Like the ancient world composed of the essential elements of earth, air, fire, and water, a photograph depicts a subject with the essential elements of light, shadow, form, and texture. My images seek to capture that essence of the subject: the way it reflects light, it’s form and texture, and how it is modified by light and shadow.
I have been doing photography for something over 40 years, starting with a folding camera and black & white roll film. Over time I dabbled with various formats but mostly I worked in 35mm. I enjoyed the versatility of the 35mm SLR and took on the challenge of making high quality images from this small format.
In the 1960s I worked in a small photo studio where I spent many hours in the darkroom making black and white prints. Then I moved from still photography to television and video. I have now come full circle, returning to photography as art after a 30-year career in visual communication.
Several years ago I embraced the digital world. I now shoot with a Nikon digital camera and my darkroom is a computer, Adobe Photoshop and an archival inkjet printer. The image quality and creative control that you can get with the “digital darkroom” is just astounding.
With the great progress in the development of digital tools for photography over the last few years, the debate is pretty well settled as to whether digitally captured and processed images are valid art forms.
To me, photography is about the image, and the photographer’s vision. All of the technical tools, whether film-based or digitally-based, are are nothing more or less than tools for translating the photographer’s vision into a medium that can enjoyed by others.
PO Box 969
Martinsburg, WV 25402
Email: rip.smith (at) sterlingimages dot com