October, 2022 – Photographing the D&L Trail National Heritage Corridor for Discover Lehigh Valley
November 2022 – Covering the setup of “Lights in the Parkway” in Allentown, PA Photo Courtesy Hanna O’Reilly 

Capturing our World
through Light & Sound
by Ethan Quin

Photography has a more important role in our world than ever before. True images that reflect reality will be even more valuable, when so much in our culture will be changed and distorted by artificial intelligence.

Reporter Bo Koltnow & Ethan Quin outside the Capital building in Washington D.C. Jan 20th, 2021 covering the Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden – Photo Courtesy Chris Post

January 19th, 2021 Washington D.C. – Photo Courtesy Chris Post

From Childhood Curiosity
to Creative Vision

I grew up in Northern California in the early 1980’s before moving to the East Coast in the early 1990’s. My father was interested in photography and had cameras and darkroom supplies that peaked my curiosity. He revered photographers like Ansel Adams. His father was a photographer and journalist who started his own newspaper and at one time worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. I loved carrying a camera around, even without film in it. The viewfinder became my portal, framing narratives and imbuing everyday scenes with a sense of significance.

Once I became a teenager, I started shooting on my father’s Minolta SRT201 35mm film camera and I started developing in my high school darkroom. Eventually my interest led me to get my hands on a video camera, and I would carry it around school, after getting the permission and freedom to document school life, for the end of year slideshow.

1998 – Oh, those frosted tips. Self portrait in mirror – Minolta SRT201 50mm f1.8 & 35mm Kodak 400
2002 – “Shadows still are Lonely” Unconscious Series DeviantArt (Daily Deviation) – Minolta SRT201 28mm f2.5 35mm Kodak Tri-X 400 Film

After school, I studied photography in community college, met my future wife while working for a movie theater, and later studied film and video in Florida. I worked on short films there and as a director of photography for videos by the Rollins Crummer Graduate School. At the time I started photographing sports and weddings and eventually moved to Texas. Living in Dallas, I did visual effects work for feature length and short films, from compositing to creating CGI elements.

After moving back to the Northeast, I continued portrait photography through the company Lifetouch. Later in 2015, focusing on portrait and wedding photos, and then advancing to landscape and wildlife. During that time I started working in the the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania as a camera operator and Director of Photography for television, pilots, commercials, and industrials.

Through 2014 to 2019 I got to collaborate as editor and camera operator with Producer/Director Tom Caamano on documentaries “The Keystone Connection” (2015), “Invincible: The True Story” (2016), and the Emmy nominated “True North: The Sean Swarner Story.” I also worked doing photography for local businesses, charities, such as the Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network, and animal shelters like Peaceable Kingdom in Allentown, PA.

I love traveling, and when I do, the National Parks are usually my destination. In 2017, my wife and I got to take a road trip across the United States, stopping at parks like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, and the Redwoods. It was my third time traveling across and her first, but it wouldn’t be our last. Later in 2023 we ventured across with our 3 month old baby and our nine year old cat. It was our first time going through Utah and seeing the Great Salt Lake and the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Filming in Reading, PA at Penske Corporate Headquarters 2014 – Photo Courtesy Tom Caamano

Floating like a cloud over Warren County, New Jersey with reporter Joe Ducey covering the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. 2021

March 13th 2020 – Montgomery County Press Conference on the first reported case of Covid-19 in Pennsylvania. Photo by Ethan Quin

Prior to moving, I became a Television Photojournalist in 2019 working for the CNN-Affiliate WFMZ Channel 69 News that serves Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, Pennsylvania. I was now racing around with reporters to chasing stories, but the way I worked would change, as would everyone.

In early 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world. I was just finishing editing a report we did on the Chinese new year when information started pouring in from Wuhan. In March, I would cover the story of the first reported case in Pennsylvania with reporter Justin Backover in Montgomery County. I also covered the first U.S. military member to die of Covid-19.

As the pandemic set in, and after the grocery and liquor stores were raided, the streets began to empty. The world turned surreal with electronic billboards warning to keep your distance and avoid contact. Most people were at home, most businesses were closed, and I was out in what felt like the closest I came to witnessing something like the apocalypse.

Reporter Brian Sheehan live outside the U.S. Capital building in Washington D.C. on January 6th, 2021. Photo by Ethan Quin

As crazy as the year 2020 felt, it would get ever crazier. The murder of George Floyd and the protests that started erupting over police tactics exposed the already deep divisions in this country following the beginning of the pandemic. My colleagues and I had already implemented safety procedures with covid, but now we were starting to think about protection from riots and counter-protests.

The presidential election that year continued in bringing more chaos and division. I found myself down in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with reporter Holly Harrar covering the ballot counting outside the convention center. As the year closed and Joe Biden was declared the winner, most of us thought things would calm down, but right around the corner in the beginning of 2021 the craziness was just getting started.

An electronic signpost displaying “Stay Home and Limit Travel” along I-78 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Photo by Ethan Quin

On January 6th, 2021 in the early afternoon we heard reports of Trump supporters overwhelming capitol police and breaching the capitol building. Reporter Brian Sheehan and I decided to take the 4 hour trip down Washington D.C. and report on what was happening. Driving down there, we really didn’t know what was going to happen. On our way we interviewed Congresswoman Susan Wild, who was at that time in a secure location with other House members.

We made it to D.C. as police had secured the area. We broadcasted live and finally got to the D.C. hotel around 11:00pm. There were some Trump supporters mulling about outside the hotels. I even had to call security because a group of them were using a megaphone in the room next door at 2 in the morning (My wakeup time was at 3:30am to get gear ready for the live broadcast on the early shows). Later that morning, I was harassed and threatened by Trump supporters while getting video of the capitol. It was something a lot of us in the field experienced, especially since Trump coined the phrase “fake news.”

September 10th, 2021 – The Whitehall Zephyrs retire Saquon Barkley’s #21 jersey during halftimePhoto Courtesy Keith Jones

Outside the Capitol building during the Presidential Inauguration of Joe Biden , January 20th, 2021
Ethan Quin (left), Bo Koltnow (center), and Chris Post (right) outside the Whitehouse on January 19th, 2021 the last full day Donald Trump was in office. – Photo Courtesy Chris Post

It would only be a few weeks later that I would be back in Washington D.C. to cover the Inauguration of Joe Biden. Again, we didn’t know what exactly might happen, so our great safety expert Chris Post outfitted us with personal armor, bump helmets, gas masks, and walkies. It was my second strangest time in Washington D.C., since the pandemic and January 6th insurrection, the streets were completely empty, businesses boarded up, and security was heavy.

I would end up working another year and a half as a television photojournalist. I started work in 2022 editing Chef Swap at the Beach on the Cooking Channel, and then was a feature editor for Dynamic K9 Duos on ESPN. After that I did some work on unannounced projects that are still being produced.

(Above) A small sample of the photojournalism and editing I did while working for WFMZ Channel 69News in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

On the field of the Eagles versus the New Orleans Saints, January 1st 2023 Philadelphia, PA – Photo Courtesy Chris Prugh
December 22nd, 2023 – Photographing birds off Narrow Bay in New York State.

Now, I am on the west coast in southern Oregon photographing the beautiful landscapes and wildlife here and hoping to work on some new and exciting projects as well as meet some great people and serve the community here.

Thank you for reading. I hope you found my little story interesting and that it resonated with you in some way. The privilege of capturing life’s moments, big and small, is one I never take for granted.