Lauren Carvalho is introducing a new raw talent at her Hidden Lantern Gallery this week: Kyleigh Reynolds.
Although Reynolds has been shooting photos of whatever she sees for half of her young life, she did it for herself until just last year when her boyfriend showed her what her work could look like blown up and transferred onto different objects — such as metal.
"I was amazed when I saw the difference it made and the different look it gave them," she said.
Reynolds took a sample of her work to Carvalho and asked her what she thought. Carvalho liked it so much that she asked if she could feature her work in an exhibit.
The exhibit: "Captured in Metal: Photography on Brushed Aluminum" opened Thursday night and will hang through March 30 at The Hidden Lantern.
Reynolds works with various types of cameras, many of which will be included in the exhibition accompanying the images they produced. Her preferred tool is a 1960 Pentax, given to her by her grandparents, who bought the camera in Germany shortly before the birth of her mother. This was the camera that captured all her mother’s childhood firsts. Consequently, it carries significant sentimental value.
The scenes that inspire her to pull out the Pentax are not the regular beach shots, although she does shoot those on occasion. She is mostly inspired by the countryside along the back roads of "old Florida" and on trips to visit her grandparents in Enterprise, Ala.
After a day of shooting she sifts through her images and selects a chosen few to pursue further. Often they are images of a forgotten place or structure from which she’s been able to extract its hidden beauty. The selected images are then transferred to sheets of brushed aluminum.
Carvalho describes Reynolds' work as similar to reading vague recollections of a dream — both familiar and not, real yet indefinable, and different from other landscape photography that pervades the area.
"There’s an intersection between the support material, the effects of the finished surface and Kyleigh’s imagery that is so right on," said Carvalho. "Printing on brushed metal not only adds a new dimension, but it can also be transformative for the viewing experience. Because of the aluminum’s reflective, tactile surface, the image has the ability to change in various light. The viewer may be drawn to a new detail in the piece because it happens to be highlighted by a stray ray of light. The range of imagery presented in the collection from places Kyleigh has traveled is vast. You follow the photographer on the expedition. She captures moments in time that the viewer has missed but gets the chance to experience through the photographs."
Even though Reynolds is new to the South Walton art scene, she is not a newbie to the area.
"I'm a lifer," she said. "I was born and raised on Mack Bayou before it was paved. My parents had the Jimmy Buffett syndrome."
Reynolds said that through her work she strives to show that Florida is so much more than beach.
"This will be the first time anybody has seen my stuff off the computer," she said. "I want everybody to come out and see what's in my head."
"I'm excited to introduce this emerging artist, her camera, and her distinct voice," adds Carvalho. "She is passionate about what she does. And I'm excited to show her work."
The Hidden Lantern Gallery and Bookstore is located on Barrett Square in Rosemary Beach. Call 231-0081 for more information.