Cade Martin Imagines New Worlds with Life in the Bayou Series

By Barbara Goldman

Photographer Cade Martin finds beauty in the every day. He has a unique perspective that takes viewers on a magical journey, whether he is working on a commercial assignment or something purely for himself.  Martin shoots for many advertising, editorial and corporate clients and has won numerous awards. Photography is not work for him. It is always great enjoyment, as it combines his love of lightheartedness, humor, the surreal and old Hollywood glamour that all go back to his childhood love of great cinema and storytelling.

 Martin has always been inspired by the beauty and lushness of the Louisiana bayous. The mystery of this fragile environment, danger and other worldliness are a source of endless fascination. While working recently in New Orleans, he stayed over after the project and, as he says, hired an “ol' Cajun French guy” with a boat to take him out to shoot and explore the Bayous.

 Bayous  also have a special meaning to Martin. Ever since he was a kid, he loved the comic strip Pogo.  Pogo is the title character in a long-running daily American comic strip that started in the 1940s by cartoonist Walt Kelly. Pogo is set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States.  All the characters live in the swamp with Pogo the possum as the main character and his good friend Albert the alligator. The anthropomorphic characters and their adventures are famous for bringing  readers sophisticated wit with physical comedy for wonderful social and political satire.  Poetry, wordplay, puns and lush artwork all come together to create humor, wisdom and thoughtfulness that have been enjoyed by kids and adults alike all these years.

 Besides Pogo, Martin was influenced by another children’s classic, A Cajun Night Before Christmas, by James Rice and Trosclair. Here the classic Christmas narrative poem by Clement  Clarke Moore is retold in a Cajun dialect with an alligator who helps Santa and then is left behind in the Louisiana Bayou. Pogo and A Cajun Night Before Christmas became the inspiration for Martin’s own comic storybook project.  In collaboration withSouverein Weesp Post Production, Martin created and photographed “Life in the Bayou – The  Party.”  Mardi Grass fun, dancing and singing alligators, jazz bands and the Bayou atmosphere and location are all here in this first visual for the "Life in the Bayou" series. Martin did the photography of the Louisiana Bayou location and the rest was created in 3D and post. The Alligator models were designed and created, in collaboration with Martin, by Souverein Weesp and positioning was done with a rig and Maya's muscle system for parts of the body.

 This has been a very personal project for Martin as it goes back to fond memories of his own childhood. The three images shot so far in the series are featured in his portfolio, website and social media. The series has been very well received in its limited release. The dance floor image which is the first one he completed and has already been selected to be the main visual for the annual international Siggraph  (Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) conference. Siggraph is the biggest conference worldwide in CG and is attended by tens of thousands of computer professionals.  Martin is open to all kinds of possibilities. “Life in the Bayou-The Party” may even be on the way to becoming the next children’s classic storybook. See more work from Cade Martin at his site, and his “Life in the Bayou- The Party” as he continues to add to the series.

© Cade Martin


PDN August 2016: The Fine-Art Photography Issue

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