Rick Smith, Still Hanging in There

(Image courtesy of and © Richard Smith)
Last night I had the pleasure of attending a special 40 year retrospective of the photographic work of long-time Greensboro photographer Rick Smith. Randolph Community College’s photography department honored Rick by hanging a show of his personal work going back some forty years. Rick was in attendance and gave a short talk on design, photography and how he has combined the two over the years to produce his extraordinary imagery. There was a large crowd there, including many former clients, associates and friends. The president of RCC presented Rick with a plaque in honor of the time and energy he has volunteered to the photography program at the school.
All in all it was a very special and moving evening. Rick was the first person to hire me as a commercial photography assistant. I worked as his apprentice. A large part of my photographic knowledge, in lighting as well as design, is directly because of his tutelage. Over the past 35 years, he has been a boss, a teacher, an associate, a competitor, the best still-life shooter I have ever known, a mentor, but most of all a friend. God bless you Rick.

(Black and white photographs copyright 2012 by Dan Routh)

For all those interested, Rick’s images will be on display in the RCC photo department in Asheboro, North Carolina until February 28, 2012. The public is invited to stop by and view them.

Firefighters and the Flood

Some days are better than others and of course, some are more trying. Today was one of those trying ones, for sure. Late this morning while I was beginning to edit a job, the fire alarm in our building went off, which is never a good sign. After checking things out, I found out a cable worker had knocked a sprinkler head off in the hallway above my studio, directly above. A deluge of water soon began to pour through my ceiling and I started the rush to move my computer and camera equipment before it was ruined. With the help of my wonderful building neighbors, I was able to move everything that could be horribly damaged (I hope) including my film archive. Still, a lot of water came in and a lot of damage was done. A flood. Bright sunny day, my studio is on the second floor, fifteen feet above the ground, and I have a flood.

However, even in adversity comes opportunity, I guess. I’ve been thinking of doing portraits of firefighters, and have been thinking about who to approach. This morning, they approached me. The firemen of the Greensboro Fire Department showed up at my door and I grabbed a couple of images of them as I was documenting the damage to my studio.

(Photographs copyright 2011 by Dan Routh)

Photography Show and Exhibit by Dan Routh

(Photograph copyright 2009 by Dan Routh)

I am stepping away from commercial and advertising work and taking part in a photography show and exhibit on Friday, December 4, 2009 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm at Studio B Event Center, 520 South Elm Street in Greensboro, in connection with Downtown Greensboro’s First Friday art tour of downtown art venues. Everyone is cordially invited to come by and take at look. It’s free. I will be sharing space with Greensboro aluminum artist Scott Harris. This is something new for me. While I have shown individual pieces in shows and competitions over the years, this will be my first exhibit of this size. I’m excited and hope those who attend will enjoy what we hang. For more info on First Friday, go to http://www.downtownfridays.com/Listings.html.

My Dad


Sylvan Roscoe Routh 1924-2007

Today is my Dad’s birthday. We lost him last year at the age of 83. Dad was a fighter pilot, an Elon College alumni, a dairy farmer and a school teacher and principal. He was a church and community leader, a husband, a father, a grandfather and most of all a friend. He was my rock. I miss him.

(US Army Air Corps photographs)

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

For more info about my Dad’s World War II experience, go to http://www.carolinacommunities.com/nws/fly28.html