Almost all his images were produced at night, using the aprons' floodlights, moonlight or long exposures of between ten minutes to two hours.
The airports on the Azores are unique. In order that they would not be spotted from the air during wartime they are amongst the very few black-tarred runways in the world, and it is the relationship between the dark tarmac and the fluorescent painted signs and runway markings that lie at the heart of some of Martins' most arresting images.
This unusual combination allowed him to produce incredibly abstract images, with a very long depth of field and often with the use of minimal lighting.
In some, sky and ground merge in darkness with only the lights and airport hieroglyphics to orient us.
Yet even these are hard to decode, for whilst this is a landscape of signs that can be read by the knowledgeable - pilots and air traffic controllers, for instance - it remains perplexing to the uninitiated.
This juxtaposition of sign and shape are at the heart of these remarkable images.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 88 pages, 60 colour plates
- Publisher: Dewi Lewis Publishing
- Publication Date: 12/11/2009
- Category: Individual photographers
- ISBN: 9781904587811