Nick Exposed

A Creative Community Hosted By Photog/Designer Nick Mayo

Photographic Inspiration: Rodney Smith

If your on the Nick Exposed Facebook page at all you’ve probably seen the awesome interviews I posted of wonderful photographer and teacher Chris Orwig! If you haven’t seen them head over to the Facebook page right now and check them out! (Hit the like button while your there to be in on the excitement next time) Back to the main topic.. In those interviews Chris discusses his inspiration from photographer Rodney Smith. So naturally I went on a search for his work in hopes of finding my own inspiration, and man did I find it. I would have to say Rodney is a Master when it comes to story telling with his images! His photography speaks the words of a brilliant poet and has the imagery of a chart rocking cinema. His scenes draw me in and encapsulate my imagination bringing me back to my boyish beginnings as I try to make sense of it all, asking question after question.

Its been interesting lately, as I have been more and more inspired by the work of those who only use film. Theres a bit of unspoken truth and boldness in those who stick to the origins and create stunning pieces such as Rodney’s. It proves its not in the equipment, but in the hand and eye of the photographer. Rodney as a person seems to be a very truthfully spoken individual as well, which may be why he relates with film so well. In reading through his blog a bit, he’ not afraid to speak what is on his mind. At the same time seems to know the power of his words and how to use them to better both himself and those around him, which I also feel shines through in his work. There seems to be a wonderful consistency between the photographer and his work. Jay Maisel often says “In order to take more interesting pictures, you must become a more interesting person”, and Rodney is definitely an interesting person. He has a wonderful sense of style and cleanliness in his personal life resulting in wonderfully clean photos that have a style of their own.

I look forward to continuing my research on this fantastic photog, and am excited to hear your thoughts as well.

Visit his portfolio Here

© Rodney Smith

© Rodney Smith

©Rodney Smith

Here is a portion of an Class on Lynda Training (Great creative training site by the way). Its an introductory interview between Chris Orwig and Rodney Smith as they discuss his creative process and thoughts on shooting.

If your a member you can view the rest of the course Here (Im seriously contemplating renewing my membership just so I can watch the rest of the series haha)

Here is a video slideshow of some of Rodney’s other work with additional work that isnt featured on his web portfolio.

Be sure to post your thoughts below!

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13 thoughts on “Photographic Inspiration: Rodney Smith

  1. Hmmm . . . can’t even contemplate going back to film. Digital allowed me to truly “play and learn”. Or maybe just play.

    Although, I would point out film is not the origin of photography. There are people who build and use pin-hole cameras and expose plates they create from scratch. Their work is unique and interesting, but I don’t have the desire and inclination to do much more than admire their craft even as I work on mine.

    By the way, thanks for the light-box tutorial.

    • Haha this is too funny, I was literally just looking up tutorials on how to build my own pinhole camera earlier today! And good point, film is not the original craft, however it is part of the origin that led into the digital age.

      Your welcome for the lightbox tutorial! I look forward to posting many more homemade photog projects in the future 🙂

  2. His work is great!! I had enough work with film and processing and darkrooms ever so many years ago. I learned more with a digital camera than reading and viewing less then perfect negatives and photos so long after the event that could never be recreated again.

    With digital I know immediately if it was what I was trying to do, what works and what doesn’t.

    I clearly remember my first newspaper/flyer/brochure work back when photos had to be screened during developing to be printed in newspapers, and then the cutting, pasting, stripping et al. I still have the first brochure I did for out company 15 years ago. It was all created via cut and paste with scissors and glue. It is better than the first generation of digital when they all printed in 72 dpi.

    But now: Give me digital. It is so easy to create graphics that depict our own vision.


    • Haha, I can understand your emotions towards the subject. Though I’ve never had to deal with all the hussle and bussle of film I do know how convenient it is to shoot digital. And trust me, I am in no way saying Im regressing into film, however it is something I have an interest to continue trying. But I think its a lot of what you just explained that causes my heightened intrigue into these photographers works. Despite the difficulty and lack of knowing exactly what the end result will look like they continue to keep plugging away in the nearly retired medium with such great success. Theres no digital manipulation, or relying on the 3inch screen on the back, its an exude confidence in their own ability. A confidence that adds another dimension to the photograph. Thats what inspires me about it all.

      • Yep, I know what you mean. And yes, I think we all should learn every new thing we can grab onto, even if it’s old, it is a part of the fabric of how we got here. There are still people who ride horses every chance they get, doesn’t mean any of us want to return to “the good old days.” It just means it gives us a deeper appreciation of what came before. It adds patina to our character.

        • Very well put Shez! Just to let you know I finished my first full roll of film today while shooting downtown. First time I’ve remembered to grab my Minolta when heading out. I must say it was a much different experience.

  3. Ok, these photos are simply amazing. They have everything, emotion, irony and above all, interesting themes. These are definitly on my top list of photos. 🙂

  4. Olivia Griselda on said:

    His pictures always have this whimsical style which I really love!

  5. Robyn G on said:

    Brilliant! Thankyou for sharing this 😀
    I’m excited by these fabulous works of art.
    Each has it’s own energy and story and boggles the mind as to how some of them are set up/created.
    ..and yes the quirkiness and whimsy is wonderful!
    I have a new favourite inspiration. Thankyou!

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