Martin Smith says: “I have been into photography as a hobby for as long as I can remember and around 15 years ago, whilst living on the Isle of Mull in Scotland I ditched my trusty SLR 35mm film camera and purchased my first DSLR camera to capture the many beautiful sunsets on the island. Unfortunately work came first and hobbies second and I never really got to grips with the camera as much as I would have liked. In 2012 I found himself in a position to be able to retire early and my Wife and I bought a house to renovate and we retired to a small village called Stambolovo located in South Bulgaria where the two of us now live.
I have spent most of the last four years renovating our 80-year-old house and found the time to absorb myself into my photography a lot more. I sold my 15 year old camera and upgraded to the modern day equivalent.
Although I like to take scenic and landscape photographs, I also applied my creative flair and with the use of digital I soon found that I can produce some very creative images using smoke, water drops and macro but so can millions of other people and I wanted to apply my own style to my photography so I set up a small “studio” in our house and concentrated on producing thought provoking and conceptual images using ordinary everyday objects. Since then I have created my own style of fine art photography, some of which have won national and international awards and have appeared in numerous national photographic magazines, samples of which can be found on my website, www.martinsmithimages.eu
In terms of awards my most notable achievements to date have been First Prize in the Artcentron.com “Flowers We Love” international photo contest 2016, Second Prize in The Motif Collective international photo competition 2015, Blue Ribbon Honourable Mention Award in the F.I.A.P. (Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique) Contest 2016, Blue Ribbon Honourable Mention Award in the M.I.F.A. Moscow International Photo Awards 2015, plus I have twice received National Geographic “Daily Dozen” Awards (2014 and 2015). I have also featured in the following: Inspirations article in “Photoplus magazine”; special projects feature in Advanced Photographer Magazine and a case study article in “A place in the sun”, the official magazine of the BBC hit TV series.
In addition I have spent the last year on assignment, at the request of an American tobacco publication, following the progress of a family of oriental tobacco farmers here in Bulgaria.
Although a user of photoshop myself, (who isn’t), I pride myself in using it to minimal effect as I believe there is no skill or merit in altering an image that is so far away from the original.”