Brooks Reynolds: An Exploration of Light

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Hamilton-based photographer Brooks Reynolds calls his work “an exploration of light,” and explains that, for this,  the best canvas to work from is a quiet, dark place that allows him to build layers of light motivated by different sources to tell a story that is both believable and surreal.

“Often I am most inspired by some of Hollywood’s darker films and meeting the aesthetics of that with hidden rooms, abandoned areas and rural small town areas I find exploring towns around Ontario. The stories I tell in each photograph are simple moments with vulnerable individuals often in isolated self-reflection interrupted by a hint of the supernatural. The creative focus is to give a sense of mystery the viewer by offering objective vantage point while selectively still being pulled into the story through the perspective of the character being photographed.”

How long has photography been a passion?

About 9 or 10 years, it wasn’t always a passion but when I get into something I tend to test the waters and then go all-in once I really find myself in it.

Do you have a particular genre that’s your favourite to shoot?

I really like to shoot people. And I really like cinematic looking shots, so when the two of those things come together I love it. It doesn’t need to have people in it but they provide a great focal point while also providing a conduit to connect the viewer to the photograph.

How did you get your start?

High-school photography with a pinhole camera. I got really lucky with a good photo on my first attempt and it hooked me. From there, I saved up some money to buy a camera and started shooting at the skate park every week and at punk shows on the weekend. As I learned how to light BMX photos, I really started chasing portraiture more and finding different ways of shooting them.

What is your background/education?

I went to high school, took photography there and then, when I applied, I didn’t get into university so I read as much as I could on the internet while experimenting a lot with trial and error.

What/who (where?) inspires you to shoot?

I’m constantly inspired by different things: Tons of different photographers (Gregory Crewdson to Arnold Newman and everyone in between), lots of movies (Fight Club is my favorite), different artists (from Hopper to even Toronto’s Kris Knight). I also love finding pieces to a picture and building an idea from there. Finding new locations is really inspiring and appreciating different artists provides a perspective to appreciate different locations in different ways.

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What has your greatest career accomplishment been to-date?

It’s hard to pin-point one job, or showing or anything like that. I have a few photos of mine that I feel I did really well and that feels like a big accomplishment. I’ve done a few photos and a couple videos that I feel I’m particularly proud of, like I’ve arrived in a way.

Can you share with us anything that you’re working on right now?

I’ve actually recently shot my first short film. It is in post right now, working on the score and tightening everything up. Also, I’m continuing my current series of photos until I feel I can put a cap on it. I’ve got an idea for a short series next, so I’d love to get to that soon!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I have never really planned too far off. I try to have goals for each year and make sure I get them done. I’d love to do more film work with shorts, music videos and commercials and perhaps tackle a feature at some point while continuing developing my photography and taking photos I think are cool.

If you’re in the Mississauga or Toronto area, drop by Vistek  to view his Brooks’ Photo Gallery, currently on display.

Now until November 23
Photo Gallery — An Exploration of Light by Brooks Reynolds
Where: Vistek Mississauga | 5840 Mavis Rd.
When: Monday through Friday 9am – 9pm | Saturday 9:30am – 6pm | Sunday 11am – 5pm

November 26 – December 31
Photo Gallery — An Exploration of Light by Brooks Reynolds
Where: Vistek Toronto | 496 Queen St. East
When: Monday through Friday 8:30 am – 6pm | Saturday 9:30am – 5:30pm