Born in early 1959, Martin grew up near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, four miles from the seaside resort of Blackpool. After a few years working, he studied geography at Durham University, graduating in 1982. He has lived in Dover since 1985 and is a photographer, occasional artist and writer and human rights activist.
Martin has been interested in photography since the early 1970s and used cameras borrowed from his parents and a neighbour. He did not own a camera until 1984.
Much of his early photographic output was inspired by that of his dad, Les Bradley (1922-2019), who had taken up photography in 1981, having retired from teaching art and design. Inspired by the likes of Picasso, Braque, the Abstract Expressionists and others, Les initially used his camera like a sketchbook to record subject matter for paintings, drawings and lithographs, but soon realised that he preferred the immediacy of photography as a medium in its own right. His favoured subject matter included rocks, tree roots, amusement arcade machines, clothes on rails outdoors, and particularly urban and industrial decay. Fleetwood Docks was his favourite location. He often collaged prints before reproducing them using a colour photocopier. He held numerous exhibitions in the North West until 2008.
Martin is a generalist photographer whose output embraces most subject matter. He is particularly interested in colour, form, texture and juxtaposition. He has travelled extensively in Europe, Asia, Morocco, North America and South America.
He has exhibited at the (now defunct) Charlton Art Centre and at the Mean Bean Cafe, both in Dover. His first published photographs appeared in Practical Photography magazine in 1986.
He has since had material published in numerous magazines, books and the Independent newspaper. He has been involved in numerous community arts projects in East Kent.
Martin uses a smartphone extensively.
In his own words, “ l can’t fit a Nikon and four lenses in the back pocket of my trousers. The best camera is the one you have with you.” However, he believes in using the right equipment for the subject matter and intended result, which can mean being prepared to carry considerable weight. He still uses both 35mm and medium format film, very occasionally.
Martin can be contacted via Facebook or by email