With his wife, Trish, Deon Reynolds owns and operates the Eureka Gallery, an unlikely art gallery in the rural Nevada town Eureka. He also recently became vice chair of the Nevada Arts Council. Where the Cowboys Roam, an exhibition of his panaromic photographs, is on display at the Metro Gallery in Reno City Hall, 1 E. First St., through July 26. A closing reception will be held in the gallery on Thursday, July 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Tell me about the work at the Metro Gallery. What’s the format of the photos?
I'm using a Kodak Fun Saver Panoramic 35 disposable camera. And I reload it with Kodak Tri-X black and white film over and over again. It doesn't last that long. The cameras are disposable so I can usually only get 100 or so rolls to run through it before they break.
So they’re just like the little disposable cameras?
Yeah, like those little yellow cardboard boxes you saw at the grocery checkout lines? That's where I found them first, and I thought, oh panorama, that'd be fun. … It's 35 millimeter film, and it just crops the top and bottom off the film internally within the camera.
They look so cool. It’s amazing the depth of focus you get. It’s really funny that it’s from a disposable camera.
It's a two-element plastic lens, and it's a 125th of a second fixed and F12 with 125 millimeter lens. That's why it has that depth to it.
Those cameras are getting hard to find now, aren’t they?
Yeah, they quit making them in 1999. They made them from 1992 to 1999, and I actually was running out of them and kind of panicking, and I posted that I was looking for these cameras on my blog, and I got this anonymous email through my blog saying, check out this guy's eBay. And he had 100 of them for sale. So by the time I got to them, he had 60 left, and I bought them all for $1.49 each.
It’s all Nevada cowboy scenes. What draws you to that subject matter?
It actually started with a show that I had at the Western Folklife Center about three years ago called Where The Cowboys Once Roamed. I had been documenting abandoned ranches and the cowboy landscape of the Great Basin and Nevada. And I discovered just by chance that a lot of these what I thought were abandoned ranches, are not. And I discovered that a lot of times these corrals are used once a year in the spring, and they gather and brand. And we happened to just run across this happening, and this couple, really nice couple that we met down at the Green Springs Ranch, invited us to come to their branding. And that kind of landslid into quite a few ranchers inviting us out for their brandings and gatherings and cowboy events. So now I call it Where Cowboys Roam.
It’s kind of funny that these locations look abandoned when they’re not in use.
Literally, a lot of them are 100 years old. They've gone through generations of family ownership, most of them. They simply don't need most of those corrals most of the year because they put the cattle out to range.
How are things out there in Eureka? You’re trying to sell the gallery?
That is correct. We're looking to move closer to the Reno area but still stay rural. We've been looking at Virginia City Highlands, Dayton, Silver City—the Comstock area. We love it out here, don't get me wrong, but trying to deal with the art scene is difficult when it takes four and a half hours to get to Reno and $100 in diesel.