Thank you for visiting my website! I am a self-taught photographer living in Reader, a small community in northwestern West Virginia. My interest in photography began as a natural extension of my love of the outdoors and of my home state, West Virginia.
Many of my images have appeared over the years in Wonderful West Virginia Magazine. My work has also been published in Farm and Ranch Magazine, West Virginia tourism publications, and in advertising. My images have also been used by the West Virginia High Technology Foundation and The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. High-quality prints are presently available through this website, and also through The Art Emporium in Charleston, WV.
In 2005 I co-authored "West Virginia Impressions" with fellow West Virginia photographer Steve Shaluta. Published by Farcountry Press of Helena, Montana, "West Virginia Impressions" is a 9x8 book of images capturing the natural beauty of West Virginia. It retails for $9.95 and is available through this website, in bookstores throughout the West Virginia area, and directly through Farcountry Press.
In addition to the landscape, nature, and panoramic photography displayed on the pages of this website, I also occasionally do industrial photography assignments. My work in this field has been used in corporate annual reports and a variety of other business publications, advertising, and displayed as prints in business offices.
HISTORY & INFLUENCES
I began my pursuit of photography with an Argus C3 handed down to me from my grandfather. In 1996 interest in my images reached the point that I began to offer my images to the public and established Bryan Lemasters Photography.
Early inspiration came primarily from the various photographers whose images graced the pages of Wonderful West Virginia Magazine, in particular the work of the publication's first photographer, Arnout Hyde, Jr., who also served two stints as the magazine's editor. Later, The works of black & white photographers like Ansel Adams, John Sexton, and Bruce Barnbaum, and the large-format color photography of David Muench, Elliot Porter, and Christopher Burkett were additional influences.
I have used several camera systems over the years but, with the exception of my panoramic photographs (see below), the images displayed on this website were produced with the following camera systems:
-Canon EOS Elan 35mm film camera -Canon EOS 1ds digital camera -Canon 5D MarkII digital camera -Pentax 67 medium format film camera -Deardorff V8 8x10 Wood Field film camera
My photographic prints are produced using an Epson 4000 large-format pigmented-ink professional digital printer. The images are printed on Epson Matte enhanced papers.
I enjoy many forms of photography, but shooting the panoramic images found on this website has become my passion. While the world of photography has been largely overtaken by digital cameras, my panoramic images are still captured on film. It is a different approach to photography than what one generally sees today. Digital imaging has increased the productivity for most photographers tremendously, but my panoramic photography is not about "productivity", or capturing as many images as possible. It is about slowing down the process - focusing more in terms of striving to capture just a few great moments over the course of a year rather than pushing myself to capture as many good ones as possible. It is also, for me personally, a celebration of the craft of photography as it existed before the arrival of the digital age.
My panoramic images were produced using either a Nagaoka 4x5 Wood Field camera or a Sinar 4x5 Monorail camera modified to accept the filmholder from a WWII-era US Navy Torpedo Strike Camera. I dabbled briefly with a factory-produced V-Pan 6x17 panoramic camera but still preferred my beloved "Franken-camera" for my panoramic images. Besides, there is just something oddly rewarding about loading some modern-day Japanese film into a 1940's American military filmholder, mounting that to a 1970's Swiss camera, using a variety of 1990's German lenses, coupling that to a 1980's Italian tripod to support everything, and going out to shoot images in the "hills and hollers" of my oft-maligned, misunderstood, and breathtakingly beautiful little corner of Appalachia.