Edwin Martinez is a landscape photographer whose very essence is synonymous with the pursuit of light. This Canon Ambassador and intrepid traveller has captured iconic moments in the cold temperatures of Banff National Park in Canada, the rugged coastline of California as well as the stunning coast of his home country in the Philippines.
With a passion for education, Edwin conducts landscape photography workshops throughout the world, utilising his unique flair for piquing interest whilst imparting the very best of his professional knowledge. We were lucky enough to catch up with him to chat about photography, equipment and more!
Hello Edwin! You have had a stellar career so far in photography. How did you get started and what did it take to get to where you are today?
I have always been into arts, I loved to sketch and draw when I was younger. My early exposure to photography was in intermediate school when I was assigned for a brief time as the school paper’s photographer.
My love for landscape grew during the digital age and being in a tropical country, I had lots of subjects. During this course, I managed a landscape photography school in the Philippines which led me to North America, the Middle East and parts of Asia.
Photography has taught me a lot and from working full time in the corporate field, I decided to do it full time in the last 6 years doing corporate photography, workshops and photography tours.
Panorama of a Crater Lake. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
What fascinates you about landscape photography in particular?
Landscape photography is enduring. It is not time bounded. This is what I love about it. It is not an escape but a gateway to be closer to nature and appreciate its beauty.
Glacial Rivers. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
Who were your early influences?
During my immersion in landscape photography, the internet was just starting and books were the only resources to learn. My earliest influences includes Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell and Joe Cornish, it is their love of nature that evoked my true interest in this field.
What was your first big break?
I joined the 2008 Digital Camera UK POTY (Photographer of the Year) and was a finalist. Their winners magazine included my photo as a cover and that gave me the break to be recognised by Canon and became their ambassador for almost 9 years now.
Oasis in Þakgil. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
What kind of setbacks have you faced?
The financial aspect will always be the greatest set back in an art profession. During the time I was starting in workshops, corporate gigs and tours it was always not having consistent monetary compensation that drew most of the set backs.
How long have you been a Canon Ambassador?
I have been a Canon Ambassador for almost 9 years now.
Haifoss in the Highlands. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
What do you do as a Canon Ambassador?
Since I believe in its product and lens system, promotion of this product is our main purpose. Product launching, talks, workshops and lectures are usually done also as part of our contract.
Which other brands do you represent?
I am a pro photographer for Singh-Ray Filters USA, Benro Tripods, DJI Drones Philippines, Peak Design influencer, etc.
Layers. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
Tell us a bit about the equipment that you use.
I currently have two systems. For the DSLR, I have the Canon 5D Mark IV and for the mirrorless, the Canon EOS R. I mostly have lenses from 16mm to 400mm focal length.
There’s an idea that it’s hard to be a female photographer. People assume that women have fewer opportunities and less power. Is this the case in the Philippines and in the wider photography community in general? Is it a sentiment that is reflected in the brands that you represent?
I have seen a lot of successful female photographers during the years, the Philippines have female Canon brand ambassadors and so forth. I believe that there are equal opportunities now, getting recognised by the brands is another thing.
Highland Lakes. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
You’ve been quite prolific on the landscape photography circuit over the past 10 years. How is it different from back then and what it is now?
The advent of digital and social media have made a big impact in the the way you showcase your work. It is a double edge sword, it may be easier to promote your work now in the global scale but harder since everyone seems to be doing it. Styles and post production have also changed, from the Velvia like, ultra sharp processing of the early years of 2000 to the now, dreamy, moody and less saturated look of today.
Green Craters. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
What does it take to succeed as a landscape photographer?
Patience and persistence. These are the two traits that most photographers should have.
Can you share with us your philosophy on business and life?
My philosophy in both photography and life came from a quote from Ansel Adams; “there is no bad light only bad photographers.”
I always approach life in this way too. There is no such thing as bad situations, only the wrong attitude and perspective.
Rainbow at the Valley of Tears. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
If you could do only one assignment for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a tough question, I would probably choose to photograph all the national parks in the world.
What do you work toward in your free time?
Mostly, spend quality time with my family. My job takes me away 7-8 months a year and the precious free time I have I give it all to my family, the source of my true inspiration.
Flowing Beauty. Photo by: 'Edwin Martinez'.
Would you like to explore the Highlands of Iceland? Check out our 6-day Camping Photo Workshop in the Icelandic Highlands!