didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, though.

Q: What’s the next step for you and your photography?

A: Thus far I have only used the photos for my own viewing pleasure, or to share with friends via Facebook. After winning the competition, several people have prompted me to turn it into a business by making calendars, Christmas or thank-you cards, wall-portraits, etc.

Layne and mountains

Layne on the Crimson Trail up Logan Canyon (he had a friend snap the photo).

We’d like to thank Layne for sharing his work with us.

“My other life” is a recurring feature that highlights CPD employees away from their desks. We will return to our regular programming in the fall.