Photographic Equipment

I’m usually not one to talk photo equipment. For the most part, this subject bores me. I really don’t care what brand of camera you use. It’s your imagination and your mind’s eye that creates the image, not the equipment. Cameras are nothing more than tools, the images created with them can be art, or at least very cool! That’s the part that turns me on. So often I’m asked about equipment, so on this rare, weak moment I’m going to blah, blah, blah you with some equipment talk. If equipment talk bores you too, at least scroll down and look at the pretty pictures!

Here are a few of the photographic styles I create and a brief background on them. This is in no way an endorsement of any brand what so ever.

sumpterrailroad“Sumpter  Railroad”

It’s simply amazing how many times someone has approached one of us wanting to know what kind of camera we use, because they want to buy that camera since it made such amazing photos. This makes as much sense as if I had the same kind of paint brushes as Leonardo da Vinci had, I could paint the Mona Lisa, right? It’s good for a laugh anyway!

roundbottle“Round Jar”

These first three images are Polaroid Transfers. I created them using a 4×5 camera in the field with a Polaroid back and type 59 Polaroid film. After I make the exposure, I remove the sheet film without processing it. I then bring them back to the darkroom (for subdued light, not total darkness). Then, with a brayer, roll them onto neutral pH watercolour paper instead of using the Polaroid material.

necatawa_04“Nahcotta Boat”

I must admit I am a reforming equipment whore. These technical tools appeal to the geek in me. They are indeed fun to play with, from analog to digital. They all have their place in regards to what kind of image you want to create. When I first preconceive an image in my mind, I’m also figuring out how to best accomplish what my mind sees. Do I load a roll of expired film into a pin hole camera, or use a high resolution digital?…

122514b#1“Altoona Piles”

Most of the equipment I lust for is old and out dated, kinda like me, I guess… Or, like in the case of these three black and white panoramic images, created with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X film.

041014#26a“Purgatories”

I started shooting with these disposable cameras back in 1992 after I figured out how easy they were to reload and the image quality was pretty amazing for a two element plastic lens. A few years back, I purchased 60 of these gems on eBay for just $1.69 each, as opposed to $10.95 at the grocery store check out line, back when they were current (1992-1999).

051009#17“Steens Highway”

A life time ago when we were fully engaged in the commercial world of photography, we owned an extensive collection of Hasselblad cameras (7 bodies & 11 lenses). I reluctantly sold them all updating my commercial camera case to digital. More recently, I have been buying back a simplified Hasselblad system with just my two favourite lenses (CF 60mm f=3.5 & CF 100mm f=3.5).

westernart“Western Art”

These three square images were created using a Hasselblad camera. Prior to the digital revolution I used these cameras commercially. I would buy Fuji Velvia and Provia colour transparency film by the case. I also shot a small amount of black and white film. Today, I mostly shoot black and white film with a little  bit of colour negative film thrown in.

101315#9“Ampersand”

While we were in the process of selling our house (bank building) in Eureka, Nevada we sold a lot of our “stuff”, including lots of photographic equipment. We sold all of our antique/collectible cameras, dozens of miscellaneous analog cameras, including my entire 4×5 system. Gone too are several of our digitals and all digital point & shoots. As my mind switches from commercial work to art work, I have come to the conclusion that too much equipment gets in the way of the creation of truly great images.

or-2128“Scappoose Cross”

Another film camera I am fond of is the Holga. I started to shoot with the Holga many years ago, mostly in fits and starts. With so many plastic camera photographers out there using the Holga and doing such an amazing job at it, I tended to not share my Holga images so much. Not anymore…

121117#18“Amboy Church”

Over the last few years I have been shooting the Holga much more than previous, out pacing the Hasselblad in film consumption. There’s just something about designing within the square that is so rewarding when it’s done right!

040316#6“Hardware Store”

We have been on the road for nine months now. During this time I have been creating more images than ever, in both analog and digital. The freedom the road offers has changed many of my outlooks on image creation, as well as life. Change is good!…

110609#11“No Trespassing”

Switching gears from commercial to art, has its ups and downs. The up side is the experience and technical knowledge you bring with you. Next, is the business sense needed to navigate the art world (although very different). Then, using known/favourite tools, to make image creation more spontaneous and fun. It keeps coming back to less is more. I’m finding a hike with one camera and one lens to be far more productive than carrying a pack full of equipment. Not to mention I prefer hiking with a lighter pack! We’ve repeated hikes the next day just so I can take a different camera combination for a completely different image outcome.

Digital Equipment

For the most part, but definitely not the rule, I’ve tend to think of digital as a commercial tool and analog as art. Recently, however I’m seeing this idea burr into oblivion…

141116078Valentine, Texas

I have a love/hate relationship with digital equipment. I love the technical aspects that allow so many options for image manipulation and enhancement. Plus, with larger image files, amazing resolution to go along with that. The hate part comes from the tech giants merry-go-round of upgrades with an ever constantly climbing price tag to go along with it.

181025022Chicago, Illinois

Someone wants larger files for their next job. Do I rent, do I buy? That quickly becomes a moot point as simply switching from a 21 Mp camera to a 50 Mp camera presses the need for some new lenses, since this high a resolution camera sorely pointed out some of my lenses faults. Then a new computer was needed as the old processor became bogged down with files of that size. This upgrade pushed me into the latest operating system, which required lots of software updates at much time and expense. Don’t forget the storage/back-up! The camera was the cheapest part of the equation. The Hi-Tech Merry-Go-Round, has gotcha by the…

160918091Smith Creek, Nevada

As you might have figured out from the geometry of my digital images I like to use Tilt-Shift lenses. This most likely came from years of in-studio 4×5/8×10 camera use. Also, I just don’t like seeing buildings and landscapes falling over backwards when you shoot upwards with a wide angle lens.

In my digital case, I admit I have too much equipment. I would really like just two lenses, But a few commercial jobs come up now and then, so I need to be ready to do the job. I currently have two Canon 5D sr’s 50 Mp digital camera bodies, two wide angle tile-shift lenses (17mm f=4.0 ts-e & 24mm f=3.5 ts-e), two short telephotos (85mm f=1.4 & 200mm f=2.8) and a macro lens (100mm f=2.8). I sold all of the Canon “L” series zoom lenses as these didn’t perform well as the file size increased, these include the 16-35, 24-105 and 70-200). Prime lenses are the only way to go if image resolution/quality are at the forefront of your intent.

140310002Kiowa, Colorado

Before the iPhone came along, we were often asked, “What kind of camera should I buy?” That’s a loaded question and one with a broad range of responses based on user needs. I like to tell people to go to a real camera store, with real and knowledgeable folks behind the counter, have them put a bunch of different brand cameras in your hands and figure out which one works for you. I know that doesn’t work on amazon. But, there are some really great camera shops out there and you should get out of your pyjamas and put some clothes on and go support them. Take some black tape with you and put it over the name. Don’t get fixated on a brand, that just gets in the way. Once you get to touch several different cameras, which one feels good? Do the buttons make sense to you? Do the ergonomics help you use the device? Or, do you need to spend too much time trying to figure out the buttons?

Living in our Sprinter van over the last nine months has taught us much about the gift of simplicity. This too carries over into image creation.

If you have questions about my processes, please send me an e-mail.

 

 

 

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Artists and Art Organizations

Sorry Nevada, it seems your time has come and gone. This makes us very sad, as we both fell in love with your amazing and inspirational landscape.

120115#18

Trish and I are full time artists, which means we need to make ends meet though our art. We did indeed make ends meet when we first arrived in Nevada thirteen years ago, but the last few years haven’t worked out so well. We have noted that many of our artist friends are also experiencing similar issues. I think it has a lot to do with the state of this nation, but that’s another story. Neither one of us have a trust fund and obviously we’re not married to someone wealthy who can pay for our art supplies and monthly bills.

06_032213#14(Nothing)

From our perspective, many of Nevada’s art organizations can barely support themselves and most do so on the backs of artists, the ones they should be supporting. We are always thrilled to hang a show, however these organizations put the financial responsibility on the artist for delivery of a gallery ready show. Do you have any idea what that costs? Not to mention how much we already have into our works (Education, time, materials, transportation, etc)? Think about it, it’s not cheap! Why do you always want something for free? Most of these galleries/organizations don’t actively work for the artist to make sales, it’s just entertainment for the public and putting their space in the limelight. Many of these galleries often have hours that are not conducive for folks to visit or are simply closed when they say they’re supposed to be open. We have had so many complaints from folks because they were unable to visit one of our exhibits. Exposure is always a good thing, but if they have weird hours, or a location that is difficult to find, what good is that? Artists need to make a living and sales are beneficial to both the artist and the hosting gallery. Years ago, most real galleries and arts organizations would compensate artists for hanging a show. This would help, as now days it’s always money out of our pockets, not theirs. We make these galleries/organizations look amazing, at our expense. The least they could do is work for us, too.

032812#18

Many Nevada non profits ask us to make art donations, and we have gladly fulfilled their requests many times. While we both received lots of thank you’s, donations have never lead to a sale. It seems to only bring in more requests for art donations. Making an art donation takes time and money to create, frame and deliver. While we like supporting the organizations, our accountant scolds us for doing so. There’s something truly wrong with this lop sided picture…

Apologies for the rant, but folks need to understand that art takes time and money to create.

Please feel free to make comments, we would love to hear from you!

e-mail

www.deonreynolds.com

www.trishreynolds.com

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

13 Years in Eureka, Nevada

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, Trish grew up across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. We met in a camera store in Portland, imagine that! This part of the Pacific Northwest is what we call the wet side of the Cascades. In other words, it’s usually grey and drizzly if not down right raining most of the time. The rain is something we ultimately dread despite our excitement of going back to the Northwest to visit friends and family.

051298a#3(7thStreet)“7th Street” (1998)

“7th Street” is located just outside of Eureka in Diamond Valley. I created this image in May of 1998 when Trish and I were exploring the state creating images for a “NEVADA” calendar long before we ever considered moving to Eureka.

WARNING: sunshine is habit forming!

030609#11(DiamondMountains)“Diamond Mountain Sky” (2011)

For nearly a decade we had been creating images for “NEVADA” calendars and eventually our “NEVADA” book, both published by Graphic Arts Center. This was before we made the move to Eureka in 2005. So, we were already very much accustomed to the sunshine, low humidity and the high elevation of the Great Basin Desert. It wasn’t long before we learned the shoulder seasons were the best for our outback adventures that were just outside our door living in Eureka.

001“General Store” (2009)

Moving from the damp and rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest to a completely new landscape in a completely new climate zone was nothing short of exciting! Eureka is a small community (pop. 500ish) and at 1,975 metres, it’s high in the mountains of North America’s Great Basin Desert. Eureka gets about 22 centimetres of precipitation a year that mostly falls as snow. Eureka, also enjoys 300 days of sunshine and due to the high elevation it usually doesn’t get too hot during the summer. We found the artistic possibilities to be endless in every direction. The flip side however, it’s a very long drive before you find a real grocery store.

009“Eureka Angel” (2005)

123109c#33(NEVADA)“Snow On It” (2009)

111417#14(TwoHeadStones)“Two Headstones” (2011)

123109d#11(EurekaAngel)“Sky Angel” (2009)

Eureka has several very photogenic historic cemeteries, a frequent stop during our daily walks.

111417#16“Main Street Cowboy” (2017)

023“Walt’s Western Art” (2017)

070416c#8“Alpine Hotel” (2016)

111109#7“No Trespassing” (2009)

013“Hardware Store” (2017)

Eureka is filled with historic buildings in various stages of decay, or if the property is lucky, restoration. Trish and I walk regularly and most of the time I would pick a camera that inspires me that day and take it along on the excursion.

040313c#1(EndOfTheRoad)“End of the Road” (2013)

010210b#9“Mobile Living” (2010)

007“Little Trailer” (2010)

Eureka’s mobile living is not quite as old or as historic as other buildings in town. However, mobile living is part of a miner’s life, whether they are hauling their tree limbs from camp to camp, or moving their 5th wheel to the next big thing. I find these homes to be very interesting photographic fodder.

052013c#5“No Outlet” (2013)

Living in Eureka was an interesting experience to say the least. We were consistently amazed at an ever changing landscape, providing ceaseless inspiration for our art work. Plus, the wildlife we encountered while in Eureka was nothing short of amazing (I’m not a wildlife photographer, so don’t expect that). Our photographic library in both analog and digital grew exponentially, a tribute to the fabulous space known as the Great Basin Desert. And yes, we have images available for license.

So, why leave, you might ask? Several factors forced our move. Economics and death threats lead the list. Nevada Tourism changed how they promote Hwy 50, “The Loneliest Road in America” and at the same time, the Eureka County Commission cut funding for tourism and economic development. This double whammy effectively stopped tourists from visiting Eureka ending our seven year run of the Eureka Gallery. Next up, quite a few locals made our lives miserable. The so called art collector that encouraged our move to Eureka in the first place, turned out to be a sociopathic narcissist (run don’t walk away from these people). Plus, the last couple of years we received numerous death threats from newly empowered, uneducated, racist gun nuts. The last year we lived in Eureka we mostly hid out of fear, going out at odd times for errands and exercise. Just flat out being gone was our best option. Clearly we didn’t fit in Eureka, time to move on…

Photographic note: All of the images on this post were created on film with either a Kodak disposable, Holga or Hasselblad camera.

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

Rogue Wheat Paste Installations

171118023“Old Woman” (Nov. 2017)

Trish and I started collaborating and experimenting on this series of five wheat paste installations in October of 2017. We were given an opportunity to go through and scan what ever we wanted from several boxes of old photographs that came from a house being demolished in Eureka, Nevada. This started to give us ideas for installing large scale wheat pastes of old photographs of people who lived in the community, bringing them back into old abandoned buildings they may have interacted with back in their day.

180727043“Old Woman” (Aug. 2018)

These five installations are all within the Eureka, Nevada surrounding area. “Old Woman” was the first in the series to be created. The excitement surrounding the creation of “Old Woman” fuelled us on to create even more! She is very well protected inside this old house, subsequently keeping her in pristine condition.

Amazing note: Without prior knowledge we found out that the woman in “Old Woman” actually lived in the house we placed her in!

Photographic Note: Colour differences in above photos: Top image shot with snow on the ground reflecting into building, lower image with the yellow of dried grass reflecting into the space.

 

171118026“Five Sisters” (Nov. 2017)

180727034“Five Sisters” (Aug. 2018)

The spot we picked for “Five Sisters” experienced some water damage from the non-exsitiant roof in this particular mine shack. Plus, someone pulled loose paper off, vandalizing the work. I still like how it’s aging, even though I didn’t like the fact someone tried to pull it off the wall.

180117041“Chair Baby” (Dec. 2017)

This installation takes us to another mine shack in a different location near Eureka. When I saw this room, I immediately knew the photograph I wanted to place here. We found this room this way. We do not style any of the rooms we have put our installations into, other than the wheat paste mural itself…

180117052“Chair Baby” (Dec. 2017)

180727111“Chair Baby” (Aug. 2018)

Someone smashed the chair since we last visited “Chair Baby”… Glad they didn’t vandalize the image! But, I sure loved that old chair sitting there.

180207009“Baby Watcher” (Dec. 2017)

This room intrigued me from the beginning with its slatted walls, ceiling and blank slate wall framed at one end, not to mention “Chair Baby” down the hall.

Watch a time-lapse video of Trish and I installing “Baby Watcher”. (click here)

180727038“Baby Watcher” (Aug. 2018)

180727104“Baby Watcher” (Aug. 2018)

I’m amazed at how well this installation has weathered since there is no roof to speak of on this structure.

180127026“Twins” (Dec. 2017)

An experiment on what to do with a nice corner?

180727123“Twins” (Aug. 2018)

We added more paper over the top of the door frame to the right to give this piece a more finished look. “Twins” sits in a space that offers more protection against the elements than most, making for a longer lasting wheat paste installation.

So, if you think we’re just camping out lolly gagging, you would be wrong… We’re busy coming up with the next new thing and creating all kinds of new artistic endeavours. Contact us about your upcoming projects, we’d love to collaborate! e-mail me

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

 

Wheat Paste Installations over Time

Trish and I have installed several large scale wheat paste murals over the past few years. I’m really impressed with their longevity and the over all quality achieved with an image created with a tiny 35mm black and white negative, printed on 20 lb. bond paper, then wheat pasted to a wall.

180507011“Roper”, our largest mural to date is 9′ high and 22′ across (April 2018). It’s located at the rear of 310 Stewart Street in Carson City, Nevada (not visible from Stewart Street). This image was created with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X black & white film. The panoramic crop is created within the camera, so the negative is really quite small. Yet, I find the quality of this image to be nothing short of amazing, unless, of course you’re standing just a few feet away. At that point you’ll see the grain of the film and the wonderful flaws of a crappy plastic camera.

Watch a time-lapse of us installing “Roper” click here

161216052“Sorting” is another one of my disposable camera images, it’s 5′ x 13′. It is located in the alleyway behind the Western Folklife Center at 510 Railroad Street, Elko, Nevada. The image above was shot just after it was installed in November of 2016.

180728016Same mural in August 2018 almost two years on, it is looking a bit tattered, but it’s deteriorating in such a splendid way, I can’t help but love this wheat paste more as it ages.

With the exception of the top image “Roper”, these are true wheat paste installations, meaning we cook up flour and water with a little sugar at the end, let it cool and then roll it on the surfaces as well as over the top of the print as the only glue. For “Roper”, we used industrial grade wall paper adhesive, as Carson City was looking for a longer lasting “temporary art” installation. The Carson City mural site faces west and is blasted every afternoon by the hot Nevada sun. The Elko murals are in an alleyway protecting them from Nevada’s weather extremes.

161216032“Mustang Windmill” same camera, 5′ x 13′, was located in the alleyway behind the Carlin Trend Building in Elko, Nevada. It didn’t fare so well, as it got tagged shortly after it went up, but then, water from snow melt ran off the side of the building down the wall, mostly destroying the image all together. We removed it’s carcass after three short months.

160412_7427“Roping”, 5′ x 7′ by Trish Reynolds was created using a 1920’s Kodak Brownie camera loaded with Ilford FP-4 120 film. This was the first large scale public art installation Trish and I collaborated on (Nov. 2016).

180728010“Roping”, almost two years later, has taken on an entirely new look (August 2018).

170416079The alleyway behind the Western Folklife Center in Elko, Nevada (March 2017)

161216026“Antelope Shute” 7′ x 7′ and “Horses at Potts” 7′ x 17′ Elko, Nevada (Feb. 2017).

170221016“Horses at Potts” at 4th & Idaho in downtown Elko, Nevada. This site too, didn’t fare well, as the abandoned building doesn’t have gutters and the water (snow melt) from the roof pours off the side down the walls, making quick work of destroying the murals. Only a small amount of “Horses at Potts” is visible between political signs as of August 2018.

We love putting these murals up. It’s equally fun to install them, as it is to watch them gracefully disintegrate. Looking forward to the next installation!

All images © 2018 Deon Reynolds

 

 

 

2015 Somerville Toy Camera Festival

122694#32(IbexDunes)

I’m excited that my image “Ibex Dunes” juried into the 2015 Somerville Toy Camera Festival, in Somerville, Massachusetts, Juried by Aline Smithson creator of the Lenscratch Blog.

Ibex Dunes was slated to be exhibited at the Nave Gallery, but due to logistical issues was moved to the Nave Gallery Annex at the last minute.

The Nave Gallery Annex is located at:

53 Chester St, Somerville, MA (Davis Square)

Opening Reception is Thursday September 10th 6:00 – 8:00 PM

The exhibition runs from September 10th – 27th 2015

Ibex Dunes is located in Death Valley National Park and was created with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X film.

More information on my photographic art can be found at my website www.deonreynolds.com

Capital City Arts Initiative Show

I have a show, “Tow’ring High” at the Capital City Arts Initiative in Carson City, Nevada.

July 8th  –  November 15th , 2015

Carson City Community Center’s Sierra Room
851 E. William Street, Carson City, Nevada
Open to the public during City meetings, most M – Th evenings

Every image in this show was created with a modified Kodak “Fun Saver Panoramic 35” disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X 35mm film. I process the film in my own darkroom, scan the negatives and print digital archival prints on Hahnemühle Fine Art Pearl paper with an Epson 7890 wide format printer. Trish and I cut, assemble and paint all our own frame moulding, plus we cut the glass and mattes then assemble. In other words we create absolutely everything, down to the very last detail!

Here is the show, better yet, go see it yourself, they look so much better in person.

And, they would look even better on your wall! Support the arts, buy art!

01_030512b#29(CowCampFence)

“Cow Camp Fence”

02_041613#25(KeepRight)

“Keep Right”

03_071212#27(RubyHillSky)

“Ruby Hill Sky”

04_032313#16(BUMP)

“BUMP”

05_041910a#26(NewarkRanch)

“Newark Ranch”

06_032213#14(Nothing)

“Nothing”

07_042109#13(SteensMountain)

“Steens Mountain”

08_050898a#26(WardCharcoalOvens)

“Ward Charcoal Ovens”

09_051298a#3(7thStreet)

“7th Street”

10_051610#21(HuntingtonFence)

“Huntington Fence”

11_062610b#26(DiamondWindmill)

“Diamond Windmill”

12_052509a#20(WHOA!)

“WHOA”

13_122104#30(HamiltonCorral)

“Hamilton Corral”

14_101313#00(MustangWindmill)

“Mustang Windmill”

15_102998#21(25MPR_II)

“25MPR II”

Month of Photography in Los Angeles

April is the Month of Photography across the globe and FATHOM in Los Angeles, California is celebrating with a truly unique exhibition. Every morning through the month of April FATHOM will hang a new solo photography show. Each photographer will have their own dedicated gallery opening reception from 4PM to 8PM or noon to 5PM on Sundays. All of the photographers’ work, in the 30 Days and 30 Nights Exhibition, will be available for viewing throughout the month. This exhibition format is designed to combine the benefits of a group show with the focus of a solo show for each photographer. The exhibition gives photography collectors an opportunity to consider hundreds of images from 30 unique photographers — in one place for an entire month. Normally, this level of access would only be found at a photography festival lasting only a few frenetic days. The goal of this exhibition is to showcase all facets of photography from fine art through commercial, and photojournalism… and photographers from all career stages; the completely undiscovered through museum masters. It’s Fathom’s first show in their new downtown Los Angeles gallery and they are pulling out all the stops to make it something memorable.

Here are the eleven images selected by FATHOM to be part of this incredible show.  These photographs were created with a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera reloaded with Kodak Tri-X film.

031213#27

“Surveillance” (17×7) Ruby Hill Road, Eureka, Nevada.

031713b#7

“No Deliveries” (17×7) Silver Peak Road, Silver Peak, Nevada.

032213#14

“nothing” (32×13) US-95, Nothing, Arizona.

032313#16

“BUMP” (32×13) Wiley Road, Gold Point, Nevada.

042597b#15

“No Tools” (17×7) Doobie Lane, Black Rock, Nevada.

051298a#3

“7th Street” (32×13) NV-278, Eureka, Nevada.

052509a#20

“WHOA” (32×13) NV-487, Baker, Nevada.

080705#11

“Slow” (17×7) NV-582, Henderson, Nevada.

101609#4

“Blackfeet” (17×7) Duck Lake Road, Browning, Montana.

102498B#32

“Rye Patch” (17×7) I-80, Imlay, Nevada.

122494#7

“Deep Sand” (17×7) Ibex Dunes Road, Death Valley National Park, California.