James Smart (@jamessmartphotography)

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Some people write to express themselves, but writing is hardly the only form of expression out there. One form of art that people delve into in order to express their voice is photography. Some people like to tell their own stories while some like to retell someone else’s, the case in point being that no photograph is ever meaningless. It speaks about its creators, but it also speaks individually to anyone who sees it. A rising star in this line of work, James Smart, is well known for retelling the stories of nature. While every shot of his is based on nature and tells its story, and it also peaks into James’ thought process- and it’s remarkable to see it!

We’re told that most skills, if not honed at a young age, will not amount to much once we grow up. It’s true that the best painter started very young, and the best violinist was probably playing as soon as he was old enough to walk. On the other hand, everyone thinks that photography is easy and that it’s just the matter of picking up a camera and clicking away- that’s not the case. While photography doesn’t need decades of practice in order to get a good shot, it does need intricate knowledge in a great many things which takes a few years of practice to obtain. The reason James Smart is such a phenomenon in his field is due to his quick rise to fame. He picked up the camera for the first time in 2012 when he took a break from his home country Australia and went to visit Italy where he started snapping away. What started as a bit of fun and a side hobby, quickly became a lot more!

His first area of interest was in landscape photography. His Canon DSLR in hand, he set out to explore nature through his lens and never looked back! It’s rare for photographers to not dabble in other forms of photography and stick to one subject only, but James was enamoured and stuck to telling the stories of nature. In just a year of working, he decided he wanted to focus on weather photography, and that’s when he started his journey chasing storms.

Once he started on his venture to chase storms and tornadoes, he didn’t achieve instant results. In fact the first year, he got almost no matter to work with, but he persevered and went again year after year to get the story that he wanted in his pictures! With a job like that, it’s no surprise when it’s an incredibly exciting experience for him every time he goes off to chase another storm. It’s not easy work, in any case, sometimes he goes on for days and weeks with meteorologists and storm chasing tornadoes, packed in one SUV chasing storms all over the country! His most famous shot, ‘Dirt’, and also the picture that won him the National Geographic photo of the year, made him drive for over 8000 miles after it until he finally captured the picture while resting at a small farmhouse in Colorado.

Since the first photograph of his that won the prestigious National Geographic Award in 2015, he has participated and won eight photography competitions from just 2015 to 2017. 2016 was probably the year where he entered most of them as he won more than six competitions that year with his stellar photography. Aside from competitions, he has also been published in quite a few magazines- National Geographic, Australian Photography, Red-bull to name just a few.

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James’ goal that he’s trying to achieve through his photography is contributing to the joy people get looking at these exciting photographs. He wants people to enjoy his work and to get inspired by it, and for it to spread far and wide all over the world! In order to ensure that everyone can have access to these photographs, he sells high-quality prints on his website. His success in this field has only humbled him more, and he continues to go all over the world shooting the most beautiful pictures, and spreading knowledge about the thing he’s passionate about to anyone willing to learn!

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