Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith
Illustration by

Exploring Rodney Smith's "The End"


From:

Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith

with Chris Orwig

Video: Exploring Rodney Smith's "The End"

Chris Orwig: There is so much that I enjoy about photography, whether it's getting out in the field and capturing a moment and creating the photograph or reviewing those images after the fact or making my own prints. But above and beyond all that, I also really like enjoying other people's photography in book form. You know, I've highlighted a few of Rodney's books, and there's an interesting trend. Here was his first book. It's pretty big. Then this one was a little bit smaller and then even smaller. And now here back in California, we have his most recent book.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 13s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Introduction to Rodney Smith
      46s
  2. 31m 37s
    1. Creating serene photographs...spontaneously
      4m 37s
    2. Creating photographs that ask questions
      4m 43s
    3. What makes a photograph good?
      5m 28s
    4. Film, digital, and the importance of the artifact
      6m 1s
    5. Contrast, tone, and black and white versus color
      5m 0s
    6. The early years and photography today
      5m 48s
  3. 13m 16s
    1. First impressions: A portrait without the subject
      3m 52s
    2. The finishing room
      1m 4s
    3. The darkroom
      7m 13s
    4. The final print room
      1m 7s
  4. 23m 11s
    1. Selecting the gear
      3m 41s
    2. Shooting the portrait
      6m 13s
    3. Reviewing the plan for the shoot
      2m 6s
    4. The portrait in review
      6m 36s
    5. Large prints in review
      4m 35s
  5. 8m 33s
    1. Why take pictures?
      2m 11s
    2. Cultivating the discipline to print
      2m 8s
    3. Exploring Rodney Smith's "The End"
      4m 14s
  6. 5m 27s
    1. Embracing a theme: Surprise, whimsy, or cliché
      55s
    2. Creating photos that ask questions
      2m 22s
    3. Creating fashion photos with a unique style
      2m 10s
  7. 26m 40s
    1. Photography is a reflection of who we are
      1m 47s
    2. Photography is about the art of observation
      1m 57s
    3. Working with models
      2m 10s
    4. Raise more questions than you answer
      3m 5s
    5. Mentors strengthen our vision
      3m 37s
    6. There is a right place for certain things
      4m 39s
    7. What influences you?
      3m 22s
    8. The camera as a tool for gaining wisdom
      3m 6s
    9. Creating photographs deepens who we are
      2m 57s
  8. 33s
    1. Conclusion
      33s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith
1h 51m Appropriate for all Sep 23, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In the Narrative Portraiture series, photographer and teacher Chris Orwig explores the use of elements such as location and natural light to create images that tell stories about their subjects and produce a strong emotional connection. In this installment, Chris visits Rodney Smith, a photographer whose work is known for its graceful serenity and its wit. Rodney's career spans more than four decades and includes editorial, fashion, and advertising work, as well as several books.

The course begins with a wide-ranging conversation between Chris and Rodney, during which they discuss Rodney's work, his approach to photography and models, his love of film and of black and white, and the importance of creating photographs that both ask questions and tell stories. Next, Chris tours Rodney Smith's studio, including the darkroom, to get more familiar with Rodney before photographing him.

Chris then takes a series of portraits of Rodney. Along the way, he reviews his gear choices and the compositional decisions he makes, and discusses the importance of committing photographs to paper, particularly in today's digital age. Finally, Chris reviews the images and shares some insights from his conversation with Rodney.

Subjects:
Photography Portraits
Author:
Chris Orwig

Exploring Rodney Smith's "The End"

Chris Orwig: There is so much that I enjoy about photography, whether it's getting out in the field and capturing a moment and creating the photograph or reviewing those images after the fact or making my own prints. But above and beyond all that, I also really like enjoying other people's photography in book form. You know, I've highlighted a few of Rodney's books, and there's an interesting trend. Here was his first book. It's pretty big. Then this one was a little bit smaller and then even smaller. And now here back in California, we have his most recent book.

It's just such a completely different size and scale, and that kind of fascinates me. What we are going to do is open this up. And I am excited to open up this book because while I was in New York-- I was able to get it there-- we talked a little bit about the book, he signed it, and he also wrote a few words in the book. Now, I don't know what he wrote, and I can't wait to see what it says. Rodney Smith: This is a book many, many years in the making. I am not quite sure why it took so long, but the three previous books I have done--well, the first one was sort of a standard size, 9x12 coffee shop, just a coffee table book.

But the last two books were quite small, and so everyone was always saying, oh, you know, your pictures look so good big, I think we should do a really big book. So that was the precipice for producing such a big, sort of heavy, tome, because the last two were small. And I did this book, again, starting a number of years ago, with a thought that perhaps it was time to move on from this type of picture, and maybe there would be some other thing in the future.

I don't know. At this point, I still don't know. I don't know whether I am finished with something, or I am really just exploring it further. It's sort of more of a question than an answer. So that's sort of where the title came from. The designer is a person named David Meredith. Walter Thomas, who is this really eccentric and brilliant copywriter, wrote all the text, and it's quite funny. I would also say to do a book like this today, you have to be either slightly insane or in love, or perhaps both.

I mean, it's such a labor of love. There is so much work: the paper cost, the printing cost, the binding cost; just doing everything to the highest level is really, really almost impossible. I mean, you would not get a trade publisher to do this book. Now, there are trade publishers who want to publish this book in a much smaller version, at a much smaller cost, but it's not the same book. I mean, we really worked very, very hard on it.

Chris: The End. The end is but a beginning. And I am going to flip this around so I can read it. I have the edition number and a signature, and here are his words, and I am really just reading them for the first time. But he says, "Often some of the nicest and best things come from unexpected sources. You're definitely one of them.

I thank you, and I'm so happy to know you." And as I was saying before, it's fun to see this in my space. This is kind of--this is special for me. I think as an artist, as a photographer, it's easy to get caught up in it. I could just keep going and going, but I won't. I'll stop here for a minute. You know, I think there is so much to celebrate and appreciate in photography, and the final artifact, the print, really is among one of my favorite things.

There are currently no FAQs about Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.