Nick Mason: Outdoor and Documentary Photographer

Thank you for visiting my website and I hope that you enjoy looking at my photographs as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

I am an outdoor and documentary photographer based in Cardiff, UK. My interest in photography grew out of my love for mountains and from my very first steps into the hills as a teenager I always took a camera with me. Initially this was to record the places that I visited and the routes that I climbed with my friends. Increasingly, however, I found in photography the medium that I needed to express my love of the mountains and wild places that have been so central to my life. Until recently, when not taking photographs, I worked as a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB), but after more than 35 years as a doctor I have now retired allowing me to devote (even) more time to photography.

I have been privileged to visit many extraordinarily beautiful places around the world, but I increasingly find myself drawn to the hills and valleys of my local Brecon Beacons National Park (Bannau Brecheiniog in Welsh). This unique landscape, carved from Old Red Sandstone, with its barren broad rolling ridges and flat-topped summits, presents unique challenges to the landscape photographer. I have spent many happy years making my way to a summit ridge before dawn, or lingering long after sunset, to capture the best light in which to show the effect of the changing seasons on this distinctive and strangely beautiful landscape that I have come to make my mountain home.

There are, however, many other important things to photograph. Through my work as Chair of Trustees for the charity the International Porter Protection Group UK (IPPG) I used my photography to bring attention to the plight of mountain porters in Nepal and IPPG's work at the two high altitude rescue posts in the mountain villages of Machermo and Gokyo. Tragically this work was forcibly closed down in 2020 as a result of Nepalese political corruption. More recently I photographed the impact of COVID-19 on the patients and staff of the Intensive Care Units of ABUHB.

Since 2023, looking for a new photographic challenge, I have begun to learn to photograph birds and wildlife. Undoubtedly the most difficult and, at times, frustrating photography that I have undertaken it is almost the most rewarding when successful. Regularly check the New Images and Birds galleries to see if you think I am improving.

Recognition and Awards, Highlights:

For a number of years, I was an Olympus UK Top Photographer, the predecessor of the OM System Ambassadors. My work has appeared in many photographic and outdoor magazines and has been featured in the Guardian newspaper. I have exhibited my Himalayan landscapes and mountain porter photography at the Kendal Mountain Festival and the Kathmandu International Film Festival. In 2014 my mountain photography was the subject of a retrospective exhibition, Jewels to Gather, at a private gallery in Cardiff. In 2021 my work was chosen to be exhibited at the Tredegar Medical Aid Society Heritage Centre - the Tredegar Medical Aid Society inspired the model on which the National Health Service was based on its founding in 1948. In recognition of my COVID-19 photography project, I received the 2021 AP Power of Photography Award, one of the UK photography industry's most prestigious awards.

Photography Equipment

"The challenge to the photographer is to command the medium, to use whatever current equipment and technology furthers his creative objectives, without sacrificing the ability to make his own decisions.”  -  Ansel Adams

There is a preoccupation with equipment brands among some photographers which I do not fully understand and which risks placing the importance of equipment above the creative process. The reality is that the majority of modern cameras and lenses are capable of producing superb quality images. The important thing is to find and develop a system that works well for you, for the type of photographs you are taking and in the environments in which you operate.

I have been using predominantly OM System’s (formerly Olympus) equipment since switching to digital capture over twenty years ago and for the last fifteen years the Olympus Mico 4/3 system. When travelling in mountainous terrain, particularly on skis, weight is at an absolute premium. The OM-D Series has proved itself to be the ideal camera system for me: small yet robust; completely weather-proof; excellent ergonomics; very fast and accurate autofocus for skiing or bird photography and capable of capturing the highest quality images with an extensive collection of very high quality lenses.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, about the equipment that I use, please feel free to email me through the contact page.  

All images and content of this website © Nick Mason. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without permission.