The Thousand Words: Martin Smith

A picture tells a thousand words... and we are here to tell you a few more in our ongoing series 'The Thousand Words' where we dig through the vault of talented photographers at Aperture Tours and get them to open up a little about some of their favourite images. 

Everyday High Street

Scotland, by Martin Smith

PHOTOGRAPHY: Martin Smith • iPhone 6 • 4.15mm lens @ Ƒ/2.2 • 1/3968 • ISO 32

PHOTOGRAPHY: Martin Smith • iPhone 6 • 4.15mm lens @ Ƒ/2.2 • 1/3968 • ISO 32

This is a photograph that I found myself in the middle of while getting off a bus. I was on my way somewhere that I now can not remember. It was a completely unremarkable day, and I was on a – clearly now because I can't remember – unremarkable journey to an unremarkable destination.

It is a council worker jet-washing the pavement in a high street in a small Scottish town. I shot it on my old iPhone 6. Do I think it is the best photograph ever? No, but I think it illustrates something which I like, and that is concentrating on always being ready to take pictures wherever and whenever you are. I feel that there are compelling photographs everywhere, not just in exotic locations and while carrying your best camera equipment.

Why did I take it? I thought it looked cool, is that too easy a reason? The sun backlighting the water vapour made a pretty ordinary thing into something extraordinary, and I think it is that contrast between the two that makes me like it. The extraordinary in ordinary situations is something that I have done before, and I am always looking for it.

I just used the apple standard camera app, and not anything fancy, so I was deciding the exposure purely by eye from the screen, rather than adjusting any settings. The photograph was for instagram, so it's just my visual diary. I'm posting for myself, expressing how I see the world.

Photographer’s Profile

Martin Smith-2.jpg

NAME: Martin Alan Smith
BORN: Edinburgh, Scotland
CURRENT LOCATION: Edinburgh, Scotland
PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE: Photojournalism
INFLUENCES: Joanna Demarco, Katy Hundertmark, José Saramento Matos & Ivor Prickett
FAVOURITE PLACE TO SHOOT: Where I live- Leith, Edinburgh.
HIGH POINT: Discovering the Fujifilm X100F; it is so portable, I take it everywhere.
LOW POINT: Using a new auto-function and missing the picture of a famous film star and having to explain it to the angry picture editor.
TOP PHOTOGRAPHY TIP: There are lots of expectations on what your pictures should be but it is ok to do your own thing sometimes.
INSTAGRAM: @martinalansmith


Martin is a photographer with Aperture Tours in Edinburgh. Join him on a tour to learn more about photography and your camera on a tour of the Scottish Capital.