Photography in Reno Nevada

The Photography of Grant Wesley

As a child I felt as an outsider looking in, never a participant.  A camera became the perfect vessel for what was then a shy and introverted 13 year old boy.  My introduction came from one of my fathers friends who was an amateur photographer who never knew of how he influenced  me in what became a lifetime pursuit.

My first camera was a box camera from the 1930s that used 616 roll film size that was hard to find in 1958 and is impossible to find now. My hands shook when I bought my first precision camera, A 35mm Yashica single lens reflex for $160.00 brought with money I made cleaning bricks with a hatchet.  photography  gave me the discipline and the job skills that have carried me throughout my life. I was a photographer aboard the USS Ranger CVA 61 Attack Aircraft Carrier between the years 1964 to 1967 stationed in the Tonkin Golf. It was when aboard the ranger that my work was published in something other than a high school year book. Photographs I made of the first American POW to escape the North Vietnamese and be returned to the Ranger where published In the Saturday Evening Post December 3, 1966 issue in a story titled “I Escaped From a Red. Prison”. Years later a movie was made about his capture and escape. The Photographs may not have been great, but I was the only photographer that got any up close and personel. A 35 mm camera earned no respect then because the top of the line Nikon was less than $200.00 and everyone had one, or one of the other top brands. I used a 4x5 inch Speed Graphic With flash bulbs the size of 100 watt light bulbs on this assignment and people got out of your way when using that camera. When someone got in your way the slightest poke in the ribs with the speed graphic got their attention and them out of your way no matter the rank. “Sorry Sir I’m just trying to do my job” always received cooperation from sometimes intimidating people.

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