By Garrett Estrada, Eureka Sentinel Staff Writer
Armed with a disposable 35mm Kodak camera, photographer Deon Reynolds from Eureka looked a bit out of place on the cowboy ranch. Reynolds was shooting “very unassuming” photos of what he thought was an abandoned building.
Then 600 cattle showed up.
“One of the places that I had been going to photograph over and over again, there were a bunch of cowboys there with their cattle. Turns out this place that looked abandoned was used once every spring for cattle brandings,” Reynolds said.
The cowboys talked to Reynolds about his work and eventually started having him come around more. Once he became part of their inner circle, Reynolds switched focus and aimed his lens at capturing the cowboy life in Nevada.
“Once the cowboys started talking to me and started inviting me to different events, I found it really exciting,” Reynolds said. “It was such a family orientated orchestration.”
His work, titled “Where Cowboys Roam,” will go on display at the Robert Anderson Gallery in Denver starting Jan. 10. Black and white photos taken from his old Kodak show an intimate look inside the lives of Nevada ranchers.
“Once you really get to know these folks and get involved with their day to day actions that they find mundane, I find, photographically, it to be very exciting,” Reynolds said.
The imagery pops in black and white from Reynolds old Kodak camera. He said he purposefully eschewed modern cameras to lend authenticity to the old-fashioned methods of the cowboys.
“I like the lack of quality. It takes away the sharpness so you are more inclined to look at the shapes and values instead of the sharp details of the image.”
Robert Anderson, the owner of the gallery that will feature Reynolds’s work, appreciated the unique look to Reynolds work.
“The thing that I like about him is that he produces terrific images using a very lo-tech approach. And it shows you that it is the eye, rather than the equipment, that wins the day,” Anderson said.
After moving his gallery from New York City to Denver, Anderson wanted to feature artists that could encapsulate the West. When he came across Reynolds’s photos, he said the work “struck” him, and he reached out to feature it in his gallery.
“He has some great stark images. Fences, windmills and wide open places that gives the work a real sense of place,” said Anderson. “When he goes to these fairly isolated corrals that come to life once a year, with family and friends coming in for a branding, it tells a great story.”
Reynolds’s work will be on display at the Robert Anderson Gallery through March 8.