photo BIO graphy  Rob Smith AAPS  

Who am I?

Born 1955, Inverell NSW Australia, one of six children. Mrs Hayden, a primary school teacher, considered that I had natural ability in drawing and encouraged my parents to foster it.

April 1973, Famous Artists School, Westport CN conferred certificate of completion for home study course for talented young people. August 1973, my father died. I was seventeen, inherited his Voightlander 35mm camera, and began documenting my life and times.

Voigtlander camera

Interested in nature, fishing and birdwatching from a young age, studied the natural sciences, majoring in zoology and ecology. Graduated University of New England B. Sc. (Hons) 1979, with an ambition to be a wildlife researcher or park ranger. Fate decided otherwise and a 25 year IT career in the energy sector followed, including secondary freelance work in 1980s as a writer/photographer for national fishing and photographic magazines.

Married Ruby—the single best decision of my life—and together we've raised three sons—our greatest achievements.

Murray cod drawing

In 1986 co-founded the Predatek fishing lure company. Predatek, formerly Downunder Lures Pty. Ltd., was built from a hobby that grew into a cottage industry and now a small business with a global, export brand. Co-owner and designer of products, brand and collateral.

Interest in photography rekindled in 2004 with purchase of DSLR camera and desire to leverage graphics software skills.  Since 2004, photography has become a passion approaching obsession.

Predatek logo

Still employed full time in the energy industry although role has changed over the last decade to one of marketing and communications—particularly visual communications. Now employed as a corporate photographer/videographer/designer with most work related to industrial and public safety, including shooting, editing and production of videos.

Researched, implemented and now also managing a corporate, cloud-based image library supplied and hosted by Third Light UK.

"Good luck with your fine art venture, Rob. I know first hand how much energy you will put into this, and I am sure those of us at Third Light who know your work would join me in saying that your photography stands out in the crowd."  
Michael Wells CEO Thirdlight.com

2005 September: Published first edition of the Picture Postcard newsletter.

2005 Registered the domain name wowfactorpix.com (long range plan for retirement)

2006 Joined Port Macquarie Panthers Camera Club.

2008 Became disillusioned with prevailing standard of critique and judging at camera club level with emphasis on craft rules rather than expression and pursuing photography as an art form.

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." Ansel Adams

2009 A profound turning point. Attended a series of creative photography workshops led by Professor Des Crawley and Dr Roy Killen, both of whom are now friends and mentors.

Became an accredited judge under auspices of Federation of Camera Clubs NSW, and have since judged at club and national levels and internationally online. Receiving regular invitations to speak on my approach to photography at conferences and seminars, including the Australian Photographic Society's annual conference APSCON.

2009 Awarded 'Associate' level honours by Australian Photographic Society.

2010 Participant in Port now! social documentary photography exhibition at the Glasshouse, Port Macquarie, and producer of the companion book.

Recognised nationally and internationally with numerous photography awards.

2012-13 First solo exhibition - Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, Port Macquarie.

"Your presentation was great, relevant and you are very charismatic in connecting with your audience. I have been one of your "fan" and admire your passion and excellence in photography. More importantly, your generous and down to earth approach in sharing your expertise with people "new" and "old" in this game." Giang D.

Some awards:

  • 2006 'Loners' highest rated image (Loners) MyFourThirds calendar
  • 2007 'Spume' one of 20 international images selected for Mystical Planet exhibition, Toronto Canada
  • 2008 Recognised by Olympus Imaginfg Corp Australia as E-Pro ambassador
  • 2009 Most successful exhibitor FCC Northern Zone Convention
  • 2009 VAPS gold medallion 'Most successful exhibitor - prints' 37th Warragul National.
  • 2012 Winner 'Interpretive' ANZANG (International) Nature Photography Competition

Logo My favourite bird is the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). Just an awesome creature: my totem. It's the Porsche 911 of the bird world, renowned for hunting prowess, power, and acute raptor vision. And my favourite photographic quote comes from Jeff Berner...

"Looking is a gift, but seeing is a power"

Falco peregrinus - seeing is a power

The future? Looking forward to sharing my passion for photography with others, writing about it, and making the best photographs of my life—because I know that my best are yet to come. And, hopefully, I'll feel that way until the day I leave the planet.

As long as I retain my faculties of sight and mind, an inquisitive nature, and enough manual dexterity to operate a camera and a computer, I know that I will become a better photographer.

I'm a photographer fortunate to be living a photographic life.

Thank you to my family and my parents, and all those who have helped shape my seeing. And thank you, Mrs Hayden.

"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."

“I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.”

"Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere."

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”

Albert Einstein


"The photographer cannot, like Turner, whisk an invisible town around a hill, and bring it into view, and add a tower or two to a palatial building, or shave off a mountain's scalp...

He must take what he sees, just as he sees it, and his only liberty is the selection of a point of view." Rev. H. J. Morton, The Philadelphia Photographer II 1865

Mmmm. It's wonderful that in the golden, digital age of the medium, photographers need not be so constrained. There are no boundaries to imagination. ®