While in Junior High, Mason traded a Commodore 64 computer for a Canon AE-1 with a 50/1.8 lens. It was a good trade.
The AE-1 was swapped for an A-1 and throughout high school many rolls of film were wasted as Mason cut his teeth as a newspaper photographer. In college, he took to the darkroom and ruined several shirts in his quest to master his craft. With a degree in Journalism and a bag full of brand-new EOS-1 gear, (bought on credit), he worked as a stringer for the Associated Press and the Spokesman-Review in his hometown of Spokane, Washington. Struggling to survive on $25 per gig assignments, he took every job he could. He got lucky a few times and snagged real estate in the pages of national and international papers and magazines, but most of his work ran small deep in the seldom-read corners of pages with lots of ads.
After a year of chasing spot news and random assignments, Mason moved to Kenai, Alaska to work as the sole photographer for a small daily newspaper. He spent three years chasing moose and fending off frostbite to put art on the front page every day. Those were Wild West days for Mason where he often carried a pistol along with his cameras. Life was a bit more normal in Coos Bay, Oregon where Mason moved to work at another underfunded daily newspaper on the beautiful Oregon Coast. When he wasn't busy with pot busts and high school football games, he pursued sunsets and nursed a severe case of burnout. When a historic tall ship came to town, Mason photographed it for the paper and then quit his job and joined the crew. On the Lady Washington, Mason enjoyed teaching school kids about history while sailing up and down the west coast for two years. Ashore, he continued teaching at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Recruited by the Experimental Aircraft Association to develop education program for kids, Mason moved to Oshkosh, Wisconsin where he played with airplanes and bought his first digital camera, a little Canon G1.
Tired of the Midwestern climate and lack of topography, Mason returned to the Pacific Northwest where he worked in schools and on the Lady Washington before settling in Portland, Oregon with his partner Julie. With his roots finally finding purchase in the Oregon ground, Mason enjoys a wonderful life with his wife Julie, his son, Cooper and his daughter, Claire.
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Portland, Oregon, United States