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Thread: Michael A. Smith has passed away

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    North Dakota

    Michael A. Smith has passed away

    I am posting this on my Nephew's page here.

    We lost a great friend in the passing of Michael A. Smith. An excellent photographer and teacher. Opinionated, irascible and absolutely convinced Azo and Amidol was given from God for fine Photography - Michael will be missed.

    He had not been in good shape as the result of a series of Strokes. Paula Chamlee, his wife - an excellent photographer, artist and teacher informed me of this as I have kept up with them as friends for some time. Both photographed with Large Format gear. Michael with the 8x10, 8x20 and 17x22. Contact prints were the goal - prints of the highest quality they could make. is their website. You might go on and check out the writings and images. No need to send flowers. Best thing one could do it buy a book or their cards to help with the expenses to come and to have some work of this fine photographer.

    Michael was a friend and I am glad to have known him. He was abrasive at times and so sure that Azo and Amidol was the finest presentation of B&W photographs possible - later to be Lodima and Amidol - with Lodima paper the creation of He and Paula after Kodak stopped making Azo for B&W printing. His zeal and passion at times got in the way for some. For others it signaled his single minded dedication to printing of the highest order. Everything in life that could interfere with fine photography was discarded as he worked towards perfection in vision, technique and prints. A single minded dedication to excellence was what Micheal was about. In this he had the perfect Wife in Paula Chamlee - if anything - even a better photographer and teacher. To Michael's "East Coast Brusque" she is Texas laid back charm. Just as dedicated to the art of fine images she is a painter as well as a photographer, a truly talented artist.

    They were a fine couple who lived from the Fine Art they produce.

    Remember Michael as photographic excellence and support Paula during this time. And yes, buy a book or print rather than send flowers. The finest memorial to an excellent photographer is to have their work in your library and on your walls. I know Michael would approve. He was all about fine images.

    I have been enriched tremendously from knowing them both.

    Paula will put something up on their website shortly. I talked with her before posting this and have her permission to let folks know of Michaels passing.

    Dan Smith
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    South Dakota

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    He was one of the greats.

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    Godspeed Michael.

    I almost met Michael and Paula last Fall at an exhibition and lunch for them.

    Another Forum member and I pre-viewed the Highland Park IL exhibition and luncheon table.

    We got out just before the event. So never saw them.

    A life well lived.
    sin eater

  4. #4
    LF/ULF Carbon Printer Jim Fitzgerald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Vancouver Washington

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    It is a sad day for everyone in the large format community and the art world as well. I never met Michael but when I got serious about my photography years ago Michael's writings were key to success. I'll miss him and my condolences to Paula and the family.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    RIP. I heard tales of Michael from a friend who had a book published by him. A remarkable dedicated man.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    Sad news indeed.
    Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #7
    matthew blais's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Riverside, CA

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    I first met Michael and Paula in Pasadena back around 12-13 years ago...he was attending the Silver Conference and stayed at Per Volquartz's place, as did I.
    There was an informal showing of his portfolio as he and Paula were on one of their road trips for sales. We were shown at least 60 prints by both of them. I'd only seen the images printed in B&W magazine and the real deal was very impressive.

    From saving Azo for over a decade to manufacturing his own brand, he did much for the community and will be missed.
    My heartfelt condolences to Paula and family.
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover"
    August Rodin

    My Now old Photo Site

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    He certainly was dedicated to his craft and made many wonderful images. It's sad he is gone.

  9. #9
    William Whitaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    the Southern Part of Heaven

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    This is very sad news. My sincerest condolences to Paula.

  10. #10
    New Orleans, LA
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Re: Michael A. Smith has passed away

    Sad news indeed. He lived his life dedicated to his art and cut no corners. A consummate perfectionist in everything he did. Glad to have met him and learn from him and Paula. A tireless worker. We saw him in August and, even though he was recovering from a stroke, he was talking about his next publishing adventure. A very generous soul who will be missed. RIP. Our thoughts are with Paula and family during this time of grief.

    I found this video of an interview with him.

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