Photographers: Deon Reynolds

My life in photography began at age 7 when I noticed my older brother taking photos with my dad’s camera and asked him if I could take some, too. Dad loaded the Hasselblad, showed me how to trip the shutter and sent me outside. When I finished the roll of film I asked him to load it again, but he wouldn’t. Instead, he told me if I wanted to be a photographer I’d have to build my own camera and process my own film.  He helped me make a pinhole camera from Kodak film boxes,  took me to his darkroom and showed me how to develop the pictures I took. I’ve been taking them ever since.

I was educated in Portland at the Museum Art School, now the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and apprenticed with several renowned artists and photographers. I was a studio assistant and photographer, shooting catalogs and advertisements for prominent companies.  By the time. I married Trish -- not surprisingly, we met at a camera store -- I had mastered commercial technique and discovered that it wasn’t for me.

But it did give me the freedom to pursue the photography I yearned to do. Death Valley was my first subject, and from there Trish and I began to explore all of Nevada. Now we live in Eureka, NV in an 1880 bank building, complete with vault, where we operate the Eureka Gallery to sell our work and that of regional artists.

My best work is the product of curiosity: photographs I never intended to take, in places I never intended to visit. My color work is all digital now and is available through, but curiosity led me to take my black & white landscape photographs with a low-tech and unassuming approach.

Investigating and documenting the landscapes and rich history of the American West has become a passion of mine. I am drawn to the stark landscape of the Great Basin where ranching still happens the old fashioned way. What appears to be a desolate, abandoned, corral most of the year comes to life in the Spring when family and friends reunite to gather cattle and the annual ritual of sorting and branding occur.

My father was a prolific artist and Portland Art Museum instructor of drawing and design. He shaped my art path through art history and constant practice. I create these images with a plastic camera. It’s simplicity and spontaneity allows me to be more emotionally responsive to my everchanging 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.