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Geraint Smith Biography

I began life in Stanleytown in the Rhondda Valley, a coal mining community in South Wales. I attended Stanleytown School, my mom raised four children and my dad worked at the mine in the valley below.

Some of my earliest memories include going up the hill to school, down the hill and over a bridge through the colliery to the shops across the valley. Every couple of weeks my family and I walked to the local cinema to watch western films with endless skies and expansive locations. Looking back today, I can’t help thinking I unconsciously knew I would eventually live in the wide open spaces of the American Southwest.

One of my earliest memories of photography dates back to when I was three years old. My dad began letting me carry the family Kodak Brownie Camera and occasionally even allowed me to take a picture.

In 1966, my family moved to Yorkshire, England – more coal mines, steel mills and soot! Despite the blight of industry, we were surrounded by some of the most beautiful and idyllic countryside in Britain. My teen years are mostly a blur now, but I did develop a love for photography when I bought my first movie camera

In 1978, at the age of 22, I moved to Los Angeles where I began to study cinematography and film. I soon discovered that I preferred ‘still’ photography and chose to make it my medium of expression. During the ensuing ten years, I made many trips back to England and Europe, but decided to remain permanently in the United States and embarked on a career as a freelance photographer working for the City of Pasadena, Caltech, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra.

While living in Los Angeles, I made several trips to Taos, New Mexico, visiting old friends and making new ones. When, in 1988 I decided to create a more serene living environment, Taos was the obvious choice. I hitched up my wagon, headed east and settled in the southwest, a place where the sky and horizon met below my feet and the stars formed a canopy so that the earth I slept on seemed like a cradle. I used to define my reality and my world by my experiences, and in that way limited the immense possibilities I have since learned are available to me. Over the years I have tried to place it all in perspective to better understand my sphere of reality. What I discovered living in the Southwest with its wide open spaces is just how much room there is in me to remember and rediscover the peace at the center of my soul. I have learned that the beauty all around me is a mirror of the vast beauty inside me ... much of which is still waiting to be explored.

These days I offer Land of Light personalized photo tours, Taos Photo Safaris, workshops and classes. Join me in exploring locations that have been the inspiration for many photographers and artists over the years. Take in the enchanting landscapes of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and experience the places, architecture and culture of this mystical corner of the world. Please visit my website www.geraintsmith.com for more information.

Geraint Smith
Taos, New Mexico

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