About Les Smith – LRPS

LRPS badgeMe in a hatI am a semi-professional photographer based in Cambridge, UK and specialising in travel, landscape and commercial photography with a strong bias towards Visual Art.  I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and member of the Digital Imaging and Contemporary Special Interest Groups and on the comittee for the Digital Imaging Group Eastern Centre.

My first photograph was an abstract of an electricity tower taken in 1970 on a 35mm film camera, later upgrading to a Russian Zenit and then onto various Canon SLRs.  Searching for ultimate quality of images, I moved into medium-format with a 6x6cm Bronica where I found the square format interesting.

Once digital sensor technology had progressed sufficiently (in 2003) I bought my first digital camera, a Canon EOS 10D and now shoot with a 5D Mk3.  More recently, I wanted to take my photography further and so I am also shooting large-format and developing 4×5 (inches) sheet film.

“Once, my camera went with me as I travelled… Now it takes me places.”

The Lure of the Dark Slide

Why go back to film? It’s the only (affordable) route if you want Large Format, so why Large Format? Several reasons:

  1. For the flexibility of changing the plane of sharp focus as the lens and film planes are adjustable unlike most other cameras where these planes are parallel.
  2. The front & rear standards can be raised and lowered, tilted and swivelled, thus certain distortions can be corrected for in camera, for example, converging verticals. Yes ok, you can use software to do this too, but it’s better to get it right in camera.  If you stretch your image about with software, you’re losing resolution in the stretched regions.
  3. The contemplative approach to taking a photograph, the equipment is heavy, requires about an hour to set up, load film, focus and decide on exposure settings to take just one shot.

3 Comments on About Les Smith – LRPS

  • Bruce Davis says:
    April 17, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Hi Les, I met you while on a quick trip to Yosemite. I enjoyed our conversations and shooting together. Didn’t realize you were Royalty. Wish I had more time. You have a really nice site from what I’ve seen so far. I still need to catch up on some sleep and will check your site out more fully. I’d like to see some of the pics you took recently while at Yosemite too.
    I’ll check back again and explore your site more, makes me want to get a website to better display my work. I met another photographer also this weekend that does beautiful work with flowers. Sorry we weren’t successful that night with a Moonbow but I hope you enjoyed the use of the 500 for the moon shots.
    Catch ya later, Bruce


    • Bruce says:
      June 19, 2014 at 6:51 am

      PS wish we could have gotten a Moonbow on Yosemite Falls, but I did get one on Bridal Veil Falls just before the moon set the next morning


    • Les says:
      June 24, 2014 at 6:53 am

      Hi Bruce, it was great to meet you too and to swap ideas, I loved the 500mm shooting the moon. Here’s a sort of travelogue I wrote of my trip:
      and more shots here:
      a fair few flowers, loads of colour!


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