Hey guys! My name is Martin Humphrey. I’m an Alaska-based landscape and lifestyle photographer. When I’m not taking photos you can usually find me spending time with friends or playing piano. I’m excited to be a part of The Break Free Program and to share my growth as a photographer with their gear.

My photography journey started when I was 16 on a road trip through Eastern Canada with my family. The only equipment with me was an old 8-megapixel point and shoot camera. Even with the limited gear I had, I was captivated by photography. That interest quickly became a passion.

Here I am 2 years later. I’ve upgraded to a  DSLR and have a small arsenal of lenses. Many of my photo opportunities have come from trips around the United States and Canada, which has helped my photography become adventure and nature focused.

A big change that further influenced my development as an outdoor photographer was moving from Texas to Alaska. Living in such an amazing place has allowed me to improve my skills in landscape photography and try new things like photographing the Northern Lights. My location is going to play a big part in the project I want to create with Olympus’ Break Free program.

The hope I have for this project is to capture the awe and beauty of the Alaskan Winter landscape. I also want to highlight the Aroura Borealis. Many photographers and tourists go home when the cold and snow arrive in Alaska. I intend to push through the harsh climate and show people what The Last Frontier looks like during its longest season.

One of my first photos captured in Alaska with my new Olympus gear!
OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
17mm | 1/25s | F7.1 | ISO 64
One of my first photos captured in Alaska with my new Olympus gear!
OM-D E-M1 Mark III | M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO
36mm | 1/15s | F9 | ISO 64

This project won’t be possible without equipment that not only performs well but is also durable enough to handle snow and arctic temperatures. Thankfully, Olympus offers both.

For my camera body, I will be using the OM-D E-M1 Mark III. Good weather sealing and its light-weight build is going to be the perfect combination for long treks through tough climates.

For my lenses, I chose the M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO and the M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 PRO. The M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO provides a wide range of focal lengths. Having the ability to zoom out wide to 12mm (24mm Full Frame equivalent) while also having lens’ longer telephoto range of 40mm (80mm Full Frame equivalent) will give me a lot of flexibility in composition. The M.Zuiko 17mm F1.2 PRO will offer me a huge advantage for Astrophotography. The lens’ super-wide F1.2 aperture will let me take photos of the night sky with lower ISO, increasing the photo quality, and of the Northern Lights with a faster Shutter Speed, freezing motion in more detail. Like all lenses in the Olympus PRO line, both of these lenses have great weather sealing.

To help me improve my skills and learn to use my new gear, Olympus has paired me with Olympus Educator Matt Suess as my mentor. I’m really excited to learn from someone who has been in the photography field for a long time, as I’ve only been taking pictures for a little over 2 years. I’m especially eager to learn more astrophotography techniques from him. He has taken some incredible photos of everything from comets to the Milky Way over the Tetons. My hope is to learn not only new photo techniques, but also to improve my eye for composition.

Milky Way
Photo by Matt Suess

I’m excited to see how Olympus enables me to push further in my photography journey! Portability and advanced features like high-res shot are indispensable for adventurers. Walking long distances through the snow to shoot astrophotography or a landscape can be physically challenging. Setting up bulky camera gear in the cold usually results in numb hands, which adds to the frustration. I’m looking forward to Olympus’ lightweight camera bodies and lenses and how it will affect the quality of my creative process.