Here are a series of Galleries and Portfolios
Rock 'n Soul Annual concert 2016
Rock 'n Soul members click here to go to the gallery
SVALBARD AND THE HIGH ARCTIC - Images by Michael Smyth
Svalbard is a group of islands in the high Arctic, comprising several small islands. Svalbard is the stepping off point for many Arctic cruises as there is an airport served by flights from Oslo. The islands are incredibly rugged with steep mountains and deep fjords. Like the Antarctic, the area was heavily exploited for whales and seals, with remnants of old operations in evidence. It here that you can see walrus resting on the beach, together with several species of birds and seals. The images of the Polar Bears were taken deep in the pack ice to the North East of Svalbard. The highest latitude we reached was 81 degrees 14' , stil la way from the pole, but deep into the ice. Seeing Polar Bear in their natural environment was a highlight of the trip. Our trip was with Aurora Expeditions and we highly recommend them for both Arctic and Antarctic expedition style adventure travel. See more here...
Here is a link to an Adobe web gallery of images from the Arctic that has some additional images. Click on the image to go to the gallery:
Icebergs around Red Island, Scoresby Sound Greenland by Michael Smyth
End of the Road:
With this panel of work I am examining our relationship with technology and the relentless pressures of the consumer age.
I have used the motor vehicle as a metaphor for all of the consumer age technology that is constantly being sold to us. We are constantly being told that the newest model of car, computer, or camera is the “must have” piece of technology and that our life will not be complete or satisfying without it, so much so that the superseded model suddenly becomes yesterday’s unwanted item (who wants an iPad 2 now that the iPad 3 is out ?)
This has never been more true today with the proliferation of smartphones, iPads and other consumer electronics that are being refreshed and replaced at an alarming rate.
The flipside of all this rush to embrace new technology is the question of what happens to the discarded items ? We are told that “E-waste” is now becoming a major issue with toxic compounds and exotic materials being turned into landfill.
With “end of the Road” I am presenting a series of images of vehicles that are past their “use by” date. These were once the pride and joy of their owners, polished and cleaned with passion and pleasure. Now they are no longer loved and have been left to decay and deteriorate.
The images presented here have been presented using a bright palette of colours to reflect their early life as treasured objects. The high level of degradation has been emphasised with additional textural material to emphasise the decay and the process of absorbing these objects back into the earth that once spawned the materials used to create them
The idea arose during a harbour cruise arranged to photograph the Sydney Flying Squadron on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was grey and overcast, making it a challenge to photograph the action on the harbour.
I began by experimenting with deliberate camera movement to try to abstract the scenes before me. After some trial and error with the amount of movement, the framing and the shutter speed, I found some images that whilst abstracted by the movement, were still nonetheless recognisable. This encouraged me to try further experiments and finally the concept expanded into a body of work.
The intention of the portfolio is to present a new and different interpretation of a familiar subject. Traditional Sydney harbour photos tend to emphasise the beauty, light and colour of the harbour as well as the activities carried out on it on any given day.
My project takes the opposite view. The harbour scenes are presented as almost colourless, dark and brooding. Objects are abstracted and reduced to simple lines and shapes. The intention is to present the harbour as a place of power, mood, atmosphere and brooding. People are not obvious in the images, although they can be implied from the yachts, buildings and structures.
It is not intended to be a happy, joyful place in this series. That is not to say that this is how I see the harbour, it is merely another interpretation that differs from the popular or “normal” vision.
The key elements of photographic language used in this series are: Abstraction, Simplification, Reduction, Ambiguity, Omission, Colour and Illusion.
The images are intended to engage the viewer by presenting a conundrum - the content is partly familiar, but yet abstracted enough so that the viewer is required to study and interpret the material presented and relate it to their previous experience of the harbour.
All images have a similar treatment both in capture and in processing. The images are connected through the subject, content and stylistic approach. Images should stand alone in their representation of different aspects of the harbour.
With this series of images I have attempted to recreate the look of Japenese woodcut drawings. By reducing the snow to paper white and printing on a textured rag paper the images take on a three dimensional appearance.