James Knight-Smith is best known for his commanding and powerful photographic images of the ocean captured in all her infinite colors and moods. Winner of numerous international photo competitions and awards; today his work hangs in homes throughout Australia and the US.
Born and raised by the magnificent beaches of Australia, Knight-Smith has had a lifelong love of photography and the ocean. Preserved in a family album and aptly titled “James’ first efforts at photography”, are pages of random photos taken by not yet 4 year old James. Having ‘borrowed’ his sister’s camera, James happily snapped everyone and everything at home including the fleeing and none too pleased family dog.
Captivated by film, from almost that moment on, James spent countless hours with sketchbook, paintbrush and canvas or camera in hand learning to capture the complexities of nature and the nuances of light reflection on the ocean.
As a teenager, James fell under the spell of the French Impressionists and the Australian artists who constituted the Heidelberg School of painting. He studied art but came to realize technique alone would not suffice. He returned to his beloved camera; this time with a clear vision of what he wanted to create.
He graduated University with an Engineering Degree and one can see his training in the composition of many of his photographs. Knight-Smith’s favorite time to head for the beach, cameras in hand is “Early morning when the light is magnificent – soft yet piercing the nuances of the ocean’s colors.”
When not pursuing his two passions, photography and the ocean, James can often be found with his wife, Rebecca, playing on the beaches of Perth with their two dogs.