About the Artist
Retired Mason County Sheriff's Chief Deputy, B. Dean Byrd and his wife Leona, are life long Mason County, Washington, residents, currently living in Shelton, Washington. Dean retired from a nearly 40 year law enforcement career and remains active in his community He has loved photography since he was a teenager. He purchased his first camera at the age of 12 then graduated to his first 35 mm camera at the age of 21. He has spent most of his adult life honing his skills. Dean has taught himself the necessary skills to be an excellent landscape, and wildlife photographer. Dean has captured many beautiful images in Mason County, Puget Sound, Eastern Washington, Hawaii, and the desert southwest. His photographic philosophy is to capture the color, grandeur, and beauty of the world we live in. Dean says that when he overhears a viewer say "wow that is beautiful" his mission has been accomplished.
• Artist Statement •
My mission is to create Fine Art Photographs. A Fine Art Photograph, is an image that is both artistically inspired and technically excellent. Just one or the other is not sufficient. Technique without art is not inviting, while art without good technique prevents the viewer from truly enjoying the work.
I believe a work of art is primarily the product of the artist, not of a machine. A photograph printed straight from the original capture, represents only what the camera does. It does not reflect the artistic impression of the artist. Such an image fails to represent the expression of my vision.
A photographer, I can to some extent choose the type of light, composition, lens, equipment and other technical aspects of the image, the photographer has very little control over the image during capture.
Accordingly, my artistic vision is applied after capture, during the post production stage of the image. My creativity and vision cannot be totally developed and completed until this phase. Only then can I infuse my emotion and vision into image as a captured the image with the camera.
To this end I take the necessary steps in the post production process that I determine to be necessary. I make adjustments to contrast, color saturation, color balance. Individual colors may be adjusted to tones that in my view compliment the image. Shadows may be deepened or reduced as the image requires to fulfill my vision for it.
I routinely collage multiple images into a single image, stitch multiple images to make a single panoramic image. This is done to produce an image of more depth, detail, and area that could have been produced with a single capture. These collages have the added benefit of representing time as well as space. Because the different images that compose the final work are taken over a span of time, which can vary from a few seconds to 25 minutes or more, the resulting collage shows the variation of light, the movement of clouds, and the changes in other moving elements that took place during the time required to complete the image captures.
During post production work I also clone or remove items from the image that prove to be distracting or troublesome in the final product. These items might include branches or twigs that would interfere with the aesthetics of the final image and prove to be visually unsatisfying.
Occasionally, the image format that I arrive at through these processes is unsatisfactory. In those situations I may stretch the image digitally, either in the width or in the height, to give it proportions that represent my vision rather than the technical output provided by the computer and camera combination. This stretching may be rather moderate or quite extensive, depending on the needs of each individual image. When performing this important step, my concern is to not distort natural element beyond believability.
My priority is to create a final image that is believable. In other words my goal is not to create an image that represents something that exists, as is, in reality, in the "real" landscape. Rather, my goal is to create an image that is believable, an image of something that one can consider to be possible, even though one could not quite find this exact same image in nature.