MEET OLYMPUS VISIONARY FRANK T. SMITH
WHO ARE YOU?
I am an outdoor enthusiast and architectural photographer and educator. I was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Lehigh Valley, PA. I am all weather photographer who loves to capture nature, travel, landscapes and architecture in every season and around the globe. I enjoy exploring remote locations and photographing the people and the culture around the globe. India has been one of my favorite locations as well as remote areas like the Atacama Desert, Morocco, Bhutan, Panama, Haiti, Death Valley or Mongolia. When I am home, I am usually exploring local trails and state parks or photographing unique architectural sites, urban ruins or local festivities.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE A PHOTOGRAPHER?
I got started in photography when I was 3 years old influenced by my grandfather who was a photographer. He gave me my first camera. I worked in camera stores in my teens and moved on to wedding and portrait photography. Over the years my photography has evolved to focus on outdoor adventures, architecture, abstracts and areas of philanthropic interest. I have always admired the work of Ansel Adams, Vivian Maier and M.C. Escher.
How did you get started with the Olympus system?
I converted to a digital camera in 2003 after a trip to Machu Picchu. I bought the Olympus point and shoot Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom. I have been an Olympus shooter since going digital and am always promoting the “light perfected” aspect of the Olympus equipment.
How does Olympus help you do your job?
I am a big fan of the most recent OM-D E-M1X camera particularly the built-in image stabilization; Live ND Filters; Live Composite; Focus stacking and hand-held hi-res mode. Portability, without image quality sacrifice, is also very important because of my extensive travel to remote locations.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE OLYMPUS FAMILY?
Being part of the Olympus family has given me the opportunity to work with and learn from other world class photographers. As a member of the Olympus family I am also afforded opportunities to teach and mentor to many aspiring photographers. I enjoy teaching, presenting and leading photo walks around the country enabling me to photograph new and unique areas while promoting the Olympus brand and sharing my insights and skills.
TIPS FOR OTHER BUDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Succeeding in photography, like in many things, is all about time. As a landscape photographer “putting in the time” is critical – research the area you want to shoot, get up early, stay out late, wait for the good light, take the time to try shooting different perspectives, photograph your subjects at different times of the day and year, take the time to learn from your mistakes. I may capture an image in 1/125 of a second, but it can take years of practice and refinement to get to that moment and make it a memorable one.
TIPS FOR OTHER PRO PHOTOGRAPHERS
For professional photographers I always encourage them to look beyond the obvious; travel light (with the Olympus system); remember composition is still key; create your own style, always pay-it-forward and be willing (and open) to learn from others.