Today we’d like to introduce you to Bodhi Smith.
Bodhi, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was born in Oceanside, California and I have always loved being a Californian with all the richness of scenery that our state provides us… some the best and most diverse in the entire world. But my life had to take some twists and truth for me to discover the artist sleeping dormant inside me for close to 40 years…
In June of 2011, I was going through a difficult transition time in my life, it is then that photography sort of found me, saved me, gave me a focus, literally. I took off on a trip to visit remote sections of California with a camera, a cooler, and my dog, I needed to be alone, a self-searching sort of trip… And what I found was my muse in my pup, found inspiration in his rich soul and love… noticed how he was happy to just live in the moment, just be with me in the joy of nature and play like children… and in that realization, I found myself as a photographer and my journey began down this life path I am on now
Now I just travel about with a focus on capturing nature in ways my eyes see it. I truly see things differently. Both metaphorically as an artist with a vision, but also in actuality, physically differently than others. I am almost legally blind in my left eye, my primary focus eye. I see things sort of blurry most of my life, so I embrace the blur in my focus, and in my photography.
In this process down my path of discovery, I realized that I had a unique style, a way of seeing my surroundings differently than that of other photographers, and this was coming out in the body of my work. I consider myself an impressionistic photographer, and it is a style from which I never waiver. It has become part of me because it always was a part of me.
Now, 7 years later, things have taken off and permit me to travel more and focus more on my art. My photography has blossomed into an uncompromised vision from with8n me, one that I feel flows through me, which I capture with my camera, and have the blessing of being able to share and enlighten people’s lives with my creations.
But my path has been honest, forged by following my heart, following my love and passion of nature, my obsessions of reflections, and water, and trees, and the night sky, and long exposures that create dreamy scenes… I am just happy and lucky to be able to see the world and share with others my adventures. I am honored that others value my work and my efforts.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am a professional fine art photographer. I sell my photography as image prints sublimated into metal, which can hang on walls as is, or in a specially created one-of-a-kind thematic frame. I am always flattered and blessed when a person wants to purchase one of my memories, an impression that began inside my mind, one that will be hanging on a wall in their life, bringing extra happiness into their world… and in doing so, this is such a beautiful compliment to my photography and such a great honor.
Landscapes in nature are my specialty, but occasionally I do some cityscapes, usually under bridges or piers. I am known for my focus on long exposure photography, with some of my images having some of the longest exposures in the world. My current obsession is shooting the stars in locations and methods never previously seen before.
But I always love to take impressions of waterfalls and beautiful trees being my other passions. If you look through my body of work, probably 3/4th of all my images are one of these three things. I have a style all my own, I specialize in long exposure landscape photography, so anything moving will blur in my images. And as such, my images have a dreamy, sort of painting type quality to them. Big reason why I label myself as an Impressionist Photographer. I embrace blur in all of my photos, keeping only what I want you to focus on in the sharpest detail. I’m almost legally blind in my focus eye, so my art might be a subconscious expression of the way I actually see the world with my own eyes.
This unique style can be seen in my entire body of work over the years. And what sets me apart from others is the dreamy impressionist style of my images, I am not a realist, I want to create impressions of dreamy feelings and emotions.
My artistic inspiration does not come from other famous or even contemporary photographers. Instead, I’ve always admired the famous artists of the 19th and 20th century, the romantic, impressionist, expressionist, and surrealist painters like Bierstadt, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Munch, Dali, Kahlo… and how they followed and captured light onto their canvases… but unfortunately, I was never been able to paint successfully… but it was different from the science and art wrapped into a camera… So with my beloved dog in my heart as my muse, my camera has metaphorically become the paintbrush and my metal prints have become the canvas.
I use specific focal points, long exposures, and follows the paths of light to capture an image with my camera… I embrace motion, blur, and reflections to create a composition that has the emotions of an impressionist painting combined with the expressions of my own style into romanticism and dreams.
Just like the impressionist painters, I truly love to follow the light and all its reflective qualities in composing a landscape image. The light tells me where and how to look at a scene… and honestly, I do not find and chose the photos I’m going to take—the photos find and chose me. I seldom ever go out looking for a specific image. I just go hiking, camping, skiing, 4×4-ing or traveling about the world off the beaten path… it is always the light, timing, and nature which grabs at me and tells what I should capture with my camera’s eye.
I have a strong desire to constantly experience the scenery around me with all my senses to their fullest potential—so, my impressionist photos are very emotional to me and have strong clarity, feeling, and meaning–they have become expressions of each of my fond memories and highlights of my personal experiences
I hope that people who view my work take away a beautiful feeling, one where they are lost in the moment, alive and aware of the beauty that surrounds them… maybe inspiring them to go visit one of my image locations and feel for it in their own unique way, or just slow down their own worlds and appreciate the magical realities right at their own front doors…just go out and enjoy life and the natural world around us all… we have so many things so beautiful right under our noses, and photography is something everyone can do to capture those memories…
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I don’t know about the other mediums, but in photography currently, a big challenge facing photographers as artists is the sheer number of people that are becoming photographers. It seems like we’re in an explosion of Photography and it’s everywhere.
Cameras are everywhere, seems everyone is a photographer these days. So many photographers now, it’s really harder and harder to be able to find original landscape scenes that have not been captured by another photographer. Everybody is copying everybody else with the same scene, over and over again. And technology has been increasing at an exponential rate with photo editing software making it easier for more people to produce beautiful images, with less artistic skills, making the photography market even more competitive.
People of all skill levels are trying to make money by selling their photos or trying to run workshops, which is really flooding the market with a lot of pictures and photography services. Seems lately, currently there is an inundation of the market and social media by photographers to the point where the market is getting too saturated, people are seeing too much of the same photos, rare images of the past are now more or less stock images, and it makes it harder for each of us to make a living in the art we love.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can support my work by following me on Instagram or Facebook, or check my website for other places my artwork is currently on display or my upcoming appearances and come out and meet me, or simply purchase one of my unique impressionist images sublimated into metal for their walls. My artwork can always be viewed on my website.
I am Lorimar Vineyards and Winery’s photographer, so many of my best number one prints are hanging at the winery in Temecula located at 39990 Anza Road Temecula, CA 92592 /951.694.6699
But I’m also currently exhibiting at the photography exhibit at the San Diego County Fair, and I will be a participating artist in the upcoming La Jolla Art and Wine Festival October 6 + 7.
And please look for my new gallery to be opening up soon In Encinitas area on the 101…
- Website: http://www.bodhismith.com
- Phone: 619.318.9599
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bodhismith
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Bodhi.Impressions