A.G.: Street Photography is rarely about someone we know very well. The subjects are usually those who are unknown to us and more often than not, we will never encounter again. The only evidence of the existence of these characters is the photograph made during that brief encounter.
In George Smyth’s The Extras, he shows strangers he encounters his daily life. It is something so simple and what street photographers tend to do but what made his work unique is that he presented his work on Bromoil prints. Bromoil printing is an alternative process where the silver from a traditional darkroom print has been replaced with lithographic ink by hitting the print with an ink charged brush for thousands of times. Needless to say, it is a laborious and time consuming process.
The “extra” connotes something irrelevant or unimportant in movies, in theatre, or in literature but to George, he took his time and effort to show the extras in his life with care and craftsmanship even if their only contact was a brief encounter that ended in a photograph.
Here is George L. Smyth’s The Extras:
The Extras refers to those individuals who play such roles in the movie of my life. I have no interaction with them, I do not hear their conversations, they remain in the background. However, their lack of presence would be disquieting, and I need them to help complete my story. Although they remain at a distance, each extra has their own successes and failures, worries about the future and care for loved ones, and a life as complete as my own. Just as they are extras in the movie of my life, I serve the same purpose for them.
For the rest of the series and more of George’s other works visit George’s Website
I also highly recommend downloading George’s PDF book on The Extras which contains thoughts, back stories and more of his bromoil prints.
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