Jeffrey M. SmithJeffrey M. Smith

Artist Biography

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I grew up in Dayton, Ohio, graduated from Wright State University with a degree in Geology, and flew with the U.S. Air Force for 24 years.  I often muse that the Air Force commissioned me based on my degree of studying rocks, and later as a tanker navigator, paid me to avoid these same rocks.  After a fun career, I moved back to the Miami Valley where I’m pursuing my second passion...photography.

 

Landscape, nature, and architectural photography entail my favored subjects, while sunset and twilight are definitely my favorite times of day!  If you love colorful sunsets, I think you’ll enjoy these prints.  In addition to capturing city skylines under amazing skies, I am also creating images using Evidence-based design (EBD) principles.  EBD is an approach where researchers realized that patients, clients, and employees feel relaxed, heal faster, and become more productive when surrounded by certain calming images of nature.  Employing this approach over the last year, I’ve worked to capture scenes that medical facilities use to place their patients at ease while touting their pride in the local community. 

 

If your days are filled with challenges, I hope these vibrant prints bring peace and solitude.  In capturing these images, it’s hard not gaining a sense of awe and wonder, and I’m convinced it's my calling to share these decisive moments.  If you’d like to share your thoughts or a memory, please reach out to me at [email protected]e.com

 

 

A Caesar Creek twilight where a band of cirrus clouds diagonally spanned the sky as the fading light painted the wispy clouds in pink hues which contrasted with the deepening blue sceneCaesar Creek Twilight No. 1On this evening, visitors to Caesar Creek State Park enjoyed a little skyfire as high-level cirrus clouds slowly passed through the Ohio sky. At one point, the clouds consolidated into two bands which delightfully drew the eye to the distant horizon. As twilight deepened into blue hour, the lofty leading lines took on a rich salmon color as the lake’s waters assumed an evening calm forming a perfect reflection of the spectacle overhead.

 

Artist Statement

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I’m a Midwest landscape photographer who once again calls Dayton, Ohio home.  In college, I studied geology and after graduation, flew as an Air Force navigator.  I loved the use of a sextant in conducting celestial navigation.  Drawing on these skills, I find my best images blend elements of geology, astronomy, and meteorology along with amazing light.  In finding the right light, sunset and twilight are my favorite times of the day.  

 

For sunsets, the interaction of the low-angled sun and high-level clouds produce brief but amazing colors.  Unfortunately, on most days, the colors never materialize.  The conditions which produce these scenes are infrequent and when they occur, pass within a minute or two.  If I'm lucky in hitting the right sun-cloud alignment, I often employ the Contre-jour (French for "against daylight") technique.  The light can be harsh, but by bracketing my images, found I can negate the glare, highlight the silhouettes, and still retain foreground detail.  As twilight develops, I’ll hold out for a second sweet spot where the blue hues of twilight still illuminate the sky, which in turn complements the warm-colored city lights.  

 

In either situation, one needs to work quickly, which makes having a  plan essential.  In the weeks before arriving at a scene, I study the flow of the land, its celestial alignments, and potential compositional elements.  To this end, my favorite landscapes involve water which I find reflects and magnifies the sky’s colors.  With a few plans in my pocket, I monitor the evening’s weather and when conditions look right, I’ll gear up and head out.  The thrill comes from the fleeting moments when it all comes together...where patience, anticipation and preparation produce stunning scenes which evoke awe and excitement! 

 

The parks and vistas are generally empty during these hours, and I often ponder if I'm the only one who just witnessed the spectacle.  Given these thoughts, I find it is my passion to freeze these moments, along with the scene’s feeling and emotion.  For me, it’s the….Art of Frozen Time. 

 

Riverwalk, Zion National Park No. 1Riverwalk, Zion National Park No. 1

"Photography is the Art of Frozen Time - the ability to store emotion and feelings within a frame."  Meshack Otieno