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From Salt Shakers to Skylines
by Krystal Bick
Apr 09, 2009 | 903 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Courtesy photo/Bruce Titus This image, titled "Desolation," was taken in Beckworth, Calif. by Reno photographer Bruce Titus.
A couple of years ago, Bruce Titus approached the owner of the former EJ’s Jazz Café in downtown Reno and asked to borrow all of the restaurant’s salt and pepper shakers for a half an hour.

“It seemed really odd at the time,” Titus, a Reno-based photographer, said with a laugh. “I just asked for all the shakers and for a corner table.”

The end result though, was anything but odd. Mere salt and pepper shakers, yes, but arranged artfully for a photo, the table décor became something else — an array of glass, silver-colored tops with a larger-than-life feeling.

“I look at the world differently for my photos,” Titus said. “I try to take pictures of things people don’t normally look at.”

Titus, who has had several exhibits around town including a permanent exhibit on display at the Wildflower Village Gallery in Reno, hasn’t even been involved with photography for all that long. He received his first camera (a Canon 35mm) for his high school graduation in 1971, but photography was on the back burner for nearly 30 years.

“I took photo classes in college,” Titus said, explaining that his previous work as a publisher for a real estate magazine let him stretch his photography legs, as well. “I believe that no one is really born with an eye in photography, though. It’s just practice.”

Today, managing his own Web site design company, Affordable Web Site Design, Titus has about eight years of professional photography under his belt with a portfolio of images ranging from breathtaking nature scenes to quirky farmhouse windows.

“I probably have tons of pictures of windows,” Titus said. “I hope to make a collage of them one day. They just have an interesting story to tell.”

But in fact, it was a particular photo that changed this former magazine publisher’s story altogether.

“I took a picture of an abandoned farmhouse out in Beckworth, California, about five or six years ago,” Titus said, referring to his photo “Desolation,” with a gray, almost foreboding sky and a weather-beaten wooden house. “It was the first photo that I really realized was art.”

Printing on primarily canvas, Titus uses his own wide-format printer. And although he originally started out shooting on film, Titus is a proclaimed advocate of digital photography.

“You can do so much in Photoshop,” Titus said. “Half of it is taking a picture, the other half is what you can do with it once it’s on a computer.”

His most common photographic subjects, however, rely much on intricate layout, focusing mainly on interesting lines and patterns. Close-ups of cacti, shadows and steel piping are just a sampling of Titus’ work, with composition dictating much of his pieces.

“I want people to look at my photos and think ‘That’s interesting,’ ” Titus said. “I strive for interesting composition that tells a story. I often just head out with a camera on a road trip and see what I find.”

And while his photography isn’t taking over his life (Titus cringes at the prospect of doing wedding photography) at the end of the day, if all costs are covered, he’s happy.

“I do photography for myself,” Titus said. “If I sell one, great. If I don’t, I’m still having fun.”

Titus’ work can be viewed at his permanent exhibit at Wildflower Village Gallery located at 4275 W. Fourth St. in Reno.
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