Thoughts Behind The Image: Photographs and words from books that will never be published.




This is the first post to my blog about photography.  I will talk about my work; I do not plan on comparing it to anyone else’s. It will be about what I have done, how my artistic path has meandered, and branched, and changed. For the most part I work in series some of which are dictated by travel and some by topic. One of the series you will find is considered a group solely by the fact that the photographs have little or nothing to with anything in particular including each other. Many of the photographs appear on my website, but in future posts I will also include others. I do not intend to make this a discussion of equipment and technique. But I do plan to have a few entries that deal with these topics when they are appropriate in an explanation of my work. I will have guest writers on occasion, and will include some work of other artists that I greatly admire.

Eastern Washington has inspired the first entries and where I found the photo below. It is interesting to me that I lived and worked there for most of my professional career but seldom went there to take photographs. I seemed to need to go elsewhere for most of my work, at least for work that I liked. Those were my ‘formative’ years. For the last three years I have gone back to that surprisingly varied landscape and found it to be a mine of inspiration. As I first started wandering around what some would call ‘the middle of nowhere’, this image not only presented itself but I realized that it was the inspiration for an extensive investigation of the area with its old towns, rich but seldom discussed history, people with character, harsh growing conditions and unappreciated beauty. I will add people stories, geology, and perhaps what could best be termed folk history along with my photographs.


You're in Wheat Country - © Skip Smith

You’re In Wheat Country

I was fortunate in meeting Rod Kinch, the wheat farmer who made this sign. He is friendly, has an extremely well run and orderly operation, and a flair for art. Near where this appeared he had very carefully placed a series of old farm vehicles and implements on the crest of a rise that runs along the highway. It was a great find, and in my mind as good as much celebrated public art. When I asked why he made “You’re In Wheat Country” he said that in much of the irrigated agricultural land in Washington many of the fields are labeled with crop markers and he felt this wheat country deserved equal billing. Also, he said, the old truck was never one of his favorites.


This article has 13 comments

  1. John

    Really looking forward to additional posts! You have a wonderful eye for subject material and a talent for presentation. Even though equipment and post-exposure techniques are secondary to visualizing a subject as you do, I hope that you will reveal some of the technical “stuff” as well in future blog entries.

    1. Skip Smith

      Thanks, John. I will bring in some stuff from time and if you have questions let me know. skip

  2. Eric Baylin

    Hey good friend,
    This is an awesome beginning of something that I know will gather in richness over time with stories and evocative images. I am right there with you in ‘the middle of nowhere.’ I can feel the air in that space and the landscape stretching beyond the edges of the frame. You have inspired me.
    Looking forward to more

    1. Skip Smith

      Thanks, Eric, very kind words indeed. I would really like both you and Beth to do guest poss at some time. Will you please consider it? Many thanks, skip

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Please send me an email for general inquiries, friendly hello's, or to contact me for print purchase. All pieces are available. Thank you for your interest! –Skip