Latest Work

Joshua Tree National Park

When the clouds appear, it is time to head into the park, capturing sky and rocks in more even, subtler tones, where you don’t have dramatic hot spots, or high contrast. Next comes translating those images into something pleasant to the eye, and the Fujifilm X Pro 1 provides a wonderful camera to work with. When you get the exposure right, it just doesn’t over expose, and the blend of sharp pixels and gradient tones reminds me of the performance of medium format film cameras of old.

Next comes Apply image command

The now seldom used Apply image command creates a mask of the selected channel, whether you are working in RGB or LAB color space. In RGT, selecting the red channel, for instance, will darken skies, as you can see below. The green channel will enhance almost all skin colors, no matter of race or ethnicity. You must, of course, go to the blend modes tab and select luminosity, so that you get the proper effect.

It takes some doing

It takes some doing to get the look and feel you want, but you can see a rather plain image below compared to the final, and, well, if you agree with me, you too will declare the images demonstrate an improved look and feel, with some texture.

And the last move is Render Lighting effects

This creates a chance to direct light where you want it, as if you had a crane with a overhead beam light, as if you were Steven Speilberg working with gaffers, and million watt bulbs, and you have your lighting crew direct that lights where you want it directed. The end result is a photo with clear theme, and point of interest. And you can sharpen that area as well, thus eliminating the need for for any post sharpening.

And these are the results

About Jim

Smart developed an interest in photography some 50 years ago when he took a high school course and made a pinhole camera, shot with a Speed Graflex, and took surfing photographs in Hermosa Beach with a 35mm Pentax. Since then he has traveled throughout the western United States and used Leicas, Hasselblads (film and digital), a Mamiya 7 medium format film camera and owned or used most of Canon cameras made since the 1970’s. Some images to be on display at Art for Heaven’s sake were taken in the Mojave National Preserve where Smart recently was an artist in residence. He has had about half a dozen shows in Santa Ana and Hollywood and at the 29 Palms City Hall. Smart teaches university courses in Communication Studies and English, including basic and college-level English courses, journalism and journalistic photography, writing for the media and PR, public speaking, interpersonal communications, rhetoric, the reporting of public affairs and investigative journalism. He currently serves as the advisor to the CSUSB university student newspaper, teaching editors journalistic procedures, photography, editing, and headline writing. He also conducts seminars for public relations officials and foreign public information/press officials, provides counsel for executives and public officials regarding public relations issues and challenges. He has managed a media relation’s staff and department and worked for nearly 20 years as the head of media relations for the LACMTA and one of its predecessor agencies, managing a staff of professionals during construction of the first phases of the modern Los Angeles rail system. Smart also has worked as a daily newspaper reporter, a deputy Los Angeles County probation officer and has written articles on photography published by He also has written on transportation. In addition, Smart teaches basic photographic workshops, focusing on skills of proper exposure, elimination of camera shake, composition, focal length, and the maximization of proper shutter speed to achieve quality images. He has instructed small groups on location in lens selection and basic composition and provided instruction in CS5 Photoshop workflow. He works also as a fine art and portrait photographer, operating independent business. He owns and uses medium format, and 35-mm digital cameras. He maintains an online photography website featuring fine art and other images. You can see his work at: You can reach him at: 760-366-0243 or (cell) 760-401-2166

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