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Photographer of the Week: Sarah Colvin

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  August 31, 2008 10:48 PM

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The Prudence
The Prudence, Hyannis Harbor

By Sarah Colvin

Light is an amazing thing. From the newness of first light to the end-of-the-day glow, it’s always changing, always moving, always enhancing our lives, and it’s essential to the art of photography.

Christian Science Church Park.jpg

Christian Science Church Park, Boston
Canon EOS 30D, 1/20, f/3.5, 18mm, ISO 1600

I've been wielding a camera ever since I was given a Kodak Disc as a child. I'd set up my Lego guys and take their portraits, photograph their homes and little plastic yards. My stuffed animals were willing subjects as well. The first "real camera" I had was a gift from my parents on my 16th birthday -- a fully-manual Minolta XG-1. It saw me through several years of high school photo classes and explorations. I developed most of the photos I took by hand, watching the images come alive in the red light of my school’s darkroom.

My first job was at a photo lab. I worked there for seven years developing and printing the work of amateurs and professionals, tourists and locals, and of course, my own photographs. I learned the finer points of color theory, film developing, and processing. Learning from the work of others is invaluable, especially when you view the whole project: mistakes, experiments, the shots that work, the shots that don’t. I still view others’ work regularly to see where I might improve or to try an angle I haven’t yet thought of.

Harvard Station

Harvard Station, Cambridge
1/50, f/4, 18mm, ISO 800

After leaving the photo lab, my cameras grew dusty on the shelves; after developing and printing my own images for so long, I felt lost handing the undeveloped roll of film over to someone else. So I stopped taking photos for a while. And then the "digital age" began.

I now shoot with a Canon 30D, the 18-55 kit lens and an absolutely fantastic 50mm f/1.4. My want and desire to shoot pictures never went away, and having the 30D and the ability to view and edit my photos on my own and instantly is a huge plus. My long-term boyfriend is an artist and photographer and he pulls no punches in critiquing my work. His guidance has vastly improved my ability to frame a shot, and to think twice about composition before pushing that button. I like to get the shot right away, in-camera, and present it as-is, with little or no post processing. Most of the shots on my site are unedited, are full-frame, and not manipulated in Photoshop in any way.

The Lobsterman

The Lobsterman, Portland, Maine
1/200, f/2.8, 50mm, ISO 200

The world is a fascinating place. I like to look for the angle you don’t see every day, the aspect of the building or scene or person that you won’t see when looking head on. I have no problems getting down on the ground, splashing in to the water, climbing some treacherous rocks or skulking in an alley to capture the image I have in mind. Most of the time the best shots come when you’re not looking for them and those are the shots I like the most.


Graffiti, Portland, Maine
1/160, f/2.5, 50mm, ISO 200

Lady's Slipper Shells

Lady's Slipper Shells, Dennis
(Ed. Note: No, it's not the flower; a lady's slipper also is a mollusk, one of a family of slipper limpets. "Slipper limpets" sounds like a Monty Python song, but they are found all along the Atlantic coast.
Check it out here.

Currently I’m working on honing my portrait skills. I feel fortunate to have photogenic friends who are enthusiastic (and patient!) to pose for me. In my portraits, I want to show the person on the other side of the lens what I see when I look at their face.



Low Country Destroyer

Low Country Destroyer, Savannah, Georgia
1/250, f/10, 18mm, ISO 1600

Dean & Shannon

Dean & Shannon, Sandwich

My goal as a photographer is to share my little view of the world with anyone who’s willing to look. I want to show the places I love as I see them.

Englewood Sunset

Englewood Sunset, Yarmouth
1/25, f/3.5, 18mm, ISO 1600


About Sarah

Sarah Colvin
Sarah says she's proud to call Massachusetts her home. A Cape Cod native, she moved "over the bridge" to Boston last summer. When she's not taking photos, she's working with sound. On the Cape, she worked as a morning news anchor and reporter for two top-rated radio stations. Currently, she's a production assistant and voice talent for a telecommunications company based in Newton. She lives in Belmont with her longtime boyfriend, their cat, several bicycles, lots of record albums, and, of course, a slew of camera equipment. You can see more of Sarah's photos on her website as well as on Flickr.

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