Sandra McMartin – Seeing The World Through Her Lens

By on March 27, 2015
mcmartin

By Arts Editor Doreen Jung. It is really in the details. For photographer, Sandra McMartin, details are the key to the fascination that a subject holds for her. [Click On Image For Full Story] This has led to arresting abstract images that captivate viewers. Shapes and colours tease and tantalize and one cannot help but closely examine the details in McMartin’s photographs. She skewers her perspectives using reflections with vivid colours and swirling lines.

During a spring walk at Granville Island late one day, McMartin noticed the ripple effect on the water created by the wind. Her photo “Canoe Ride Reflections” captured the rich colours and hypnotic shapes created by the wind, the water, and the light.

A close examination reveals the tip of a canoe and a sliver of a yellow paddle. Using computer software, McMartin enhanced her image infusing it with a painted feeling.
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High Rise Abstract

“Most people, when they see my work, think it is a photograph of a painting,” reflects McMartin. “I like that a lot of my work isn’t easily identified as a photograph. I see the photograph as my raw material, something that I expand upon and create something a bit different than the reality.”

Her image, “High Rise Abstract” is a reflection of one high rise building in another. McMartin loves the abstract nature of reflections. With digital manipulation she created an image that dazzles the eye with jewel-like brilliance.
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Making Memories

Ever since she can remember, McMartin has had a camera in her hand. As a little girl, she would spend hours browsing through her Grandmother’s photo albums. The pictures would take her to places that she had never been to and introduce her to people she would never meet. McMartin began to chronicle events with her camera.

Her passion for capturing special moments for her family continues. “Making Memories” is a photo of her niece and nephew. McMartin was captivated by the light and the spontaneity of the moment.
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Stave Falls

“Photography has taught me to be present in the moment,” says McMartin. “No matter where I am now, in a garden or at a model shoot, I am there, aware of what is happening, right there, right now.” One of the greatest pleasures she gets from photography is the places it takes her to. It gets her outside, hiking and exploring.

A visit to Stave Falls, close to her home town of Mission, resulted in her image “Stave Falls”. It is part of a series called “Beyond the Photograph”.
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My Madonna

McMartin’s daughter, Katherine has been her inspiration and muse for learning the finer points of portrait photography. “My Madonna” is an image of Katherine taken in natural light and then converted to black and white.

McMartin often plays with the clarity of an image when she is working on a portrait. “I like the softness and dreaminess it gives them,” she explains.
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Feet

The digital darkroom is a place where McMartin’s creative spirit soars. She has always worked with a computer in her career which ranged from graphic design to multimedia presentations. Being very comfortable with technology has allowed her to use many photography programs to enhance her images. She often combines layers from different programs to achieve her final image.
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“Feet” was taken during a recent scavenger hunt with the Abbotsford Photo Arts Club. Using the photograph as raw material, McMartin applied various post processing techniques resulting in a creative interpretation of her photograph.

From brilliant abstracts with crystalline clarity to portraits with ethereal beauty, McMartin’s photography encompasses a wide range of subjects and styles. To see more of her work, visit http://smunited.smugmug.com/

This feature first appeared on July 12, 2012

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Doreen Jung

Doreen Jung

Editor’s Note: Doreen Jung is a member of the Abbotsford Arts Council and former Arts Administrator. Her columns appear here regularly. She Today Media’s Arts Editor.

About Editor

Mike spent 20 years in the newspaper business as a journalist, editor, sales manager and publisher before moving into public relations and business consulting. In 2008 he became founding editor of the Abbotsford Post and he is co-owner of Today Media Group. Mike graduated from the University of Alberta in 1970 with a BA in Political Science and Economics and has since pursued graduate studies in both Federalism and Journalism. He has a Diploma in Web Design from Academy of Learning.

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