About Douglas mason, photographer

History | Resume | Carbon Neutral Studio

doug-inyardAbout my work

I have been a photographer for over 40 years and just don’t get tired of it. An effort to infuse my images with emotional content while staying on the cutting edge of technical processes keeps me excited about each new project. Summers are filled with music festivals such as “The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival”, “Bonnaroo”, “Outside Lands” and the “Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals”. I bring the same enthusiasm to weddings or other events that I do to the festivals. Whether I am pursuing commercial or fine art, there is a scene, a person, or a product to be felt, analyzed and understood and I try to communicate that understanding photographically using the skills, (and tricks) that I have learned over the past 40 years. My goal is to distill an event to the fewest possible images while showing the broadest possible range of emotion and fact. While documenting I try to be as unobtrusive as possible and to bring positive energy and clarity to the event. I have photographed weddings as far away as Italy, Costa Rica and Guatemala and traveled throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Technical mastery has always been extremely important to me; and I have never stopped studying the newest and oldest photographic techniques. My latest quest has been to build a truly carbon neutral business (and home). To that end, I’ve created a passive solar home and installed a windmill to produce 75% of my electricity. Soon I will add some photovoltaic cells to the studio to produce in the months with no wind.




I knew 40 years ago that I would be a photographer. Photography has always been my primary artistic and creative outlet. The Ocean City Sentential Ledger was where I started my career at the age of 17. I went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, where I was very lucky to learn photography during the days of film, chemicals and fine printing in the darkroom. Shooting with an 8”x10” camera and developing one frame at a time encourages one to pay careful attention to the image.

After college I worked in and around New York City for photographers Sepp Seitz, a corporate and studio photographer, Mike Yamashita  of the National Geographic Society, and fine art photographer Larry Fink. I worked in the Polaroid 20”x 24” studio at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and on location around the world.

I was immersed into the digital world in the early 90’s as I worked on MayaQuest, an interactive expedition to Central America. We invented an early form of virtual reality, mapped Mayan ruins, sent photographs, video, and stories via satellite back to, and at the direction of, 2000 elementary schools in the United States.

plainsI started teaching at Lehigh University in 1985 and did so for 20 years. While there, I developed curriculum for classes such as Photoshop, the history of photography, photo 1 & 2, and mixed media photography. As a “Professor of Practice” I was free to pursue my photographic career while teaching several classes per semester.

monkeyFor the past 25 years, I’ve been exploring the music world, shooting as staff photographer for such live events as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Essence Music Festival, Bonnaroo, and the Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals. I sell these images through Getty Images.

Over the last few years, I’ve re-designed and renovated an old (1768) farm house and barn into a home and studio. With a windmill for electricity and passive solar heating design we are 90% carbon neutral. The addition of some Photovoltaic cells will bring us to 100%. I am currently looking for studio work, wedding clients and architectural photography.



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Festival & Event Photography:

  • NEMOA (National E-tailing & Mailing Organization of America), Staff photographer, 2013-present.
  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Staff photographer, 1994-present.
  • Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Staff photographer, 2000-present.
  • Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, Staff photographer, 2008-present.
  • Newport Folk & Jazz Festivals, Staff photographer, 1994-present.
  • Essence Music Festival, Photographic coordinator and photographer, 1999-2007.
  • "Inside New Orleans", Cox cable web site about New Orleans, 1998-2001.
  • "Bioneers Conference", Staff photographer for magazine and web, 1992-2007.
  • "East Coast Biodynamic Conference", Event photographer, 1997-2004.


  • Pilgrimage Routes of India, lead photographer, (Current Historic preservation project) 2014.
  • MayaQuest, 1994-1998. An interactive expedition, directed by schoolchildren from 20,000 classrooms across the country, exploring the world of the Maya - The Washington Post called MayaQuest: "One of the most successful attempts at distance learning to date". The 1998 expedition received 2 million hits per day for 6 weeks. Segments on CNN, Prime Time Live, and Newton's Apple created an estimated 3.5 billion media recognitions.


  • Magic Hat Brewery
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Putumayo
  • Robert Dane Glass
  • Bluefish Clothing (fashion)
  • Sur La Table (professional cookware catalog)
  • Targeted Marketing (Indonesian imports)
  • Moss Brown (fashion)



  • MayaQuest, 1994, (New York Times, Top 10).
  • The Family Doctor, 1993, (4 editions).
  • Dr. Ruth's Encyclopedia, 1992, (New York Times, Top 3).


  • MayaQuest, Onion Press, 1995.
  • 100 Tallest Buildings in the World, Council for Tall Buildings, 2000.

Travel & Stock Photography:

  • Woodfin Camp and Associates, 1984-2010.
  • Getty Images, 2006-present.


  • B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, 1983.

Teaching experience:

  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, Professor of Practice, 1986 to 2005.     (5 sections photo 1, and 2 sections photo 2 per year)
  • University of Florida (ITEC Panama Research Station), 2001 to 2006.
  • Northampton Community College, 2000
  • Lafayette College, 1998
  • International Center of Photography, New York City, 1996
  • Maine Photographic Workshops, 1993



Carbon Neutral Studio

windmillHarvesting sun and wind energy:
Our goal is to become 100% energy independent and the sooner the better. Heat, electricity and food were our starting points, and we’ll soon move on to transportation and cooking.

Passive solar heat & biodiesel backup:
We renovated a portion of our home using a “passive solar slab” which is an 8” thick slab. There are two inches of insulation below the slab and four inches separating it from the foundation. Sunlight coming in the windows in the winter heats up this slab each day, and that heat is released back into the room at night. The overall fluctuation is about 8 degrees, starting at about 68 in the morning and heating up to 76 in the afternoon. We get about 35 degrees of solar gain on a sunny day; if it’s 35 outside, it’s 70 inside. When it gets down to about 25 outside, we start a fire in the external wood stove which uses about 12 cords of wood to heat the house, studio and wood shop. Burning wood releases the same amount of CO2 as rotting wood, and with an abundance of standing dead wood, it is a carbon neutral process. Our backup heat source is biodiesel, which burns 78% more cleanly than traditional heating oil and is made from waste cooking oil in a biodiesel reactor here on the farm. This summer we plan to add active solar hot water to reduce the use of the wood stove even further.

The Eoltec wind machine has an 18 foot wingspan and is mounted on a 106 foot tilt up tower. The 5 bases are 6’ x 6’ and are 8 feet deep, using 40 yards of concrete to hold the tower in place. We have generated 35,000 KW hours of electricity in the past eight years. The Eoltec has a variable pitch prop which makes it spin at a constant velocity and expands the range of wind speeds at which it makes power. It starts spinning at 3 meters per second, reaches full output at 12 MPS and continues to make power at any higher wind speed. The electronics that connect the power to our house and the grid consist of a wind interface, which is a bank of capacitors that store and convert the “Wild AC” to usable DC current. The “Power One” inverter converts the steady DC to Alternating Current that matches that of the power grid.

Solar PV:
This summer we will add 5 KW of solar PV to fulfill the balance of our electrical needs and run an electric car.



©Douglas Mason   All Rights Reserved    Doug@DouglasMason.com     References on Request

P.O. Box 123, Heath, Massachusetts 01346     Phone: (413) 339-4756        Cell: (413) 772-9778