Tribute to Malcolm Smith

A good friend, and photographer colleague, Malcolm Smith died on 3 June 2017. I prepared this simple tribute to him in response to a request from his family for material to include in a eulogy at his funeral service. It was first published on the Canberra Photographic Society’s Forum on Facebook on 8 June 2017.

Malcolm was interested in art all his life and one of his earliest memories were of having his portrait taken by the famous Australian photographer Harold Cazneaux in early 1946:

Malcolm Smith by Harold Cazneaux

After retiring from his engineer and computer consultant careers in 1994, Malcolm commenced working as a professional photographer from his Canberra studio. Photography took over from his painting in oils and acrylics. As well as undertaking portrait and general photographic commissions, Malcolm did many front-of-house and publicity photographs for Canberra theatre groups.

He joined the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and won many awards from that body, including top-scoring contemporary portrait at the National Professional Photography Awards. He became a Master of Photography with Gold Bar in the AIPP.

Despite being a recognised and awarded professional photographer, Malcolm also took a keen interest in and became involved with amateur photography bodies. He joined the Canberra Photographic Society in the early 1990s and quickly became one of the Society’s most highly successful competitors and achievers. He took out 1st place in A Grade monochrome prints in 1995, 1996 and 1998, won the Hedda Morrison Portfolio Trophy in four consecutive years (1997-2000), won Monochrome print of the Year in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2000, and was named the Society’s Photographer of the year in 1995 and 1998. Malcolm also judged competitions for CPS on a number of occasions.

Malcolm had a compelling interest in images of people, ranging from studio and environmental figure studies to dancers in performance motion. He also had a keen interest in landscape photography, often isolating small areas for detailed scrutiny. His images were widely exhibited in several solo exhibitions in Canberra, as well as in both Canberra Photographic Society and many other group exhibitions.

Malcolm also had an involvement with the Australian Photographic Society, the national body for enthusiast amateurs. Along with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Bec, Malcolm was a valued member of the organising committee for that Society’s 50th anniversary convention in 2012. By that time, Malcolm had wound down his commercial photography work to enable him to spend more time developing his own photographic art. The Committee Collection photobook produced for that convention featured some of Malcolm’s fine colour images captured in Cuba.

This is one of my own favourite photos of Malcolm.

Malcolm Smith by Brian Rope

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