Jeff Smith Photographer
Discipline: Visual arts
Program Affiliations: Open Studio Tours Artist
I have lived in Arizona for most of my life. Inspired by my father, I picked up my first camera at the age of five and have yet to put one down. I have pursued lightning landscapes in the Sonoran desert for the last 30 years. Additionally I’m known for photographing people and bringing their stories to life as well as, photographing large natural history specimens from our past. I love to collaborate with fellow artists and clients artistically and commercially on both local and international projects.
Open Studio Tour
At the base of the Santa Catalinas lies Bear Canyon. This was a wonderful display of lightning silhouetting cacti in the summer of 1992.
While out in the Tohono O’odham Nation, lightning was landing 50’ away from us, using my Nikon camera with a wide 28mm lens, I captured this image. AT Willett and I experienced one of the closest bolts that either of us had photographed. We both captured it from different perspectives at the same time. 1990
Beyond Organ Pipe - Arizona Shot from the Tohono O’odham Reservation looking west toward Organ Pipe National Monument. The spectacular orange sunset comes from volcanic ash trapped in the stratosphere from the Mount Pinatubo Volcano. 1991
The Rincon mountains, east of Tucson, is notorious for its fierce storms. This particular evening storm had the most lightning I have ever seen consisting hitting in one place. This image captures all the lighting that incurred in 13 minutes. 1997
Located along I-10 near Tucson, this sub station offers an interesting dichotomy between the harnessed power of man and the natural power of nature. 2003
Summer Monsoons in Mexico are amazing. This storm came out of nowhere and pounded the Sonoran city of Puerto Peñasco. Immediately after I photographed this image, the storm moved into the sea at which point I also shot the image "Sea Of Cortez”. 1998
I set my camera up in anticipation of a storm I saw in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora. It was exciting to see the lightning dance exactly across my camera's frame. The flashing lightning froze the small waves in time. 1998
I was north of Tucson in Oro Valley for this storm. I headed towards Catalina State Park, set up my cameras and photographed this giant bolt. The separation between cloud and bolt is almost three-dimensional. This is my favorite image in this season. 2006
Flying into Albuquerque, NM at sunset I saw lightning in the distance towards the Santa Fe area. I pushed my camera up against the window opened the shutter momentarily and captured this. 1988
About the Process
My favorite tools are of course cameras, tripods and ladders.
I've been living in Tucson since I was 10 years old and have traveled
as far away as New Zealand and Argentina,Tucson has always
calls me back.
Every July our thunderstorm start and I spend my evenings out in
the elements of our monsoon storms. Either with people or without, I
am charged by the storms that surround southern Arizona.
My body of work consists of iconic Storm photography of southern
Arizona & drivescapes of lightning that I shoot from my car while I
Although I have spent most of my life as a photographer I do some
video work and move in and out of that for certain projects.
As far as being in the field which is my main workspace I need time of
day or time of night for it to be a new moment to take the same
picture differently with new tools and techniques.
As far as my actual workspace in my backyard I need all my tools,
different tools work on different days, whether it's a lightweight tripod
for a still evening or a very heavy tripod for a windy day that's where
they rest. My new studio space is very small and in my yard.
How to Purchase
11 AM until 5 PM April 22 and 23rd 29th and 30th 2023 and then by appointment only!
3539 E. 28th St., Tucson, AZ 85713
I will have two portfolios of older work that I can show you if you’re interested. I will have some proof prints of this year’s work for you to view . I have some large prints for cash and carry or delivery in the Tucson area. My photographic prints are limited editions, their will be older large framed available prints at my studio/home. New work will be print on demand once we determined the size you’re interested in.
You can view my over all work on my website: https://www.jeffsmithusa.com. On my Instagram account it’s mainly lightning clouds and moons well just be coming back online after a big Instagram hack https://www.instagram.com/jeffsmithusa ,If you’d like a closer look, please contact me for a private studio visit. email: firstname.lastname@example.org