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Mike Smith
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Articles written by Mike Smith

A to Z of Photography: Ultimate Confrontation and Umbo

We now arrive at the second of the three tricky letters of the alphabet. Unfortunately, U is uselessly underwhelming but ultimately and uniquely utilitarian! The first an iconic photo of political protest and confrontation, a theme that continues to this day in newsrooms across the world. Then discover Umbo.

A to Z of Photography: Tilt-Shift and Train Wreck at Montparnasse

This week we turn to a train wreck of an image — yes the iconic photo "Train Wreck at Montparnasse Station"! But before we get to that, step back to the dawn of photography and understand the principles behind tilting and shifting the lens relative to the sensor. Some of the highest profile photographers use tilt-shift lenses in their day-to-day work, so find out why that is.

A to Z of Photography: Shooting Sex and Strip Photography

Sex and stripping seem to go hand in hand, but in this edition of the A to Z of photography, I cover the acclaimed work of fashion photographer Bob Carlos Clark, "Shooting Sex" and then delve into the technical details of the photo finish.

A to Z of Photography: Reflex Camera and Tony Ray-Jones

At pretty much three-quarters of the way through the alphabet we stop at R, an eminently popular letter, to look at the foundation of pretty much all contemporary cameras — the Reflex. This is followed by the inspiringly funny work of Tony Ray-Jones whose career was cruelly cut short.

A to Z of Photography: Wayne Quilliam and the Queen

In this issue of the A to Z of Photography we turn to possibly the thorniest letter of the alphabet: Q. Fear not as we take you on a journey from an interview with the antipodean photographer Wayne Quilliam, through Elvis, Brahmanandam Kanneganti, Kim Kardashian, Princess Diana, and Donald Trump before finally arriving at the Queen.

A to Z of Photography: Panoramic Photography and the Pillars of Creation

With this installment we revisit the whole sub-genre of panoramic photography. Literally(!) a wide subject, discover the history behind it, the software to create it, and the competitions to enter. Once you've scrambled your way through the panoramas, discover one of the most beautiful photos in the universe. Read on.

A to Z of Photography: Noise and Helmut Newton

Moving on to N, we enter the second half of the alphabet and with that a headlong rush to Z. It's been a blast getting to this point, but now we start the countdown. In this issue the A to Z of Photography we visit that most unwanted of digital acquaintances, noise, before taking a peek at the cover work (and Polaroids) of Helmut Newton.

A to Z of Photography: Lenna and Leica

This week we move on to L in the A to Z of Photography and an image of Lenna that has impacted every photographer, along with the little red dot… yes, this article gives a brief overview of the history of Leica, a brand that has influenced everyone directly or indirectly through either their design or the photos shot with them.

A to Z of Photography: Yevgeny Khaldei and Kodak

How could we pass K without perhaps the last word going to the most iconic of iconic brands? Yes, this installment of the A to Z of Photography outlines the rise and fall of Kodak. Can the phoenix arise from the ashes of it's photographic self-immolation? Yevgeny Khaldei accompanies Kodak and, whilst not a household name, his signature image is one of the the most recognizable. Read on.

A to Z of Photography: JPEG and William Jackson

J takes us back to the very foundations of digital photography with none other than the, love-it or loathe-it, JPEG file format. If that seems like old hat, then step back another century to the iconic work of William Henry Jackson who produced some of the first photos of Yellowstone National Park.

A to Z of Photography: Image Stabilization and Into the Jaws of Death

This installment of the A to Z of photography begins with perhaps the most exciting photographic technology of the 21st century — image stabilization. This is followed by one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century — Into the Jaws of Death — which marks a tipping point in history. The I's have it!

A to Z of Photography: Hyper-lapse and Horst P. Horst

From contemporary to classic in one breath, in this installment of the A to Z of Photography I outline the current, and oh so trendy, hyper-lapse technique before showcasing the work of the classic, and brilliant, photography of Horst P. Horst, including his signature work the "Mainbocher Corset". Read on for more!

A to Z of Photography: Nan Goldin and the Golden Triangle

After a monster week of F, it's time to get back to some semblance of normality (although the title sounds like a Harry Potter novel!). Coming at you straight from Photography 101 and the chapter on "Composition" is the Golden Triangle, followed from left-field by Nan Goldin.

A to Z of Photography: Fujifilm (Part 1)

F is a big letter of the alphabet photographically speaking and so, to mark this, the two topics in this post are split in two in order to do justice to them. First up is the iconic brand Fuji.

A to Z of Photography: Exposure and Harold Edgerton

Light is the currency of photography, it's how you use it that defines your creative outputs. As we reach the letter E in our alphabetical journey, what better place to start than with exposure? Joining it, faster than a speeding bullet, is Harold Edgerton.

A to Z of Photography: Daguerrotype and Frederick Douglass

Following along on the path of the ABCs of photography, we reach D and the process that kicked off photography in the first place: the Daguerrotype. But what or who will join such an auspicious and founding technique?

A to Z of Photography: Central Park and Lewis Carroll

Continuing our A to Z foray into the world of photography, we move on to C and the iconic Central Park. What possible reason could Central Park have for inclusion in this brief A to Z and didn't Lewis Carroll write books? Find out as we move on to alphabetical Cs.