April 18, 2024

The Pizen Switch Times

Established 2021

Portrait of Jim Benterou of Yerington, Nevada taken by Richard Massey.

Getting to Know Our Contributing Photojournalists : Featuring Jim Benterou

Written by Richard Massey

Jim Benterou became interested in photography while in high school. It wasn’t a photography class that inspired him but an older brother. His brother had extensive experience behind the camera and together, they began taking pictures of local Babe Ruth baseball teams in the Bay Area.

They would take the film back to their home-darkroom where they developed the film and made black and white 8×10 prints of the teams and individual players. At $2 a print they had a good little business and reinvested their earnings into additional supplies and upgraded their equipment.

Amos, the trail boss for the recent sheep-drive from Wellington to Silver Springs; Followed by the Super Moon:


After high school, photography took a back seat to work and eventually raising a family for Jim. During those 20 years, photography was hardly in the picture (pun intended!). After moving to Yerington five years ago, his interest in photography was rekindled.

Jim’s brother Jerry at Mono Lake:


This was around the time the Mason Valley News folded. With some new camera gear he set out to document the beautiful scenery and interesting history of our area. For Jim, his photography has always been a very personal endeavor. He isn’t interested in selling prints or entering competitions. He does it out of a passion and a never ending pursuit of excellence.

Jim’s good friend Joe Peulen, with Jim’s neighbor’s horse, Polky; Followed by Tom Gray, the owner of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad. Tom inherited the business from his dad, Robert C. Gray.


When the Pizen Switch Times was established, Jim saw an opportunity to share his images in a way that could benefit our community. Through his beautiful images and stories, he has contributed greatly to our understanding and appreciation of our little piece of heaven.

Storm clouds over the Singatse Peaks:


Jim uses the latest Nikon camera gear and ON1 editing software. In addition to doing stills, he has recently started shooting video. You can see some of his latest video work each Sunday during a live feed on the Facebook page for the Harvest Baptist Church in Yerington.

Wheels on a Virginia & Truckee locomotive; Followed by Virginia & Truckee Polar Express during a full moon:



With the recent purchase of a motor home, Jim will be traveling extensively in pursuit of more images and stories to share with us. His favorite subjects are astro-photography and landscapes. Additionally, he has gained well-deserved recognition for his beautiful pictures of our 4th of July fireworks. As Spring approaches, he will be putting his new telephoto lens to use as he learns the finer points of wildlife photography. So, as readers of the Pizen Switch Times, we have a lot to look forward to.

When asked what his best image is Jim Benterou replied, “The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”


Richard Massey, photo by Robin Travis


Richard Massey is an international award-winning photojournalist and freelance-writer. He has a passion for film and does much of his photography using vintage film cameras…as seen here. His interest in teaching has led him to start a photography YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChdW0Jjsca47EpKE5N_jtag