The First 30 Days on the Road

2012SprinterTrish and I camp out a lot. Over the years we spend on average three months (accumulatively) out of the year camping in our Sprinter. We did the same in our Syncro Vanagon (4×4 VW Bus) that we drove for 24 years putting over 450,000 kilometres on it. But, before all this I was well trained by my parents, traveling extensively in their VW Bus Campmobiles and Land Rovers outfitted for photographic expeditions.

1969AlaskaOne of the many creative endeavours my father, Robert Reynolds, did was to create photographic coffee table books for Graphic Arts Center. He designed hundreds of books for this publisher and photographed seven books in their state book series. It was his first book, “ALASKA”, when the real adventures began. I was eleven years old when we packed up dad’s brand new 1969 Land Rover and took off for the great white north, camping for months on end in an amazing wilderness. Then, for his next book, “TEXAS”, he purchased a 1972 VW Bus Campmobile. This was the beginning of “#vanlife” for me. We traveled Texas in all seasons exploring every corner for his book. Many of these expeditions would keep us on the road for up to three months at a time. Well, at least for dad and myself. On many of these expeditions, my mother would start out quite enthusiastic, but it wouldn’t be too long before I would hear, “Bob, take me to an airport”. What this meant for the two of us was fewer motels, more remote camping and I got to ride up front!


On May 1st of 2018 Trish and I ended home ownership. Our goal, hit the road full time, explore new places, meet new people and eventually find a place to call home.

We departed Eureka, Nevada late in the afternoon on April 30th driving to Elko to sign escrow papers the next day. The Sprinter was totally overloaded with the final things out the door: cleaning supplies and boxes of jumbled thing we’ve used to the last minute and other excess stuff intended for our storage unit. This was in no way conducive for comfortable travel in the least bit. We had appointments in Elko and Reno making it impossible to make it to our storage unit for several days. In other words, a complete kerfuffle existed within our Sprinter!

SouthForkThis was our first morning out at South Fork State Recreation Area, near Elko, Nevada. Overloaded and overwhelmed with stuff…

Several days later, we finally made it to our storage unit to unloaded our extra stuff. It felt so good to have a bit of elbow room in the Sprinter again!

We had several events to attend and engagements on our calendar over the next month in and around Carson City and Reno, so we didn’t want to wander too far afield yet. We purchased an annual Nevada State Park Pass, embarking on a local journey checking out Nevada State Parks. We decided to start with the two parks we’ve never visited before. These journeys turned out to be incredibly helpful to us.

We treated this time as a shake down to hone our systems, refit and move items to places where you could actually get to them.  And taking too many clothes is really a problem so we had to make some hard choices about what stays and what goes. In our case, we thought adding a few items for long term travel would make life easier or more convenient along the way. They turned out to be nothing more than a hinderance and something else to move around. We found the lighter the load, the easier it is to have maximum enjoyment out of our travels. Stuff only complicates the adventure, distracting you from why you are out there in the first place. It is very true, less is more!

IMG_9590Washoe Lake

IMG_0111Lahontan

IMG_0416Walker Lake

IMG_0199Berlin/Ichthyosaurs

We’ve now visited every state park in Nevada with the exception of the two newest ones, and one isn’t open yet (mid July 2018). Many of the parks have some fantastic and very underused trail systems. At each park we visited we hiked every trail and in most cases they offered the best park experience with virtually no one else around. Look for further posts regarding Nevada State Parks…

At one point, we finally had a little more time to travel further out so we headed east across Nevada to visit more state parks.

IMG_0877

IMG_0874Cathedral Gorge

IMG_0961Beaver Dam

But, the weather suddenly turned hot, so we scrambled north to Great Basin National Park to go hiking among the Bristlecone Pines at over 3,300 metres.

IMG_1207Great Basin National Park

IMG_1235

IMG_1231And, lets not forget about Rusty the adventure cat. He takes to the road better than most people I know. He’s ready for that TARDIS door to open to find a new planet to explore. He has really calmed down since we’re done packing stuff up in Eureka and have moved in to the Sprinter.

IMG_0806

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Carson City Mural Project

You may have thought that over the past couple of months we were franticly packing up and moving out of our bank building in Eureka, Nevada. You’d be partly right! Long before we had an offer on our building, we had set into motion the creation of “Roper”, our largest mural project to date. It’s part of the National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” program in partnership with Arts Midwest. Carson City’s event, also sponsored by Visit Carson City and the Carson City Cultural Commission titled “True Grit” offers art and literary events for everyone from May 1st through July 22nd 2018. This mural is one of the many creative interventions to reimagine vacant and blighted commercial properties in Carson City.

180507011“Roper” is located at 310 Stewart Street, Carson City, Nevada. Look to the rear of this empty building. You’re looking at the mural from the Nugget’s #6 parking lot, just two blocks from the State Capitol.

062212#1(Roping)

I created this image with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera, re-loaded with Kodak Tri-X black and white film. “Roper” was created at a ranch that Trish and I had frequented many times. We had made an assumption that it was an abandoned ranch since we had never seen anyone there and by how run down the place was. But, on this day, we arrived to find some cowboys and cowgirls sorting and branding calves. They invited us to stay and were welcome to make photographs of them working. What a memorable day that was. Thanks to all of them!

I process all my own film and make my own prints, including this giant 9’x22′ wheat paste mural. These wheat paste images are printed on 20 lb. plotter paper using an Epson 24″ printer, taking twelve hours to print and less than two hours to install. We had help from Mark Salinas, who is Carson City’s Arts & Culture Coordinator. Click the link for a 29 second time-lapse video of the installation.   “Roper” Time-Lapse 

180507058With one of my many Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable cameras.

180507045I love how the concrete blocks show through the image in this detail.

IMG_9140One of the RV campers made this sign from a pizza box to make sure no one parked in the way of our installation…

IMG_9147The day prior to installation Trish and I showed up at the site to prep the wall. We brushed off the loose paint, rolled on TSP and sprayed it off with clean water.

IMG_9160

 

 

 

We Sold the Bank!

That’s right! After more than five years on the market, we have finally sold our 1880 bank building (home and studio) in Eureka, Nevada. We have lived in Eureka since October 2005 and will be departing April 2018.

Eureka

The view of Eureka, Nevada on one of our morning walks.

Studio

Our Studio with walk in vault.

safe

Most of all we will miss the vault.

Livingroom

For over a year now we have been selling, redistributing, donating and recycling our stuff. We have less than half of the stuff we had when we moved to Eureka and that is still way too much stuff… Less is more!

sunroom

Everyone is asking us the same question: “Where are you moving to?”. Our answer is always the same, “We don’t know!”. This notion highly disturbs most folks. “What do you mean you don’t know? Certainly you’re going to rent a place to call home, right?”. No, we are not. We both have always felt that we don’t fit in the places we have lived. So, we plan on traveling around, exploring places, figuring out where it is that we want to be.

Richard Menzies wrote in his book “Passing Through: An Existential Journey Across America’s Outback”. “If you don’t fit in, move to Nevada. If you don’t fit in Nevada, move to Battle Mountain”.

sprinter

Follow us as we start a new journey in search of what’s next… We have several communities we plan on exploring at length. But, first we have some large scale public art to install and several Artist in Residencies to wrap up across Nevada before we set out across the West in search of a new home/studio…

 

“COWBOYS” at Northwest Reno Library

062212#1(Roping)I have a show entitled “COWBOYS” hanging at the Northwest Reno Library. Open January 5th through February 24th. You are invited to the closing reception from Noon to 1:00pm Saturday February 24th. Hope to see you there!

IMG_7084

Northwest Reno Library is located at: 2325 Robb Drive, Reno, NV 89523

Monday-Tuesday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Thursday-Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

101313#00(MustangWindmill)

I create these images with a plastic camera. It’s simplicity and spontaneity allows me to be more emotionally responsive to my ever changing environment. My camera of choice is a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera. I recycle the cardboard cover, remove the color film and modify the interior. Using a darkroom tent, I reload the camera with Tri-X black & white film. I use filtration while shooting and adjust aspects of processing to maximize the film’s potential. Photographs are made on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl paper with archival pigment inks.

062212j#25(WaitingToRope)

I made the images for this show at several Central Nevada ranches over many years.

040613b#6(Marvin)

 

A Letter from Senator Harry Reid

A Letter from Senator Harry Reid

“Harnessing the Wind” Construction

The construction portfolio of “Harnessing the Wind” consists of 21 – 6 1/2” x 10” color digital photographs, printed on 8 1/2” x 11” Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White 301 gsm smooth paper on an Epson 7890 printer using Epson’s Ultrachrome K3 inkset. I made five behind the scenes visits to document the construction of two utility grade commercial wind energy projects in the United States. The photographs were created between 2012 and 2014, printed by myself in Eureka, Nevada in November of 2015.

22_101311220

A large hole is excavated for the base of the wind turbine. Since this wind farm was built on Bureau of Land Management land, BLM archeologist contractors oversee the excavation watching for archeological artifacts. The painted diagram on the first layer of concrete is a template for the rebar. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

23_101311043

Rebar is put into place. A crane moves the rebar for the workers to assemble. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

24_101311329

Once the rebar is put into place, workers build the concrete forms. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

25_101311003

Workers pour concrete over the rebar contained by the forms. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

26_101311297

Ground wires are placed over the finished concrete base. It is now ready for backfilling with earth. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

27_042712034

Once the backfilling is complete, cranes built on site erect the tower. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

28_140618483

A painter prepares the surface on a tower section prior to assembly. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

29_140619229

Tower sections are assembled by site built cranes. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

30_042712416

A nacelle is lifted off the truck trailer and prepped for lift. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

31_042712075

A worker atop the tower awaits the arrival of the nacelle. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

32_042712325

Two workers place a lift strap around a blade in preparation for assembly to the hub. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

33_042712300

The blade is lifted by crane for assembly to the hub. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

35_042712308

Workers maneuver the blade for proper alignment to the hub. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

36_042712117

Workers hook up the blade assembly to the crane. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

37_140618459

A site built crane begins to lift the blade and hub assembly to the nacelle. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

38_042712173

Hub and blade assembly lift. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

39_042712186

The crane positions the blade and hub assembly for attachment to the nacelle. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

40_140619535

A worker attaches the blade and hub assembly. Pattern Energy’s Panhandle 2 Wind, Texas.

41_042712512

An electrical substation is built on site to connect to the power grid. Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind, Nevada.

42_130620016

Power transmission lines carry power from the wind farm to the electrical grid. Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind, California.

Here is a link to the “Harnessing the Wind” portfolio.

Special thanks to NV Energy, Pattern Energy and Mortenson Construction for their generous contributions that helped to make this portfolio possible!

Untitled-1

 

“Harnessing the Wind”

I am beyond thrilled to be a part of the Archive Collections of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art!

01_080812432Spring Valley, Nevada

My portfolio “Harnessing the Wind” consists of 21 – 14” x 21” color digital photographs, printed on 17” x 22” Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright White 301 gsm smooth paper on an Epson 7890 printer using Epson’s Ultrachrome K3 inkset. I made 15 in depth visits to three utility grade commercial wind energy projects in the United States. The photographs were created between 2012 and 2014, printed by myself in Eureka, Nevada in November of 2015.

02_080812436Spring Valley, Nevada

I was contacted by a San Francisco advertising agency in 2011 to document construction of Nevada’s first utility grade wind farm, and was excited to work on an assignment incorporating a gorgeous landscape with an industrial scale renewable energy project.

03_080812591Spring Valley, Nevada

Pattern Energy’s Spring Valley Wind is situated on 7,680 acres of BLM administered land, thirty miles east of Ely, Nevada in White Pine County near US-50. Spring Valley Wind consists of 66 2.3 megawatt Siemens wind turbine generators. The 152 megawatt facility started selling electricity to NV Energy in August of 2012.

12/17/2012 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

After negotiations, planning meetings and scheduling, I finally had the opportunity to explore the Spring Valley construction site in October of 2011. I located the lay down yard covered with pick up trucks, heavy equipment and temporary office trailers and checked in with the staff of Mortenson Construction. Site specific safety training and personal safety equipment are a prerequisite prior to entering the construction site. We were escorted by a safety officer for a tour of the site while working out the best way to accomplish an extensive shot list.

121912 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

We scouted locations the day before for early light and arrived the next day about an hour before sunrise. Provided we followed strict safety rules, stay out of active construction zones and wore our safety gear, we were free to roam the site making photographs of the largely unfinished wind farm. Shortly after sunrise, crews began arriving for their daily safety briefing. We met our safety officer, who escorted us to the individual construction sites. He introduced us to each site’s foreman, who in turn would go over site specific safety concerns and then had us sign in.

121912 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

My wife, Trish, who is also my producer and assistant, would set me up with equipment for the particular scene. Sometimes, she would need to stay back while I went into the active construction site with the safety officer watching my back enabling me to get close to the action without getting hurt or impeding construction. At sites that were less hectic or dangerous, she’d assist by holding a radio controlled strobe or fill card to help with lighting.

121912 Spring Valley Wind ParkSpring Valley, Nevada

Because Spring Valley is located on BLM public lands, excavation was done with archeologists observing for artifacts. The BLM also required the areas around the turbines to be restored to its natural state upon completion to have as little impact as possible on the fragile desert ecosystem. At this early point in construction, other than the grid of access roads, most of the landscape was undisturbed. I documented workers using heavy equipment excavating, setting rebar and then pouring concrete foundations. After those tasks, more earthwork was done to back fill the foundations.

08_130619090Ocotillo, California

We returned to Spring Valley in April of 2012 to photograph a much more evolved construction site. Although far from it, the site looked largely complete. This time, we photographed tower erections and 174’ blades being connected to the hub. The lift involves picking up a complete rotor assembly, lifting it to the top of the 262’ tower with a giant site-built crane while workers inside connect the two pieces.

09_130619134Ocotillo, California

Returning in August 2012 we photographed the grand opening for Pattern Energy which was preempted by stormy weather. It was spectacular weather for me though, so I was busy until it was too dark to shoot creating many of the images found in this portfolio.

10_130619229Ocotillo, California

Our last photo shoot at Spring Valley Wind was to document the entire wind farm in the winter. The snow finally flew in December and we spent a couple of beautiful, but very cold, (-18˚C / 0˚F) days photographing.

11_130620309Ocotillo, California

The success at Spring Valley Wind led to an invitation to photograph Pattern Energy’s Ocotillo Wind facility located on 12,500 acres of BLM land, northwest of Ocotillo, California in Imperial County. This site consists of 112 – 2.3 megawatt Siemens turbines. The 265 megawatt facility started selling electricity in July of 2013.

12_130621036Ocotillo, California

On our first trip to Ocotillo, we arrived at the mostly completed wind farm in mid June. Ocotillo is just 12 miles from the US Mexico border and it was very hot. For our three-day photo shoot the lowest temperate was 28˚C (83˚F) and the high was 46˚C (114˚F).

13_130621200Ocotillo, California

This photo shoot was very different from Spring Valley. My shot list was primarily to create beautiful landscape images of the facility and to make it look like it was functioning when it was not.

14_131121088Ocotillo, California

I was also charged with documenting this facility’s unique feature, the “Bird Tower”, an observation tower staffed by an ornithologist to watch for avian activity. The ornithologist has the ability to shut down the entire facility to reduce bird mortality. The facility was also stocked with equipment to respond to any wild animal event. I spent three days photographing Ocotillo Wind. We returned one last time to document the grand opening event and to photograph the fully functioning power generating facility.

15_140617185Panhandle, Texas

The next invitation from Pattern was to the Panhandle of Texas for a three day photo shoot in June of 2014.

16_140617301Panhandle, Texas

Panhandle Wind is divided into two wind farms with both facilities located north of Panhandle, Texas in Carson County. Pan 1 is located on 52 privately held parcels of land with long-term lease agreements consisting of 118 – 1.85 megawatt General Electric turbines generating 218 megawatts. It began commercial operation in July of 2014. Pan 2 is located immediately west of Pan 1 on 40 privately held parcels of land with long-term lease agreements consisting of 79 – 2.3 megawatt Siemens turbines generating 182 megawatts. It started commercial operation in November of 2014.

17_140617414Panhandle, Texas

The Panhandle of Texas is so flat you can make out the curvature of the earth. I thought the location was going to be a challenge since all the other wind farms I’d previously documented were surrounded by dramatic geologic formations. Turns out, the flat landscape didn’t make the location any less interesting to photograph.

18_141114206Panhandle, Texas

Pan 1 was finished and producing power and Pan 2 was well into its construction phase. I was charged with a long shot list of specific construction images to be completed plus a few landscape shots of Pan 1 since it was finished, and any images I could get of Pan 2 that made it look like it was up and running.

19_141114239Panhandle, Texas

We returned to Panhandle, Texas in November of 2014 for a one-day photo shoot to document the grand opening event and create beauty images of the now fully functioning Pan 2. For several weeks prior to the grand opening the weather had been dull, gray and raining and it wasn’t looking promising for photographing anything outside.

20_141114297Panhandle, Texas

We had luck on our side though. Other than it was 10 degrees and windy, we had blue sky and sun. The turbines looked fantastic and were operating at peak capacity. I came prepared for any weather and donned my arctic parka and took to the wind farm once again to document it from before sun up to after sun down.

21_141114709Panhandle, Texas

Here is a link to the “Construction” portfolio.

Special thanks to NV Energy, Pattern Energy and Mortenson Construction for their generous contributions that helped to make this portfolio possible!

Untitled-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

9th Annual RayKo Plastic Camera Show

I’m very pleased to announce two of my images from Burning Man have juried into the RayKo Photo Center’s 9th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show. Thanks Ann!

090215#12

“Temple”

090115#8

“Hat Trick”

I am frequently asked, “What is a plastic camera”? Simply put, it is a camera made of plastic or more specifically a lens made of plastic. In other words, low quality, crappy optics. For me using a plastic camera translates into freedom from the technological aspects of photography allowing me to concentrate on the graphics and design of an image.

These photographs were created using a Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic” disposable camera that I reload with Kodak Tri-X black & white film. Like most artists I’m a control freak when it comes to my art. I process my own film and do all my own printing, both optical and digital. I make my own scans and print these images digitally on Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper using an Epson 7890 printer with K3 ink set for an archival quality print that will last for generations.

The Opening Artists Reception is Wednesday, March 9th from 6-8pm.

The exhibition runs from March 9th through April 29th, 2016

The Opening is free and open to the public. Many of the artists will be at the artists’ reception. Please support the arts by attending arts events and buying art. Hope to see you there!

RayKo Photo Center

428 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94107
415-495-3773

 

Burning Man 2015

Burning Man 2015

Burning Man has never really appealed to me. Maybe because I become uneasy at the thought of large crowds, let alone a really large crowd in a place that Trish and I have been camping in for decades. Camping without a crowd, or without seeing … Continue reading

My Darkroom

Darkroom#1

This was my darkroom in our house back in Warren, Oregon. The room was an addition to the rear of our 1895 farm house on an acre of land just a half an hour from downtown Portland. The 12 x 24 x 9 foot room mirrored a 12 x 24 x 9 finishing room accessible via a 36 inch revolving darkroom door allowing access even when in use. The finishing room is where I had computers, printers and scanners along with flat files and framing equipment, to complete any kind of printing project. The darkroom had room to adapt to many kinds of darkroom needs. Above the 16 feet of stainless steel sink note the plastic perforated pipe, a plastic fan sucked the air off the sink removing the chemical odors very efficiently. Two wall mounted “Omega” D5 XL’s, one fitted with an “Arista” Cold Light Head, the other an Omega color head. A “Thomas” sodium vapor safe light makes working in the room as bright as day.

Darkroom#2

I miss this room very much! The need for a darkroom and larger studio/shop space has been a major factor for our need to move. We will miss our 1880 bank building complete with walk-In vault, but we need a lot more square feet to work in. We have had our building here in Eureka, Nevada “For Sale”for over three years now. I must admit I’m growing impatient… My current darkroom is a half bath off the studio, at least it has the space to develop film. I still have all of the darkroom equipment, but no room to set it up in. I am very much ready to start making silver prints again, not to mention Platinum/Palladium prints. Where will my new darkroom be? Where should our next move take us?