This week’s Featured Photographer is:
RSMITHINGS – Handcrafted Surrealism
Areas you Serve:
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Hi, I’m Richard Smith, aka “rsmithing.” I blend scenes from my surroundings into surreal photomontages. What you see are stylized amalgamations of my everyday world. Richard Smith + things = rsmithings.
How did you get started in photography?
I’ve always loved art, and I remember getting a thrill from when my mom would post my drawings on the refrigerator. Come puberty, I discover rock ‘n’ roll and take up music, and I also get into producing flyers. Little did I know I was teaching myself graphic design. Finally in college, it all comes together at the university newspaper when I discovered Aldus Pagemaker — the digital way of doing what I’d been creating by hand with photocopiers and cutouts from newspapers. From there, I decided on a career in graphic design, and it’s been great. Along the way I continued making music and writing, but graphic art — and more so these days, photography, is the passion that sets me on fire.
What do you shoot?
I constantly snap photos of whatever’s around that I find interesting. Once the urge to create strikes, I then start a synthesizing journey. Sometimes I know exactly where I’m headed; other times I’m just along for the ride, letting magic from the universe do the driving. Common subjects (in Latin, because that’s more fancy and interesting): Anatomiae, Animalium, Arbores, Florum, Insecta, Populus, Scaenarum, Structurae.
Who or what inspires you?
My direct visual inspirations include fine artists such as Dalí & Escher; avant-garde photographers including Man Ray & Francesca Woodman; classic photography masters such as Ansel Adams & Erwin Blumenfeld; along with contemporary creators like Sion Fullana, Tommy Ingberg, Sylvia Grav, and of course, the ultimate photomontage master and my deepest inspiration, Jerry Uelsmann.
What kind of camera bag do you carry and what’s in it?
My left pocket. My iPhone is in it when it’s not in my hand or charging.
What are some of your favorite photography products?
Lately I’ve gotten into having my works commercially printed in large-format posters. It’s a great way to amplify the impact of something that would otherwise be limited by your own personally-financed equipment. I don’t have a 40″ x 60″ printer, but I can outsource that and get a quality product that I stand behind.
Three random things about yourself:
1. I used to play bass in a band called Mr. Fancypants Vs. The Satanic Mechanix — but don’t let the name scare you — we weren’t actually mechanics.
2. I am fluent in Hick. “ain’t got no,” “ratcheer / ratchyonder,” and other such phrases are in my lexicon.
3. My first concert: Johnny Cash, 1982 World’s Fair.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Follow your intuition and get good at listening to it; it will never steer you wrong.
Any advice you’d like to share?
Get the shot. You’ll regret it later if you don’t. Always follow that urge to take our your phone or camera and capture that thing that caught your eye. Because your intuition is probably right. And it won’t be there later. Do it. Now.
Mac or PC? Photoshop or Lightroom?
I do all my editing on a now-extinct app called PhotoForge2. Before that, Photoshop was basically my operating system. Because I can describe in detail the differences between all layer blending modes and the merits of using curves vs. levels, that geeky knowledge has been a good transfer to iPhoneography.
Where else can we find you on the web?
My website: http://RSMITHINGS.com is the best source (especially the “latest works” and “subscribe” links – hint,hint), and I’m probably on your favorite photo sharing or social networking site as rsmithing — especially Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr and Twitter. In that order. Stalkers welcome!