“Out of My Mind!” Fine Art photography for up-coming show at the Gallery of Caribbean Art, Oct. 16th

Stephen R. Smith started his photography career in 1979 as a photojournalist at the Nation and subsequently the Advocate newspapers at the tender age of 17, fresh out of school. Two years later, he joined Willie Alleyne Associates Ltd as a Senior Photographer.

In 1984, he branched out to establish Photo Dynamics, now Photo Dynamics Inc. (PDI) which has grown to become one of Barbados’ top commercial photography businesses. The very popular Pro Photo Studio at Sheraton Mall was created as a division of PDI, and was to be Barbados’ first fully digital photo studio.

"Night Sky over Green Pond" - There seldom is anything really new in photography. We can, however, approach old things in new ways, and although there are some traditional subjects in this collection, I have chosen to approach them in my own different way. While conceptualizing this collection, I cleared my mind of all previously seen images and concepts. This gave me a clean slate to work with, allowing me to treat each image in accordance with my own vision. My approach to each subject was unscripted but focused, better enabling me to become one with the subject, be totally absorbed by it and feel its own unique dynamic. I imagined how each image would be recorded, how it would be processed and how I would present it to the viewer.

Stephen conceptualized the studio as a cutting-edge facility, ushering in a new era of studio photography in Barbados by developing new and exciting portraiture products based on this new technology.

Since 1985 he has been developing his skills in Corporate Events Photography which he pursued as a niche market. Having distinguished himself and earned a very strong reputation in this field, he now travels internationally shooting corporate events for many well-known companies.

Stephen’s interest in Fine Art Photography started while still a teenager at the Alleyne School. A year later, with able mentoring from the likes of N.I.F.C.A. stalwarts Mr. Carl Neblett and Mr. Ansil Daisley (both now deceased) and Mr. Willie Alleyne, he took his first shot at earning an award at the N.I.F.C.A. Photographic Competition. He copped three bronze awards that year, and for the next several years, Stephen was a prolific exhibitor at N.I.F.C.A., winning several Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

"Evening Sea Spray at Bathsheba" - New advances in camera and digital imaging technology have allowed me to capture striking night scenes with rich detail, sharing with my audience the cool, quiet romance of moonlit scenes and dramatic starlit skies like never before. The collection is eclectic with each print presented on its own merit, and a variety of printing materials and presentation methods are being used. What has emerged therefore is a fresh collection of Fine Art Photography which I hope the viewer will find engaging. This collection is definitely ‘Out of My Mind’.

In 1992 he was invited to be a judge on the N.I.F.C.A. Photography judging panel, a position he held for some years before being appointed as Chief Judge. He has remained in that position for several years now, overseeing the judging and developmental process of the competition as the art form transitions from the film era to the digital age, drawing on his considerable experience in working with both media.

His work as a Fine Art Photographer is well appreciated, and he is probably best known for his distinctive, highly detailed black & white photographs.

This exhibition in October will coincide with Stephen’s celebrating his first half-century here on Planet Earth.

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