“All the money I made in jobs that I hated, and were killing me. Have been substituted by something that gives me so much worth. And to other people as well, it’s giving to other people, and that changed my life.”
For Denis Smith his photography is not just a way to make a living, it gives him a reason to live. A former alcoholic, Smith got started in photography after quitting his job as a sales consultant and moving to Southern Australia with his family. As a way to cope with the stress his alcoholism, depression, and out of control spending habits had caused him, Smith picked up a camera. With no formal training he was able to create beautiful images with information he acquired online. Smiths light paintings are created by taking a light source (such as a flashlight or lantern) on a string, and swinging it in a circle while simultaneously moving in a circle. This is all done at night under a full moon, the end result is mesmerizing spheres in the middle of beautiful Australian landscapes.
What I find most fascinating about Smith however is that his story could be anyones story. Depression, alcoholism, and debt are an all too common occurrence in this day and age. But Smith provides hope for those struggling, that things can change. Sometimes all one needs is a push to get out, and pursue a childhood dream, or discover a newfound passion. Smiths story is a
reminder to pursue what you are passionate about, and that there is more to life than a well-paying job.
Denis’s official website. Which features a short autobiography, as well as an overview of past and upcoming work, and contact information.
A thorough interview on Smiths work, inspiration and transition from sales consultant to photographer.
Denis’s flickr profile. Which showcases his signature ‘ball of light’ photos as well as other primarily landscape photos.Below is a short documentary about Denis's work.