Martin, many of your images have a very artistic feel. Is that your background?
"Not at all. I trained as a scientist and spent my career as a Research Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry. I, therefore, have a scientific mindset but I have always wanted to develop my artistic side a little."
When did you become interested in photography and what subjects do you enjoy?
"I was always attracted to photography but only became really interested with the advent of digital.
My preferred subjects seem to be places or ‘things’ rather than natural history or portraits but I will photograph most subjects.
I really enjoy refining an image on the computer. I see this as an integral part of modern image making.
Although many of my images are relatively unmanipulated I am not averse to compositing and would like to develop these skills further."
Where does your inspiration come from?
"I love modern art and although I like strong colours, I find myself increasingly drawn to softer pastel shades, often in combination with high key treatments or blur.
I enjoy landscape photography, especially in winter because I love the soft colours that snowy conditions produce. I also enjoy the simplification provided by fog or mist.
Seeing the fabulous work of others can be very inspiring, if somewhat daunting."
In what ways do you think your photography has developed?
"Over time my interests and style have evolved.
Increasingly, I find it extremely satisfying to create something out of very little, finding a new treatment for something relatively unremarkable.
Photographic techniques such as long exposure, shallow depth of field, intentional camera movement (ICM), multiple exposure and the skilful use of colour help here.
These are augmented by appropriate post-processing techniques. I enjoy working with high key treatments, texture overlays, compositing and producing sets of images.
I love prints, and always aim for print as the final form for my images."
What motivated you to work towards photographic distinctions?
"After pursuing photography for several years without feeling the need to try for distinctions, I eventually found I needed further interest and challenge in my photography.
Being a member of what has become ‘The Societies’ I submitted a Licentiate panel of UK landscape photographs and was successful.
I also started to enter national and international exhibition salons. These endeavours were very beneficial for my photography because I had to seriously analyse and critique my own work.
With the benefit of improved technology and greater experience, I started to reprocess some of my images to achieve optimised, ‘finished’ versions."
What would you say you have gained from your distinctions?
"My experience of aiming for distinctions has been overwhelmingly positive.
The processes of planning, analysing, refining etc. have provided great stimulation, and my distinctions have all been springboards for further development.
I was motivated to join the RPS by regularly seeing the beautiful panel layouts printed in the Journal (sadly, they are no longer included).
I decided to try for Associateship because preparing a panel on a theme was a significant new challenge.
This was a great learning experience and I was eventually successful in 2019 with a panel with which I felt a strong connection."
See Martin's Fine Art ARPS Panel here
"Doing my ARPS has given me a love of panels and smaller sets of images such as triptychs. This is an area which I would like to develop further.
I have discovered that distinctions are not an end in themselves, they are much more about the process and what you can learn on the way."
Well said Martin. You can view more of Martin's work on his website here
Main Image: 'Braving The Weather'
Left from top: 'Stepping Out', 'Keswick Sunrise', 'Venetian Morning', 'Winter Woodland', 'Rampsholme Island', 'Grecian Village', 'The Need For Speed', 'Through The Fog'
Triptychs: 'Burano Washday', 'Hotel Pool'
Right from top: 'Venturing Through The Snow', 'Bleak Midwinter', 'Oarsmen Of Venice', 'Fenceline In Heather', 'Coastal Impression', 'Santorini Church', 'A New Day Dawns', 'Escapism'