Rodney Smith
Was a modest man. With eclectic sensibilities. He could wear an ascot without appearing pretentious. He proclaimed himself to be a closet optimist. He believed Modernism took a wrong turn at the wrong time. He thought Freud saved his life. He graduated Yale. He lived in a wooded enclave in Snedens Landing, just close enough to the Manhattan to meet an editor for lunch at a moment’s notice, but far enough away to mollify his disdain for city living. He loved books. Paper. And printed matter. He wrestled with Big Ideas and referenced Wittgenstein and Plato as if he saw them yesterday. He was tweedy. Never needy. Proud. Not loud. He was a perfectionist. Workaholic. Worry wart and fuss budget. He would not stop what he was doing until satisfied that it couldn’t be done any better. He was adamantly analog. Only shot on film. Never used special effects. And knew the darkroom like the back of his hand. His work is outside of time. He created worlds whose logic is his own. He was old school with a twist. A landscape photographer. Who placed people in landscapes. A realist who put dreams onto paper. A man who was kind, generous and humorous. Who had a great wife. A lovely daughter. A successful son who made Rodney a proud grandfather. A thinking man’s man in a bespoke suit with an eye that saw the world in a way you or I will only see if it’s in the form of one of his photographs.