Weston Workshop Highlight: Martin Reekie
Martin is a long time friend that has gone on many photographic locations with us. From visiting us on Wildcat Hill and journeying to Germany and France, we have created many memories that we frequently look back to and realize how much we have done around the world. Having Martin at our workshops instantly elevates every aspect of the adventure. It was quite a treat to see the progression of his work over the years and how he has developed his own style and vision. After you read the short bio below, take a look at his amazing images dating back all the way to 2002. Thank you, Martin!
Martin Reekie Bio
Martin was born and raised in Dundee on the East coast of Scotland. He studied Engineering before joining Shell in their drilling department during the early years of the North Sea oil boom. During a 33 year career with Shell he worked both offshore and onshore in a number of roles, including Managing Drilling Rigs and, as Technical Expert on Well Control, helping to deal with the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident within Shell and the UK Offshore industry before retiring in 2013. He lives with his wife Mary in the small village of Ballater in the Cairngorms National Park. It’s a beautiful location in the Highlands of Scotland.
From an early age Martin can remember his father using a camera, his life being recorded on Kodachrome. He started to take photographs seriously in his teens and by the time he went to college he was hooked.
Three events had an impact on Martin’s photographic development. In the mid-Seventies he met a local photographer, Malcolm Thomson, in Dundee. During this chance meeting they talked at length about the sad demise of GAF 500 colour transparency film. Well over forty years later they are still the best of friends and have shared that time following a passion for the art of photography.
The second milestone was the formation of 'Lightworks' in 1987. This was a group of ten like-minded people, based in the east of Scotland, who wanted to meet and show photographic images. The group only ran for about two years, but assembled several successful exhibitions receiving a great deal of good exposure. The most important show, held in the city’s McManus Galleries, was to celebrate Dundee’s 800th anniversary. This is when his ‘shop series’ of photographs started. The group is still talked about today in Scottish photographic circles.
The third significant event was in 2000. Whilst browsing on the Internet, Martin discovered workshops in California with Cole Weston. It was such a fantastic opportunity to see Edward, Brett, Cole and Kim’s work, see Edward and Brett’s negatives, visit Cole’s studio at Garrapata Canyon, walk round Point Lobos with Cole and visit Edward’s house at Wildcat Hill, that he couldn’t afford to miss it. On that trip Martin met Kim and became good friends with him and his wife Gina. It was through Kim that he also became friends with the Phoenix photographer, Randy Efros. Meeting with Kim in 2003, they decided to hold a workshop in Scotland. They held three events at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, two in 2004 and another in 2006. They've met up frequently since then in the US, Spain and most recently in Germany.
In his teens, Martin started photographing with a Zenith 35mm camera, a Russian tank of a camera, ideal for the beginner. Later he used Nikon 35mm cameras before buying his beloved Rolleiflex SL66 in 1987. Since then he’s been tempted by 4x5 (a Linhof) and 8x10 ( a Zone VI) but always returns to his Rolleiflex. Never temped by digital he still uses his SL66 as well as TLR Rolleiflexes for street photography. He develops and prints all his own work in his darkroom at home.
Martin visits Kim and Gina whenever possible, although it does involve 13 hours of flying from Scotland. Wildcat is an inspirational location, full of history and stories. It’s a place to meet like minded people and make lifelong friends. Kim’s cooking and daily walks down by the Carmel River are a highlight.