Member Moment: Reed Gustow

Film Club
Reed Gustow is a long time Film Club Member and supporter of PhotoLounge. His dedication to photography is inspiring so this week we wanted to share with the community some of his images. Scroll down to read our interview with him and to view his photos. 

Photograph of empty highway

PL: What got you interested in film photography?

RG: When I started, that was all there was. This was in the 1960s. 

Photograph of empty swing sets

PL: What type of camera do you shoot with?

RG: I have a Pentax K-1000 and for digital, a Sony A7iv. 

Photograph of neon blue light on ceiling

PL: There are a mix of black and white and color photos within this collection. What are some qualities that you like about both black and white and color photography?

RG: Black and white tends to put more emphasis on the image itself - the person, the scene, whatever the key subject is. Sometimes color doesn’t add a lot to a given image. However, color can be critical in providing impact. My night photography depends on the richness of color we see as provided by artificial light in contrast with the deep shadows around the subject. 

Photograph of parked white van in an alley

Photograph of street corner at night

PL: Many of your photos capture darker street scenes. What do you like about photographing these types of scenes? What is challenging about it?

RG: Night has more emotional impact. Night is associated with more special times - going out with someone; dinner dates; often, danger and intrigue. New Years is celebrated at night, as are many religious occasions. Popular songs refer to night as special; work is done, we can celebrate, we can have some fun. 

The challenge of night has a few aspects: low light means that your ISO/shutter speed/f/stop may not be as easy to work with. A tripod would help with some of that, but I don’t like to carry one around. And realistically, it IS a little more dangerous at night, depending on where you are. You have to be very conscious of who is around you. Also, you are more dependent on what someone’s lighting choices are, in commercial areas. 

Photograph of blue back door in an alley

PL: None of your photos include people. Is this an intention choice? If so, why?

RG: Yes, it is intentional. I am not a street photographer; I shoot the scenes through which people move. I am more interested in the cityscapes than in people out on the street. The way I like to shoot people is in more controlled environments, a studio for example. I do like portrait work and now that the pandemic seems to be receding, I can do more of it. I can’t say that I never have people in my cityscape images, but it is rare. 

Photograph of broken cars and deserted street

Photograph of the side of a building

PL: Out of all of these photos, which one is your favorite and why?

RG: That is a hard call. For black and white, it would be the wrecked car with the pigeon, and for color, the chair below the orange window. 

I like the car with pigeon scene because it is a stark depiction of decay or abandonment, but with a little touch of humor. As to the orange window - the lines of the fire escape and the juxtaposition of the chair, window, and small objects on the windowsill just struck me immediately when I saw it; I had to take that photo. 

Photograph of side door entrance from street at night


Every day, Club Members take exceptional pictures. If you are not a Film Club Member yet what are you waiting for? Join today to support the photo community in Philly and to start saving money on film processing!


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