Monday, 30 July 2012

Mickey Smith-Cornish Surfing Photographer

I come across many photographers I admire and many photographs I really like. My current favourites are the dynamic, powerful images of water and surfers from one of the world's greatest surfing photographers (I didn't know it existed as a genre either!), Mickey Smith. Originally from west Cornwall, Mickey has made the south-west coast of Ireland his second home.

Here are some of my favourite of his photos. I really think he has captured the might and the beauty of the sea accurately.

Here are some snippets of information about him.

  • Michael Lee Smith grew up on the West coast of Cornwall.

  • Surrounded by sea and stone, ocean elements were ever present.

  • The outside whiled away the sunlight hours, and music filled the nights.

  • Surfing from dawn till dusk, and playing blues and country in bars from dusk till dawn became routine.

  • Life on the road was soon the only one he knew.

  • Friends and family called him myriad names, but one stuck, Mickey.

  • Mick left school at 16 with a bundle of cash stashed from gigging dark corners and headed for the light.

  • Burning and earning cash on the road to waves with weight and consequence became a way of life.

  • Cameras held his hand wherever he went, with rolls of super8 and Hi8 tapes in one pocket, and HP5 and Velvia in another.

  • He followed his heart and instincts, and through the twists and turns of fate, people took a shine to his photography and quirky films.

  • A way of life became a career of sorts, but after many years of travelling to work, the career of sorts had become the way of life, and it was time for a change.

  • One day Mickey decided to stay put on the West coast of Ireland, a place he had frequented and loved since the tender age of 14.

  • The nomads career no longer existed, but strangely enough, his work flourished.

  • Doing things for love alone over a living, helped creativity flow like never before.

  • For years he lived this way, and then tragically, his sister Cherry died.

  • She was his biggest fan, and had always wanted to hear the tale of why and how he did what he does.

  • So he began to make a film in her memory, for her two sons Kalle and Riley to remember her light, passion and inspiration through.

  • The film was called Dark Side of the Lens.

  • Due to many other strange twists of fate and coincidence, people liked his story and felt a connection to it.

  • Thus Dark Side accidentally opened doors into all sorts of weird and wonderful endeavors, even Hollywood came knocking, not once, but thrice believe it or not.

  • Mickey knows he only has his sister to thank.

  • Around that same time his good friend Ben asked him to make a film or two for his songs, so he did.

  • Since, Ben's music has taken Mickey and his family all around the world on a surreal magic carpet ride.

  • Indeed his journeys been laced with new horizons and challenges of late.

  • Most significantly of all, Mickeys girlfriend Rivie recently brought a beautiful baby girl named Eiva into the world.

  • It was beyond revelation and inspiration to the old hobbit.

  • He still tries his hardest to trust his heart and his gut each morning, and is more excited by the sea than ever before.
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