BY GINNY FITE
Rip Smith is compelled by an impulse he cannot name to capture through a small aperture in a box images that gather to themselves the elements of light, form, shadow and texture, that compose themselves in ways that signal their perfection, and then share them with strangers. This process in which he engages will not make him rich, he knows. But it satisfies something in him enough to have done it for 50 years.
Self-educated with a few workshops and master classes under his belt and a sense that he might not be comfortable in a classroom, Smith searches for images he wants to show other people, whether the way light hits a stairwell, illuminates a falling down house, creates abstract shapes in a body of water, or transforms a boy sitting on a tree stump playing a saxophone into an archetypal Orpheus lulling the gods with his music.
In 1962, he started making photographs for art