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Published: 20/10/12

Saturday Snaps with

Martin Balman

Who is Martin Balman?

I am 23 years old and work in retail at a garden centre. I’ve been riding for three years and I skated for about eight years before that.



Years shooting: 



What got you into taking photos?

Hopefully a not too corny answer. I literally woke up one day and thought time to buy a camera. So I read a tonne of information and went from there. I started skating when I was ten, and from then I’ve always been intrigued with the filming/photography side of the sport. I've only been in the BMX scene for around three years, but having friends who are killing it always helps me get amped to shoot.



First photography related memory:

I remember borrowing mum's KODAK 450. It's pretty much as flat as a pancake and takes some random old cartridges. Myself and my friend were taking shots of each other on our bikes jumping some tiny little grass hump around the corner from my house. I must have been about eight years old. I waited patiently as we sent the film off to Truprint. Then the photos came, but they were all black. I was bummed. They were under exposed because we shot under a massive tree.



Best photography experience:

Generally when we just decide to go for a chilled street session and someone pulls a banger out of no-where. Comps are pretty rad to get some good shots as people just end up going BIG!! Cookie Jam is always destined for some amazing shots thanks to the aura of the event.



Worst photography experience:

Typical answer: Charging a battery and forgetting to put it in my bag. Same rules apply to running out of charge half way through a session.



Advice for taking a great photo: 

I still don't feel like I'm a great photographer, but I'd say have fun and just snap everything you think looks good. Personally I have taken better photos after using my Pentax K1000. Having to use film forced me to really think about how I wanted the shot to look and not waste film. Just have fun and don't try too hard. Most of my favourite shots were taken unplanned, from just quickly picking up the camera and pressing the shutter button.



Three favourite photographers:

Jeff Zielinski

Giovanni Reda

Scott Marceau



Photography highlight/achievement:

THIS INTERVIEW haha. Hopefully in the future I will get a magazine print (pssttt Holmsey and Skinner). The deal I made with myself is that if I get a print I will buy myself a new camera.



Why do you take photos?

I just like to capture times that I'm enjoying with my friends, that's all that counts for me. Having a good time and capturing it on film.


Flickr page link




Top five photos:

Jason Harry Bars Air 5ft quarter


This is like a lot of my shots: pick up the camera and experiment and hope for the best. I just tried various angles until I got this one.

James Holmes Hop Whip


Holmsey came out the park a couple Mondays ago, and typical of the English weather it decided to rain just as the session got going.


This is the only dry alley around, and unfortunately it always smells of piss. I’m glad I got Jay and DTD in the shot as it frames it well.

Rob Miller Toothy Hang


I remember it being pretty damn cold when I took this shot on a mid autumn evening. It’s one of those photos that’s made awesome with fisheye. 


I’m always scared getting Miller to send a toothy-hang after he did some damage to his shoulder one summer.

Jason Harry Bars Over Ledge


The best thing about Jason is the fact you can pull out a camera, suggest a trick, and 90% of the time he will complete the deal. I don't know where he gets his drive from but he kills it all the time. This is nearly a year old now and his progression is pretty rad. 


I really like natural light shots, so I felt I had to include this one.

Rob Miller and THAT rail


This was shot on my Pentax K1000, My favourite camera but film just ends up getting expensive so it's been in a short retirement. 


This rail plagued Miller for a couple sessions. But he finally stomped it, after breaking the lamp post, slamming a camera + Myself with a ghostie of the end of the rail.

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