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Picture perfect | Kitsap Week
By Richard D. Oxley
People have tried to explain what Bainbridge Island “is.”
Some may point to its past, and others to the ferries. But photographer Martin Bydalek knows, and he can show why.
With more than three decades worth of photographs from the Kitsap Peninsula — including a considerable collection from Bainbridge Island — Bydalek has decided to take his artwork to another level.
“I’ve published my work since 1980, and I’ve got an archive of work that I think is worthy of a card line,” Bydalek said.
The photographer, who lives on Sandy Hook Road in Suquamish, is currently in the process of producing greeting cards featuring the timeless images he has captured through his lens. The cards will feature scenes that islanders, whether they know it or not, are familiar with.
Over the years, passersby have taken in much Bydalek’s work. The Seattle ferry terminal features his wall-sized mural of two ferry boats crossing in front of the city’s skyline — the picture was taken from Rockaway Beach on Bainbridge Island.
People waiting in line at the Winslow post office may have noticed his poster hanging in the lobby, a scene of Eagle Harbor filled with boats under a full moon.
Even the millions who, years ago, purchased computers with Windows XP 2000 may recall Bydalek’s work — his photograph of Mount Rainier under the moon was the default desktop image.
Bydalek’s photographs express scenes uniquely Bainbridge Island. From dogs playing on the beach, to boats in the harbor, and even pastoral waterfront properties, it is rather difficult to look at a piece of his Bainbridge work and not be impressed with the atmosphere of the island.
“Two of the pictures that are in the post office are going to be published as greeting cards,” Bydalek said. “It will be pretty heavy on local scenery.”
Most of the cards will be blank and offer a variety of scenery, though he does plan on producing a few unique ones with a little humor.“There is one where I got my dog with the cat’s head in its mouth and inside it will say ‘Don’t get mad, get even.’ ”
Soon the cards may be showing up at Kitsap shops as a more elegant format to write “wish you were here” on.
While he is excited about the new card line, it does take him away from his passion. Bydalek is ready to get back to what he loves, photography.“You take a picture and that’s 1/500 of a second,” Bydalek said. “And then you spend hours of getting it produced and marketed.”
— Richard D. Oxley is a reporter for the Bainbridge Island Review.