Mason Prendergast is a 20 year old adventure photographer and videographer based in the Pacific Northwest. He has an insane amount of talent but what really makes him stand out is the consistency in his work and his admirable work ethic. He is one of those kids that works as hard as he can until he achieves what he wants. He has recently passed the magical 40k followers, and it's easy to see why. His feed makes you want to drop whatever you’re doing to go explore the mountains.
What inspires me the most is the people that I surround myself with, every single of my friends as well as the people that I have met really push me to be my best and try out new ideas. I am super thankful to have had the opportunity to start traveling at a very young age. My parents both thought that traveling and seeing parts of the world is one of the most impactful and influential things that you can do in life as well as it being educational. So rather than getting gifts for the holidays or birthdays we would try and travel as much as we can because it is more about the experiences rather than the materials. I think another thing that I have started to really realize over these past few weeks, is that even if you don’t have the opportunity to travel, you can make any spot look amazing. Being up at school in Bellingham and especially during the winter I had minimal time to shoot after class so I would go and take photos and make a video 5 minutes away from my house. I am a firm believer in the fact that if you try and have your camera every day or learn new things via YouTube or the power of the internet that you can achieve anything.
During the ages of 12-16 I was really into mountain bikes. I was fortunate enough to have a local mountain bike park right across the street (Duthie Hill MTB park) and I would go and ride at everyday trying to get better and better each day at what I loved to do. At the age of 13 I was getting the hang of it riding well and a guy by the name of Jasper Wesselman (who is now one of my close friends) had seen me riding at the bike park and wanted to make a mountain bike video of me. Later that week he filmed his first mountain bike edit and we were stoked about what we had managed to create together. He posted the video to this website called pinkbike.com, Its basically the equivalent of a You-tube just for biking stuff. Within the matter of a few hours it racked up around 5,000 views which was pretty big at the time and got reposted on the front page of the website. When I was 15 I broke my leg pretty bad out riding one day, I cracked my tibia and fibia clean through and cracked my growth plate in my right leg. I was super bummed about not being able to ride and such, it was a tough time but this is when I started to get more familiar with cameras. I picked up my dad’s old Nikon, and would go take photos of my friends riding at the park. So, I’d say that I’ve always been around cameras just never had the opportunity to have one in my hands. In early of march of 2016 I decided to buy my own camera a canon 6D where my passion grew even larger and I didn’t start sharing my work until I opened up my Instagram in late august of 2016. Honestly haven’t looked back since then and I am just excited to see where it takes me.
Well as of right now I am currently a full-time student here at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington planning on getting my degree in Sales and Marketing and then hoping to mesh that with my photo and video work. With only taking three classes this quarter I am thankful have Wednesdays off and use those days as a way to get out and explore. Being fairly new to this beautiful area, I have been having a hard time finding spots up here to shoot due to all the snow that has pounded the North Cascades. During the Spring time if you don’t know where I am you will probably find me up In the mount baker national forest, or the North Cascades backpacking. But a usual day shooting for me will usually involve waking up early to catch first light, when it is the best. I usually try to arrive to my location an hour before the sun is supposed to rise just to kind of scope out the area and see what will probably end up looking like the best shot to me. I then would go home eat lunch as I edit the photos and then head out for sunset.
Having started taking photos in the Pacific northwest and being surrounded by gloomy weather ½ of the time I go for a moody tone in my photos. Lately I have been experimenting with some other ways that I have learned to shoot where the subject is off in the distance in a landscape. What this does is that not only does it draw the viewers eye to the person in the frame but it also gives the viewer a sense of scale to the photo. Using a wide angle lens accomplish this, they are also able to see the beautiful scenery that surrounds us.
My current lens set up is currently a sigma line up of the 35mm 1.4 and the 20mm 1.4. with both of these lenses having such a low aperture they do incredible in low light, they make for some incredibly unique portraits, as well as just being really well made. Also with the ability to drop the aperture down so low when filming they give it a very cinematic look which I really enjoy. I interchange both of these lenses on two camera body’s I use. I have a canon 6D for all of my photos and then a Sony A7SII with a metabones adapter for all of my video work. I also recently bought a drone (DJI phantom 4) to get some Ariel shots.
At this moment, I must say that one of my recent favorite spots in Washington right now has to be the Washington coast. It might just be from the fact that I had never been out there until a few weeks ago, but it just absolutely blew my mind and I fell in love with it. Just from the sound of the waves and being surrounded by the green trees we have up here in the Northwest is just something that you don’t really get anywhere else. Another one of my favorite spots that really started my photography passion is the Enchantments in Leavenworth Washington. Over this past summer my friends and I hiked 50 miles in 3 days and was one of the best experiences i’ve had in life so far. I had all of my favorite things in one place, my best friends, one of my favorite places, and just an endless amount of trails to be hiked and alpine lakes to be seen. Some other spots I wouldn’t mind going to every day would be The Olympic national park, Lake diablo, The Columbia river gorge in northern Oregon ispretty rad as well.
Honestly it doesn’t really matter who I go out and explore with as long as they are like-minded people that just want to have a fun time I’m down to hang out with anyone. I’ve met some of my best friends by just having who were once random people hit me up but now I stay close in touch with.
As cliché as it sounds I would say all of them
In all honesty the people that I look up to the most have to be some of the friends that I am lucky to surround myself with and hang out with. Their names include Bill Kim, Tucker Doss, Jerald Mcdermott, Rhoddy Jensen and Michael Flugstad. These guys right here are ones that I can always count on to go on an adventure to shoot and even just to hang out, time spent with them is time well spent. Some people that I look up to and hope to cross paths with at some point are Nainoa Langer, Rory Kramer, Sam Kolder, and Rob Strok. These guys that I just listed are super talented at both photo and video work, but their video work is what amazes me the most. The way that they can capture the emotion and the feeling of where they are truly incredible. Their editing style and use of sound effects is definitely something I hope to learn down the road and incorporate in my own work.
Lately I have been reaching out to some smaller brands looking to do work for them, I’ve really just been trying to push to get my name out there hoping to get noticed by other companies. I have a few video ideas that I can’t wait to put together. Honestly just looking forward to taking every day, day by day and just making the most out of it
Hope you enjoyed this interview with Mason Prendergast