Special exhibit, reception to honor Mason

The stunning work of photographer Reid Mason will soon be on display at Artists at Work in Elkins. The exhibit’s opening reception will be Feb. 1 from 5 until 7 p.m. and will remain open through the month of February.

This special show will focus on the dramatic images of landscapes, flowers, trains and Civil War reenactments that he captured during his time in West Virginia.

A native to Los Angeles, Mason’s life ended in the community he had come to love. He left behind a legacy of superb photography that began when he was only a child. Mason received his first camera at the age of 1-. The camera was a brownie – the kind you hold at your waist and then look down into the tiny viewfinder at the upside down image. But as cameras progressed and digital cameras finally reached the quality of film, Mason made the transition to digital. He had been heavily involved in digital enhancing photography for over 15 years. And, over the last few years, he began to communicate his art in an entirely new way HDR photography.

HDR (or high dynamic range) is a process that maximizes the extreme levels of brightness and darkness that the eye is capable of seeing. By shooting the same image from a tripod multiple times at differing exposure levels, Mason was able to combine the separate shots into one that revealed much more detail.

“Reid had a signature style that was completely unique,” said Cindy Sandeno, president of Artists at Work. “He had the ability to bring out the distinctive, small details that turn a lovely image into a piece of art.”

Mason may be remembered most for his Civil War reenactment images, which were created using HDR to produce extremely detailed images that capture the “grit and determination” of the battles. These powerful images capture the dedication of the re-enactors and the worn-torn emotion of the battlefield.

“Reid took great care to remove anything in his original shot that was not historically accurate,” Sandeno said. “He would spend hours perfecting each image and using techniques to add in dirt, grass and trees in photos that originally contained blacktop and cement curb.”

Mason passed away Sept. 13, and his family has decided to share much of his remaining art work with the community. Prints will be available for purchase in an array of sizes, as prints only, mounted and matted, and some that are framed.

Please stop by Artists at Work during the month of February to get a last look at the beautiful images that Mason left behind. The opening reception on Feb. 1 will include live music and refreshments, as well as a chance to reminisce about his wonderful art work.

Artists at Work is located at 329 Davis Avenue, in Elkins. For more information, call the store at 637-6309 or, to view Mason’s artwork, visit www.randolpharts.org/exhibits/reid-mason-solo-exhibit.html.