Artist Reception at the Western Folklife Center

Please join us in Elko to celebrate Nevada Day, Saturday October 30th at the Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery for an Artists Reception from 4:00 – 6:00 pm for my “Where the Cowboy Once Roamed” show. Trish and I hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you there!  The Western Folklife Center has many activities throughout the day during their Community Open House and all are welcome.  Details below.

Looking for a meaningful way to celebrate Nevada Day weekend with your family and friends? The Western Folklife Center and Utah State University’s Special Collections & Archives invites ranchers, cowboys, ranch hands and other Elko County residents to a Community Open House on Saturday, October 30, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. USU staff will be at the on hand to collect and preserve stories, photographs, diaries, letters and other documents reflecting ranch and rural life. The day will be dedicated to sharing everyday stories of life in northern Nevada so current and future generations may enjoy them.

Do you have photographs and documents you want to preserve and share with others? Bring 20 of your favorite images to the Open House. We will scan them, collect information and send you home with your originals plus digital copies to easily share and print. We are especially interested in photographs that depict the story of ranching today including people, buildings and activities. The scanned images will become part of the USU Special Collections & Archives’ Ranch Family Documentation Project. The USU librarians will also share some of the best ways to store your photographs and other valued documents so future generations can enjoy your images and stories.

The Western Folklife Center’s Wiegand Gallery will be open during the Open House with free admission all day. There are three exhibitions in the Gallery: Ranch Gates of the Southwest—a photographic look at one of the most recognizable cultural artifacts of Americana, representing the people and landscapes of the American West; Where the Cowboy Once Roamed—an exhibition of black and white panoramic images created by Nevada photographer Deon Reynolds using a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera; and, A Tribute to the Brian Winter Will James Collection—an exhibition featuring original artwork and classic books by renowned artist and author Will James. Deon Reynolds, photographer for Where the Cowboy Once Roamed will be on hand to discuss his work during an exhibit reception scheduled from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Food and drinks will be served throughout the day.

Special thanks to Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library; Brad Cole, Associate Dean Special Collections and Archives; Dan Davis, Photograph Curator; and Randy Williams, Folklore Curator & Oral History Specialist. Thanks also to the Utah Humanities Council, Utah Division of State History and the Union Pacific Foundation. This project is funded, in part, by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Union Pacific Foundation.

I began exploring ideas and images for ‘Where the Cowboys Once Roamed’ when I was creating scenic photos for the coffee table book ‘NEVADA’. Originally, I was captivated by the beautiful landscapes of the high desert. Though, during my travels through the state I found evidence of an era gone by and realized it was deteriorating rather quickly. Around that same time, I began playing with Kodak “Funsaver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras and found the format complimented the landscape while the low-fi camera quality evoked a sense of history creating the perfect look for my new found, disintegrating subject matter.

Western Folklife Center

501 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada

Located in the Historic Pioneer Hotel

Open Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 5:30 pm.

Open Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Closed Sundays and Holidays.


Hasselblad 501 C/M

I went back to the future last month and purchased a Hasselblad 501 C/M camera body, an A-12 film magazine, and a 60mm f=3.5 CF Distagon lens. I had sold all of my Hasselblad cameras years ago, to buy a digital camera system, and have regretted that decision ever since. Don’t get me wrong I really like my digital cameras, they are very useful tools, but I love film! And I love square images! Soon I hope to find a mint condition 100mm f=3.5 CF Planar lens to match and finish out my system. When I had my very extensive Hasselblad system years ago I found that the 60mm and 100mm lenses were my favorite and most used lenses. So this time I’m only going to own those two lenses. Keep it simple.

The following images are from the first two rolls of film run through my new (used) Hasselblad, walking just a few blocks from home.

Headstone in the Catholic Cemetery in Eureka, Nevada. Kodak Tri-X film.

General Store in Eureka, Nevada. Kodak Tri-X film.

Episcopal Church in Eureka, Nevada. Ilford Pan-F film

Window in an abandoned building in Eureka, Nevada. Kodak Tri-X film

I develop all of my own film on site, using Nikor stainless steel tanks and reels. I use Kodak D-76 developer (1:1), Kodak Glacial Acidic Acid Stop Bath (2%), and Kodak Rapid Fix.

Ruby Mountains

Earlier this month Trish and I drove from Eureka, Nevada (where we live) to the Ruby Mountains. We drove the back way there, traversing County Road 101 north through Diamond Valley, going over Railroad Pass as the sun came up, then continuing north through Huntington Valley to Jiggs where the dirt road gave way to asphalt. We continued through Spring Creek and drove to the end of the road in Lamoille Canyon deep in the Ruby Mountains. With fall in the air, the weather was perfect for hiking. Packing some food, plenty of water, a storm jacket, and some camera equipment into my backpack we took off hiking with lakes as our destination. We had hiked in Lamoille Canyon before but never with the alpine lakes as our destination.

One of the Dollar Lakes.

Another one of the Dollar Lakes.

The scenery was nothing short of spectacular! We made it to Lamoille Lake, and wanted to continue over Liberty Pass and on to Liberty Lake, but we were hiking with our 14 year old Red Siberian Husky “Ruby” and we felt we didn’t want to push her too far. We all had a great time, especially Ruby, she slept for two days as soon as we got home. We plan on returning again, and again, the photographic possibilities are endless.

This was my first time out with a new Canon 5D MkII, I had just sold one of my old Canon 5D’s and a 70-200 f=2.8 IS zoom lens that I rarely ever used. The new 5D MkII may look like the old 5D but the similarities stop there, they are completely different cameras, a great improvement over the old one. I was using my favorite lens the Canon 35mm f=1.4, I hauled along Canon’s new 100mm f=2.8 Macro lens but never used it (just adding ballast to my pack I guess). The Ruby Mountains were a great place to test out the new camera body, figuring out how the new functions work was fairly easy. I now know that the other 5D I have needs to go away and pick up another 5D MkII as a back up camera, as I will never pick up the old 5D ever again.

Jackpot Grant

I am a proud recipient of a Nevada Arts Council “Jackpot Grant”. I will use the funds to help create a new body of work concentrating on Nevada parks, wilderness, wildlife, and conservation areas.

The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Cultural Affairs has been instrumental in helping me concentrate and grow my career as a Nevada artist. Over the years I have been an “Artist in Resident” teaching photography and art in school districts around Nevada, early on this was very helpful in getting me into communities around the state allowing me to get to know an area and photograph it with more knowledge. Later I received “Professional Development Grants” which have allowed me to attend a Mary Virginia Swanson Marketing workshop on fine art photography, and two portfolio reviews, Photolucida (2009), and FotoFest (2010), these reviews have opened up new venues for shows and print sales, not to mention the networking opportunities at these events, which is very important to a rural Nevada artist. The Jackpot Grants have given me the freedom to explore Nevada with an artistic eye, wandering the beauty of Nevada with a camera.

Thank You Nevada Arts Council!