By MADOLINE MARKHAM
Chris Mason has a thing for waterfalls. And for barns. And national parks. And even dead flowers.
“I want to capture what I see when hiking or camping and share it with other people,” said the 280 area photographer.
Mason likes to wake up early in the morning and go for a drive, exploring until he finds an image to capture. He scouts out the exact set up for the photo. If the lighting isn’t perfect at the moment, he’ll come back the next day when it is. He doesn’t like to edit his photos extensively; he wants to primarily capture the image through the camera.
People who buy his prints say they like how he captures lighting in the pictures.
Originally from Northeast Georgia, Mason lived in Colorado and loves to photograph the scenery of the National Parks out west.
“Often people say they have been to these National Parks but they didn’t capture them in the same way,” Mason said. “The photos recreate the experience they had there.”
Mason also shoots on his day excursions from his home: Waterfalls at Noccalula, Little River Canyon, Weinti and Bankhead National Forest. Old barns in the countryside. Sunflowers at Jones Valley Urban Farms. Nightscapes on Morris Avenue downtown. Views from a kayak at Oak Mountain State Park. Flowers, full of life or dead, at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Even a parking deck at the Birmingham Airport.
Mason has also started creating mixed media pieces by printing photos on metal and then mounting them on painter’s board. On some pieces, he touches up the photo with acrylic paint to add texture.
“It looks more like art than a framed picture,” he said. “It also allows me to be more creative and add texture.”
Mason first started photographing with a Polaroid at age 6 and graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta in 1995. However, after that he gave up pursuing photography until about six years ago, just for fun. His friends encouraged him to sell his work, and this year he started doing so at the Pepper Place Saturday Market downtown and later showed his work at ArtWalk.
Mason’s photography business has picked up over the year and is now breaking even. He dreams of making his part-time passion his profession, of traveling from national park to national park to capture images and share them with others at art shows. But for now he’s out to capture more sites around Birmingham; it’s what people tell him they want to see.
For more information on Chris Mason Photography, visit www.chrismasonphoto.com or call 470-7006.