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Martin Nichols
Sechelt, Canada
Graphic Designer/Photographer living and working with my incredible family on Canada's west coast.
Interests: photography, music, european soccer, anatomy and physiology, geopolitics.
Recent Activity
by Martin Nichols Never been to this part of the world before...will be going back. This is Playa Maderas on Nicaragua's west coast, about 20 minutes north of San Juan Del Sur, and it is as gorgeous as it looks. You're kinda spoiled for choice here, as to the north you have the smaller but equally decorative Playa Majagual, and to the south Playa Marsella, another scenic strip of soft sand and rolling waves. Ah yes, Playa Marsella...location of the incredible Empalme a las Playas eco resort, nestled on the edge of the jungle, messrs. Roy and Karen Goldman, proprietors... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2012 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols So can anyone guess what my reaction was upon being asked to join a group that would include four paramedics and an ER nurse to do the Nootka Trail on Vancouver Island? Well, "That should be the first-aid taken care of," was one, obviously, but the overriding one of course was "Are you kidding? It's the West Coast, I'd be in even if Rob Sims was leading it!" And so it was, a few weeks later, that team leader Rob Sims and the rest of the party assembled at Horseshoe Bay to begin the journey. A blur... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2011 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols Whistler...ya gotta love it. And if you go there you gotta visit the funkiest place in town to eat. Great food, great selection, eco-friendly, great people working there, and it won't cost you an arm and a leg (a real bonus...don't get me wrong, I love Whistler but holy cow can it do a number on the old net worth). I'm talking about the brilliantly named Gone Village Eatery and Moguls Coffee Shop right in the main Village Square. Best of all, they agreed to hang a whole bunch of my work there for the month of... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2011 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols OK, a pictures of a beautiful woman holding a guitar is nothing new; it's hardly groundbreaking and has been done a million times before, but what you see above is nonetheless a record of an extremely rare event. Any guesses? No? Well, what you're looking at is one of the brief and infrequent moments in time when our fabulous subject Sarah Loverock is not actually laughing. And even here you couldn't really say she was being serious, with that La Gioconda-esque (is that allowed?) smile playing around her lips. But it's all we've got. This had to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2011 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols It's been a few years since I was at Green Point, a vegetation-covered rock bluff that separates Combers Beach from Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island's West Coast; used to come camping here a lot when the kids were young. At this time of year the campground above is closed, so no access to Green Point itself through there; I got there by parking two or three kilometres further down the coast and walking northwest back along the spectacular sweep of Combers Beach. Of course, an hour before sunrise (below) on December... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2011 at The Burning Sand Blog
Many thanks, Greg.
by Martin Nichols So the plan was to head off to the West Coast of Vancouver Island right after Christmas, hole up just outside Tofino with a dozen or so bottles of wine, and watch the rain for four days from the confines of a luxury Chesterman Beach suite equipped with hot tub, king-size bed, leather armchairs, and heated slate floors. And first day out it was all going like clockwork: torrential rain was pretty much relentless from the time we left the Sunshine Coast at around 0730 until we got just past Port Alberni at around lunchtime. At which... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2011 at The Burning Sand Blog
OK, here it is, the new and improved Burning Sand Photo site. Once the hosting sites have sorted things out between them the address will work for this. You will need the Adobe Flash Player to see it, available here if you don't have it. Thanks for looking; feedback on the new look welcome. Continue reading
Posted Dec 11, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
Yeah, they were. I vividly remember a small overloaded toboggan meeting the base of the rugby posts at high speed. Even though all was lost you could clearly see the guys on board manfully attempting to regain control right up until the moment of impact.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on In Deep at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols Back to the Tetrahedron Provincial Park, scene of the epic man-hike a few weeks ago, where things are looking a little different to say the least. These images are taken at a point about maybe a third of the way to the Mt Steele cabin, on an excursion with the lovely Jules to try out a new form of ambulation: namely snowshoes. It was midday when we set out, so I wasn't expecting epic lighting conditions but I threw a camera with a wide-angle zoom in the backpack anyway. Verdict: snowshoeing is a blast, and can get... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols OK, I’m going to be right up front here and confess...there was just one tiny flaw in my claim that some of the images in my last post were taken at Florencia Bay. And so, to quote my old friend Captain Edmund Blackadder on this Remembrance Day, I can say only this: “It was bollocks.” I discovered later that I had in fact been at the much smaller, more prosaically named, but no less beautiful South Beach which is, wait for it...just northwest of the much larger sweep of the real Florencia Bay. So now you know.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols One of the smarter things I’ve done recently was to get the hell out of the Tofino Legion early last Saturday night; there was only one direction events were headed there, with sixty or so fired-up paramedics swapping war stories and mulling over the latest rumours while attempting furiously to try to turn Branch 65 into the only dry Legion Hall in Western Canada. A two-day hangover was definitely in the cards there, and avoiding such a fate (and to those who didn’t, I salute you) allowed me to clamber out of Reef Point Cottage Number 11,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
Yes, thank you, good to know. I heard the next day that there were some firefighters from San Francisco there also.
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2010 on Respect at The Burning Sand Blog
Tofino, British Columbia, November 6, 2010; a goodbye to Thirty-Six Kilo. In the early hours of October 19, BC Ambulance paramedics Jo-Ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka were killed when their ambulance left the road and tumbled down a cliff face into Kennedy Lake on Vancouver Island. Today a memorial was held in their honour in the small, beautiful town of Tofino on the Island's West Coast. In a deeply moving display of respect, fellow Paramedics, Firefighters, Police, Search and Rescue Units, and other emergency service personnel from not just all over BC, but as far afield as Washington State and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols First thing she told me was, "Hey, I ain't a girly-girl, OK?" Well I wasn't going to argue, so it was with that info firmly in mind that I started thinking about how to portray this in the studio. This is the fabulous Bree, and she proved to be as advertised: definitely a no-frills kind of persona. Just to underscore it all, Bree makes her living in...get this, underwater construction. As she puts it, "It sounds a lot more than it really is..." Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but she's no office cubicle-dweller. I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin Nichols Alright, so I may have been in a more beautiful place than this before; I just don't recall when. This is the view just before sunset from a few metres below the peak of Mt Steele (1659m) on Canada's Sunshine Coast. The small red and white blob towards the top right of the picture is the cabin that provided our small band of gasping backpackers shelter for the first night of October and that, interestingly, contains not one soft surface. I am a bit ashamed to admit that this is the first time I've been up Steele,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
by Martin NicholsI've been having some fun lately making these fake tilt-shift images. Used to be that to get this kind of image, where the idea is to make scenes look like models, required the use of an expensive tilt-shift lens, which gives this incredibly shallow depth of field. Now, like so many other things, the same effect can be achieved in Photoshop with a bit of selective blurring. Tutorials on this are all over the web, so I'm not explaining it all here. The effect works best if your original image is taken from a high vantage point, but... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
The concept for this was pretty straightforward. Ask four beautiful women to show up with their favourite black dress, get them to do something interesting in front of the studio wall, and I take the pictures. Only thing was, they didn't all show up on the same day; the shoots were done over a period of a few weeks, so matching the mood and lighting was a bit of a challenge as we had to tear down in between for other projects. But the whole thing was a blast...from the shoots themselves, to selecting the shots to use, to working... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
Don't quite know what to write about this clown without using a whole lot of bad language, so I borrowed a couple of pictures instead. Tony Hayward, CEO, BP, EPA photo. Doomed pelican, AP photo. Hayward acknowledged Friday that he’s become a lightning rod for criticism. He says that allows his lieutenants to go about their work. “I’m so far unscathed,” he told analysts in a conference call. “No one has actually physically harmed me. They’ve thrown some words at me. But I’m a Brit, so sticks and stones can hurt your bones but words never break them, or whatever... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
It was about three weeks ago that I got a call from Mark Busacca of the Busacca Gallery, in the Russian Hill district of San Francisco, in which he asked if I'd like to be a part of his exciting new online art gallery project. After listening to his explanation of how it worked and browsing the site as we chatted I had to agree that he was indeed on to something, and that of course I'd be delighted to take him up on his offer and submit some prints for sale in the gallery. And what an incredible array... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
Martin Nichols is now following Seth Godin
May 5, 2010
Alright, so the average rock drummer's kit would typically comprise a snare, three toms of different depth and diameter, a bass (kick), a hi-hat, and two or three symbols. Thing is, though, there's no such thing as an average rock drummer or, to be more correct, there has never been a drummer in the history of the planet who has referred to himself as such. So it was then that our subject today, the oft-referred-to and reliable shooting assistant Chris the Wicked Drummer, decided to take the more is more approach and bulk up his arsenal. And when I say... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
For more than three months there's been peace...Well, now there's been an eruption! There we were, on mild and sunny April 1st, Easter weekend about to start, idly contemplating firing up the barbecue for the first time this year, generally agreeing that the past winter had been a laughable non-event, and thinking maybe there's something to this global warming theory after all, when pow...! In fact, kaboom! Next day a snorting, spitting, gnashing southeaster barrels in, sights set squarely on the Burning Sand Bar, its prime objective being the total vaporization of Wilson Creek and environs, with particular ferocity reserved... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
As promised, here is Leore, partner of our jujitsu hero Roey and fabulous model in her own right. Once again it was a tough ask to select the best ones of her; there were just so many...I mean, what a face, where do you start? But here they are, over at the Burning Sand site. Oddly, I've never met anyone who can look like she's from so many different places...maybe it's just me but in the triptych below she looks very classically English on the left, French in the middle, and decidedly Russian on the right. All this is especially... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog
So full marks to anyone who nailed the headline as belonging to the charming Bricktop Polford from Snatch, the greatest movie ever made, according to our subject this week, the larger-than-life Roey, ex-Israeli military, advanced life support paramedic, and all-around hard case. How does he end up in the Burning Sand Studio, you ask. Well, how else are you going to follow all that but become a vet and move to the other side of the world to become Western Canada's answer to Jason Statham? Roey practises at The Landing Veterinary Clinic in Gibsons, just down the road from here,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2010 at The Burning Sand Blog