Review - "Nobody" with Mike Martin, 18 May 2020

A review by Jane Tearle - "Nobody - a wander through my non people or anonymous people images" via Zoom with Mike Martin AFIAP, AWPF
Nobody - a wander through my non people or anonymous people images via Zoom with Mike Martin AFIAP, AWPF, Monday 18 May 2020.

Over fifty members signed in for a wonderful evening of images presented by Mike Martin from Bristol. He was booked to give a print talk “Shooting People” at the club and we hope that will happen in the future. Tonight it was “Nobody”, a collection of images without people, or anonymous people.

Covering a huge range of genres, he took us on a journey with something of interest for everyone. Working in London gave him an opportunity for architecture, street, abstract, stations with moving people and anything that caught his eye. From beginning to end we were treated to superb photos with the memories of how and why he took an image; maybe what he did in Photoshop with some but not others and why; the aim being to compose in camera and get the effect he wanted in the end.

Liking to work in themes, Mike demonstrated the skill of focusing on the key elements: the empty beach with just two tiny people, contrasting curved and straight lines, repeating objects along the diagonal. He presented outstanding infra-red photographs with a demonstration of channel-swapping to produce a realistic blue sky. He gave tips for tweaks and angles to consider for the landscape photographer. Architecture with its repeating patterns gave another theme: the Norman Foster roof at the British Museum and the Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland.

The journey through the evening gave us excitement and questions. What might come next? What do you do on a slow boat journey from the Isles of Scilly to Penzance? You find your seat below and a porthole to point your camera through, a slow shutter speed and then present photos of the waves in a grid format. On the same journey, his self-set challenge of taking pictures of anything from his seat. An ideal lockdown challenge - make your own rules, and present the results as 4 x 4 panel.

“It had to be shot” was one comment Mike made more than once as well as “the judges didn’t (or wouldn’t) like it, but I do. I shoot for myself”. We learned that Mike is passionate about his photography but is not precious about it. He shared so much of his philosophy with us and will have given everyone the feeling they could get out there and take photographs for themselves.

Thank you Mike for a memorable and exciting evening.

~Jane Tearle