Sechelt photographer Martin Nichols is from a working-class area of London, a city he says he couldn’t escape from even if he wanted to; and credits these roots with the development of his photographic style, which places emphasis on the emotional appeal of an image rather than technical brilliance:
You have to feel it, not just shoot it…huge difference. And if there’s the odd rough edge or two in the final, even better.
Equally happy in the studio or out on a wind-lashed bit of coastline, his approach is to strive for anything in the realm of the unusual or spontaneous, but ask him to put his finger on exactly what that something is and he’ll readily admit to being unable to do so. Thirty years on Canada’s West Coast has given him plenty of inspiration, both in terms of the landscape and the people who inhabit it, loving the mystery and idiosyncrasies of both with equal intensity. Of his spare approach to his work he says, “I’m firmly in the camp of those who understand that what you leave out of a good image is as important as what you put in it.”
Martin has been in graphic design (“where I actually make a living”) for a lot longer than he has been a photographer, and when he’s not doing either of those he’s usually out doing his “other other job” as a paramedic in Sechelt.
I love that job too, a real down-to-earth counterpoint to art and design, sometimes even making them seem a bit trivial. Look, when you come from where I do, you learn not to get too far above yourself.
Martin’s work has been shown in a number of Coast venues, including Starbucks in Sechelt and the Gumboot Café in Roberts Creek. There are currently a number of his pieces hanging at Lucky’s Smokehouse on Wharf Avenue in Sechelt. His permanent gallery is atwww.burningsandphoto.com.