Court Smith

I tend to visit places that are out of the way, which gives me opportunities to create images of locations that elude others. It appeals to me that what we do is different from the mainstream. Shooting film and analogue photography has been my (perhaps unconventional) outlet to explore the people and world around me.


Court was born in 1945 and grew up in the Niagara Peninsula, spent some time in Pennsylvania and moved to western Canada in 1972. He has been an Edmonton resident since 1975.

Like many people at the time, Court’s original introduction to a serious camera was 35mm at the age of 20 and there are thousands of Kodachrome’s from those days. The arrival of his children in the 70s corresponded with the acquisition of a medium format camera, lenses, and the construction of a darkroom. This activity lasted until the demands of work and family, and a move medium format. 35mm colour slide and print photography continued. In 2008, Court, now a grandfather, realized that it would be great to get back to black and white, build a new darkroom and try and replicate some of the subjects of 30 years ago. That Fall, he was introduced to the Guild and immediately joined. He uses medium format and 35 mm equipment predominantly. Retired since 2011, Court has more time for various pursuits including travel. Scotland is a common destination, as two of the four grandchildren are there (and are likely to remain).

When joining the Leica Historical Society of America, one is asked to describe their interest in Photography. Court replied: “landscapes where the actions of man are evident”. More often than not, there is a historical aspect to the photograph. The prairies, where the Guild is based, is an ideal location to experiment with these concepts. Our human history is recent, but it has been subject to rapid change with the result that there is plenty of both the past and present to see, to visualize and to photograph. However, because it is the prairies, one has to be slow and deliberate to actually “see” what these landscapes offer the individual and the photographer. This process of discovery fits exceptionally well with the traditional monochrome photographic methods practiced by the Guild.