Make Us Miniature

Randy P. Martin believes that being the speck isn't such a bad thing after all.
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Feb 13, 2014 | By Matthew Ankeny & Randy P. Martin

Up in the wooded northlands of the West Coast, there’s a rather nomadic photographer who just got home after a year on the move. The past twelve months, Randy P. Martin’s been on the road—“No job, no home,” he says, just “mountain climbing, island life, a 4,000 mile motorcycle road trip to the Arctic Circle, six new National Parks.”

Oh yes, just that. (Did we hear 4,000 mile Arctic Cirlce motorcycle trip?) Along the way he took a slew of photographs with his trusty Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and Yashica T5. His photography’s been described as “travel documentation”—a nice hybrid genre that cuts to the core of his artistic inclinations: 1. “go see some crazy shit,” 2. take pictures while you’re out there.

His newest series, “Miniatures,” features people engulfed in the landscapes that surround them. For him, it’s “a reminder of just how much of a tiny speck we are in this big mess.” And for us, it’s a kick in the ass to get outside and rediscover the feeling of being overwhelmed.

“I found the diverse and massive expanses of my own country all to myself.” Which, as a particularly North American privilege, we can—at times—forget its spectacularity. This rugged landscape, marked by behemoth parks, vistas without a fencepost in view, and seascapes down both coasts can be so familiar, the novelty runs the risk of wearing off.

And even for Randy—who, we’d venture to say has a bit more admiration for wanderlust than some—the implications of what he’d seen didn’t set in immediately. He recalls: “When I decided to slow down for a bit, and the inevitable dramatics of day to day life slowly set in, looking back on images from my year of wandering always helped to put things into perspective.”

It’s a perspective we’re happy to be reminded of. As Martin says, "we are just that tiny speck.” And being the speck’s not that bad. We’d even say, being the speck’s nice. We get a whole playground of grandeur to run around in and have it remind us: we're not that big, we're not that powerful, “everything will work out in the long run.”

Check out Randy’s work across the web on InstagramFlickrTumblr, and

All Images ©: Randy P. Martin.