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Bodyboard Photographer Profile: Martin Yelland

cave It’s the first in a new series on our blog, time to meet Martin Yelland. By Chris Hunt Martin Yelland has been on the scene for some time now, and he’s come a long way since we was taking lessons with us back in the day. It might be cliché to say, but like so many in the sport, Bodyboarding has clearly offered Martin a lot, a love for the sea, a direction for his passion of images and some of the best companionship a man could wish for. “One of the fondest memories I have was from a trip to Scotland me and (Mark) Baker did,” Martin explains. “I had just been dumped by my then girlfriend of about four years so was pretty emotional and hadn't eaten for about three days. We turned up at a slab and it was all time! Perfect four footers reeling down the ledge, every wave spat and the sun was blazing! Baker surfed alone all morning, and I swam with my trusty fish eye and captured some of the best images to date.” His Granddad, who worked in a print lab and loved to show off his shots of the natural world, was the initial source of inspiration for Martin, and perhaps the one responsible for directing him toward a life behind the lens. But it wasn’t until his cousin’s return from California and a subsequent excitement for Bodyboarding that his passion and personal style of imagery took flight. “I was fascinated, looking at shots of bodyboarders pulling into big thick shore breaks, it looked dangerous and a hell of a lot of fun. Back then though, to shoot in the water was literally a dream, with digital photography not yet invented, and the money and skill you would need to operate film cameras in the water with an old-water housing was impossible to even contemplate doing, being a skinny teen from Mansfield!” he recalls. As cameras made the digital transition, a job as a Royal Mail postie provided Martin with enough money to afford his first housing, a video camera which lead to the making of his first bodyboard flick, Postcodes. But with the constantly improving quality of camera equipment, alongside the innovations that photographers were introducing to the water, Martin found himself drifting away from video. “Mickey Smith is a legend, having pioneered some of the most epic spots in Europe! His shots have made me pick up other lenses than the trusty fish eye which I used religiously for about five years. The other person, who was forward thinking and more creative than most in the sea, is the late, great Jacob Cockle. He was taking shots which motivated me to put down the video camera and take up the stills camera, one image in particular comes to mind, where Jake is riding himself, and he pulls into a sick barrel at Porthtowan, his dreadlocks flowing behind him,” says Yelland. Martin recently moved in with his lovely girlfriend Zoe, and has taken his first steps into wedding photography after his good mate Chris Fletcher got hitched to the beautiful Anna. “Hopefully in the future I can make a good living on something which I love to do,” he grins. [gallery ids="3134,3133,3132,3131,3130,3129,3124,3123,3125,3126,3127,3128,3122,3121"]
  • May 20, 2014
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