Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring Rodney Smith's "The End", part of Narrative Portraiture: On Location in New York with Rodney Smith.
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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.…
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.