Jeff Smith is a Fine Art Landscape Photographer who captures images from Ohio, the Midwest, and our US National Parks. With over 400 art prints in local healthcare facilities, he specializes in evidence-based design in healthcare art. His portfolios of Dayton Skylines and local area parks depict iconic locations under amazing skies. Be sure to check out his image contribution to the US Postal Service Stamp Series, "Mighty Mississippi".
Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, I attended Wright State University studying Geology. As the Air Force would have it, I later applied my degree by avoiding rocks. After a 24-year career of flying, I moved back to Dayton where I’m pursuing landscape photography. Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, I attended Wright State University studying Geology. As the Air Force would have it, I later applied my degree by avoiding rocks. After a 24-year career of flying, I moved back to Dayton where I’m pursuing landscape photography. Now I help businesses and homeowners personalize their space with art that celebrates nature and their hometown.
For me, sunset and twilight are my favorite times of day! 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 people feel relaxed, heal faster, and become more productive when surrounded by calming images of nature. To this end, I currently have over 400 prints in hospitals, physician offices, and professional spaces throughout the Miami Valley.
I find there are three joys in capturing an image. First is simply the experience, the pure peace amidst nature’s amazing colors. The second is viewing the image on my computer and realizing I caught something wonderful…and I didn’t muck it up. The next joy comes in seeing the print adorning a client’s wall. It’s also very humbling.
If your days are filled with challenges, I hope these vibrant prints bring you a few moments of peace and solitude. In creating these prints, it’s hard not gaining a sense of awe and wonder. As part of my art, I’m convinced it’s my calling to capture and then share these tranquil moments with you.
For me, the most intriguing light comes at the end of the day…as a result, I love chasing sunsets! The interaction of the low-angled sun and high-level clouds produce brief but amazing colors. The conditions which produce these scenes are infrequent and pass quickly when they do occur. In fact, on most days, they don’t happen at all. Often, an over-the-horizon cloud blocks the sunlight from painting the skies in warm colors. On other days, I’ll find clouds perfectly poised to being lit from underneath, right before they suddenly evaporate from view. Despite the trials and tribulations, 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!
If I’m lucky enough to catch favorable light, I prefer the contre-jour technique of pointing my lens into the light. Given the extreme contrast between dimmer, golden-hour foregrounds and the still very bright sun and underlit clouds, the exposures become more unforgiving. I mitigate these effects through bracketing. Coupled with the bracketing, some vistas beg for a panoramic composition that entails capturing a series of exposures that sweep across the horizon.
The parks and vistas I shoot are often void of visitors during these hours leaving me to ponder if I was the only one witnessing the spectacle. In creating these images, it’s hard not to experience a sense of awe and wonder, thus I find my calling in sharing these decisive moments.
An amazing sunset over the Dayton Skyline and an impressive example of Jeff's artwork.