Friday, December 9, 2016

Inaugural Exhibition at BigCrow Studio Reno

Since moving to Reno we have been slowly but surely putting together our new Gallery space. Tomorrow, December 10th marks the opening of our first exhibition in our new location.

This inaugural show is a solo exhibition of my photography, both black & white sand color images: Recent Work: Photographs by David W. Sumner.

The opening reception is tomorrow, Saturday, December 10th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m
Check our web site for information on future exhibitions at BigCrow Studio Reno:

Saturday, August 6, 2016

To Zoom or Not to Zoom

We’ve all heard the famous quotes:

“If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough,” - Robert Capa

“The best zoom lens is your legs.”  - Ernst Haas

I’ve never been a big fan of zoom lenses, but I will on occasion use them. The first zoom lenses I experimented with had poor resolving power and contrast and rendered an image soft and flat. By the late 1980’s technology had advanced such that fast, sharp zoom lenses became a practical option.
Today zoom lenses are standard equipment for most working photographers.

I will use a zoom lens on those occasions I want to go out with only one camera but still have the option to chose different focal lengths without carrying more gear.

When I make a photograph I first compose the image in my mind then I determine the focal length that will make that composition possible. I then position myself so that the chosen focal length and envisioned composition come together to make the picture. I tend to use the zoom lens the same way I would use a fixed focal length lens. I don’t use the zoom to determine the composition. The composition comes first then the selection of the appropriate focal length to achieve the composition.

I’m primarily a 28mm shooter. But if I “see” an scene that calls for a 50mm lens, I choose my point of view, walk there and then select the 50mm setting on my zoom and make the picture. I certainly prefer to use fixed focal length lenses, but I will at times choose a zoom lens simply for its flexibility.

In the same way a photograph is made by the photographer and not the camera, the lens doesn’t make the composition. Your legs are still the best means of composing an image to match your vision, a zoom lens just makes the work a bit easier once you’re standing in the right spot.

Photo: ©2015 David W. Sumner

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Since Moving to Reno

Reno is a growing city with a small town culture and feel. Small town neighborhoods across a river from an active city center. 

Moving to the high desert east of the Sierra many would expect me to be interested in photographing the nature landscape. But I haven’t been interested in such subject matter for quite some time and leaving the San Francisco didn’t change that. Indeed, the landscape around Reno is beautiful and stimulating, but with regard to my photography I’m still focused on the patterns and artifacts of human activity. As I’ve said before, it’s the archaeologist in me.

Reno is an interesting blend of urban and rural and a place of seasonal living. Reno defies the stereotypical notions and images of both urban and rural culture. The essence of Reno is in the details of the interplay between its social and geographic environments. It’s images of these details I find most interesting and for now that is the focus of my photography; the details of Reno’s urbanization in an high desert environment of sun and snow.

Photos: ©2016 David W. Sumner