“I have been on two photography tours with Geraint Smith and I can’t say enough good things about the Tours and Geraint, so it will have to suffice to say that I couldn’t be more satisfied. Well . . . maybe I can add a few words to give you the flavor of what makes these tours so special . . . so here goes . . . . . .
I went on the first Geraint Smith Photography Tour while accompanying my wife who was attending a meeting in Taos. I liked that first Tour so much that I drove from home in Georgia all the way across country to Taos just to go on another Geraint Smith Photography Tour, this time in a different season of the year. Both Tours were outstanding. Here is what made the Geraint Smith Photography Tours so special to me:
1. Spectacular scenery everywhere you look . . . natural scenery of the mountains, canyons, rivers, creeks and skies . . . architectural scenery of the old Pueblos, tractor boneyards and ghost towns . . . wildlife and ranch life etc etc. And all along the way Geraint explains how he sees “things” with his professional photographers eye.
2. Geraint Smith is not only a technically gifted photographer [duh!], but he is also an excellent teacher. With a great easy-going personality he is able to explain what he is doing and why he is doing it, which is why this amateur photographer signed up for the Tours in the first place. I wanted to learn and improve my photography and learn and improve I did.
3. But Geraint Smith isn’t just a well-known professional photographer, he is also a virtual fountain of knowledge of the local history and a good story-teller to boot. I loved hearing, between our photo stops, about the local history be it about the Indian tribes who inhabit[ed] the area or the water wars of decades past or of the many interesting, shall we say, “characters” who live5 in and around the Taos area.
Whether or not you have an interest in photography, going on a photography tour with Geraint Smith is a great way to spend the day while visiting Taos, NM. Who knows, you may like the time on your Geraint Smith Photography Tour so much that you just might find yourself booking another tour . . . which is exactly what I did!”
“When I look for a photography workshop, I look for an instructor who not only has good technical skills, but also can think “outside the box” for creativity, can communicate well, has patience and will customize the day to my requests. After just taking one of Geraint’s one-day tour with my friend Linda this week, I can unequivocally say that Geraint and his tours check ALL the boxes. We like to shoot unique “Americana” images (see the photo with this review I took) and Geraint took us to some places in the San Luis Valley that I doubt anyone else knows about. I had been there many times to photograph before but I had no idea of ANY of the places he took us. All were perfect for what we wanted to do. I wish I could find something I didn’t like to write about so that this review doesn’t sound like it came from his mother but I can’t. I have memories (and images to prove it) for a lifetime. Whatever your level of expertise, treat yourself. Thank you, Geraint!”
“Geraint Smith is perhaps the finest photographer of the American Southwest living today. His photographs are far beyond what you’ll see in the tourist brochures or New Mexico photo books. Whether a majestic mountain range framed by the “walking rain” or a prosaic curl of barbed wire attached to a fence, he captures the essence and beauty of any subject within his viewfinder. That’s because he is gifted with the eye of an artist, one who is able to take a subject and present it with a fresh, new perspective. His intimacy, love, and empathy for the people, landscape, architecture, and the birds and wildlife of the region shines through his work.
I have gone on two photo tours with Geraint, one of the High Road between Taos and Santa Fe, and the other along the backroads of the New Mexico – Colorado border. What Geraint offers on a photo tour is the ability to place a photographer in exactly the right place to get the very best photograph possible. Along the way, he offers expert advice on camera settings, composition, lenses, processing and just about anything else a photographer can think of. You’ll see a lot of beautiful country, visit charming Northern New Mexico villages and come away with hundreds of great shots and a leap ahead in your ability. I personally plan to take more tours in the future and highly recommend him to others, whether a novice or a professional.
I also make it a habit to visit his website to see the Photo of the Day and wander through his on-line gallery. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the caliber of his work. And if you take a photo tour, you’re apt to see a couple of shots he took along the way. Compare what he did to what you did and you’ll find yourself studying under a master.”
“It was a bit of an indulgence for me, but I had 1 day in Taos and I wanted to make the most of it. Geraint met me early in the morning to give us enough time (to accommodate my flight out later that afternoon). He took the time to talk to me about my interests and look at some of my photography before we met so he could plan a day around what he thought would be a good fit for me. He drove me around to many amazing sites I never would have found on my own (and even let me use his charger!) – we talked about the history of the region, photography and art. He is very knowledgeable and experienced, has a good eye and gave me many tips/pointers I have carried with me and tried to be conscious of in my photography since then. I highly recommend Geraint, as an excellent guide, instructor and all around interesting/good person. Indulge yourself – the experience is well worth it!”
“Thank you, Geraint, for a grand adventure and great learning experience. In one day I saw so much of the Taos area that I’d never seen before. Much that I’d seen before I now see in a different way. Interesting experiences with birds, coyotes, long horn sheep and more long horn sheep, churches, bridges, old trucks, and especially shadows I’d never looked for before. A fantastic day well spent.”
“My wife and I enjoyed a wonderful 3 day photo tour with Geraint Smith in Taos, New Mexico and surrounding areas. Geraint picked us up at our Airbnb every morning and we toured selected locations which offered marvelous photographic opportunity. Geraint was very patient and helpful, offering advice on photo techniques to enhance our experience. We enjoyed his enthusiasm for photography, his insights and wonderful stories of his own photographic journey. I would highly recommend this Tour to anyone of any photographic experience. The Taos area is full of varied types of photographic interests, and Geraint was eager to accommodate our particular interests.”
–Paul and Judy
“I’m a moderately experienced hobbyist photographer and have taken photography tours in several places around the world. They were generally very good, but Geraint Smith’s tour was by far the best. The hardest thing for someone wanting to photograph an area for the first time is knowing precisely where to go, and when, for the best shots. Booking a tour with Geraint solved that problem perfectly. He has lived and photographed in the area for decades, producing outstanding photography, so he knows the vantage points, lighting and weather conditions. I opted for a 3-day tour. In my case that meant two days around Taos and Abuiqui, and one day at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in south central Colorado, about 2 hours from Taos. On the first day, Geraint picked me up at my hotel as scheduled and within 20 minutes we were photographing a beautiful scene of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in perfect morning light, with desert brush in the foreground. I never would have found this vantage point or noticed its potential on my own. Throughout our time together, Geraint not only brought me to great locations, he also patiently taught me about composition, “seeing,” and general photographic technique. He even showed me some post-processing methods. While in transit between shooting locations, he told interesting stories about his career, photography and the region. I came home with some of the best photos I have ever taken. Geraint’s knowledge, charm, patience, and enthusiasm contributed to a great experience. I would highly recommend his tour for photographers of any level.”
“I recently spent two wonderful days photographing northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado with Geraint Smith. I am from New York and couldn’t have asked for a better guide to this area of the country. Previous to my trip to the Southwest, Geraint wanted to know what in particular I wanted to photograph as well as requesting that I send him a sampling of my work to better prepare for our time together. To say I was thrilled with his guidance would be an understatement. He was knowledgeable, flexible, friendly, and inspirational. The generosity he showed with his time and expertise convinced me he was very interested in helping me improve my eye for what was around me as well as the skill I needed to capture that with my camera. Additionally, Geraint was anxious and willing to share his insights into the history and geography of the country we were traveling through. I am hoping to be able to return to the area and spend more time with this exceptional person and photographer.”
–Gerald Zaffuts – Connecticut
“Geraint is a master photographer and a patient teacher with profound knowledge of the American southwest. He clearly loves what he does and sharing his knowledge of the area’s history, geography and wildlife. Geraint not only taught me to be a better photographer, he took me on an adventure–bringing me to places that were so unusual and beautiful that I couldn’t wait to see and share the images that I had captured. He’s also a wise and funny guy –the perfect guide for a trip through one of the most beautiful places on the planet.”
“I spent a week with Geraint traveling all over New Mexico and Southern Colorado. His skill and patience is amazing. His ability to help me see the beauty around me was well worth the money spent. In addition, he was a great teacher who spent all the time needed in any location to help me see and understand the picture. On my second adventure I was in the area just for the day and he accompanied me to some new sites that were as breath taking as those you see on his website. Geraint’s skill set allows him to be a guide, and instructor, and a teacher all at one time. If you want some one on one instruction and help becoming a better photographer, Geraint is your man.”
“I had the great pleasure of spending 3 memorable days with Geraint on a photo tour around the Taos region. He was kind enough to allow a non-photographer friend to tag along too. Geraint was a truly excellent guide and photography mentor – so willing to share his deep knowledge and experience of both photography and the region.”
“I have been on four photo tours with Geraint Smith and all were spectacular adventures and wonderful learning experiences. Geraint is very focused on capturing great images and knows where and when to be in just the right place at the right time to get the shot.
All around Taos -St. Francis de Asis Church, High Road, Las Trampas, Rio Grande del Norte National Monument and Abiquiu. This first photo tour was an unforgettable eye-opener. We saw more scenery and learned more photo skills than I thought possible.
Backroads from Taos to Cimarron – Elk, Aspens and Bison at the Philmont Ranch. Wonderful photos of fly fishermen and cowboys on horseback. The aspens were just turning golden. The clear blue sky and white clouds make some of my favorite images.
Night photography in the Rio Grande Gorge and post-processing in Photoshop. This photo tour was something “a little different”. I asked Geraint to help with night photography skills and he blew me away with photos of the Milky Way from down in the Gorge.
A tour to Alamosa, Colorado and the San Luis Valley. Old barns, wild horses, rusty trucks, windowless abandoned homesteads in the middle of nowhere and raptors in their nests. Oh, and snow in May! Geraint gave great lessons in composition and exposure in snowy conditions.
I think Geraint genuinely enjoys sharing his artistic ability and photographic skills and techniques. He has personalized each of the photo tours so that I acquired the specific skills I wanted. I’m looking forward to my next photo adventure with Geraint in October.”
“We own several pieces of Geraint Smith’s art. I am captivated by his images – both the subject matter and his expertise in providing me with a sense of the beauty and wildness of the Southwest. His images range from wildlife, sweeping vistas and crumbling structures to the abstract of colors and patterns seen in everyday life. Geraint’s images are more than a “picture” but draw me to the subject matter to the point that I feel I am standing by Geraint when he is capturing the subject.
I gave my husband a photography tour as a gift and I tagged along. We had very different skill levels – on our tour, my husband learned advanced techniques about focal and multiple exposures and I learned what an aperture is and how to compose the image. That day Geraint taught me a way to “see” the world differently. I had so much fun that my husband gave me a tour as a gift! Geraint is a wonderful teacher and he has a gift that allows him to patiently mentor both of us no matter our skill level. I would recommend his tours to the beginner or the expert photographer.
I am lucky that Geraint has shared both his technical knowledge and love of photography. His artwork hangs in our home and are cherished reminders of our travels in the Southwest. Photographs that I took on our tours sit on my desk and hold many special memories….and on each subsequent tour the images I take get sharper and more focused and I anticipate our next adventure with Geraint.”
“I had the pleasure of going on a photo tour with Geraint Smith a little over a week ago. First of all, we got to see parts of Taos that I would not have seen or known about otherwise. I was able to get some great shots and am trying to decide which ones to print for my office! Most importantly, I was able to learn more and more about my camera and how I can take better photos. It has made me more excited about taking photos around Texas when I am on road trips. If I return to the area, I would book another day with Geraint. He was very patient and gave great suggestions on composition.”
“The four days I spent with Geraint made for the best photography workshop I’ve ever attended. He was generous with his time and even more giving with his knowledge. His patient, supportive approach created a learning environment where I could proceed at my own pace. We explored some wonderful locations and were able to interact with a number of colorful characters. Mark van Doren said, “The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” That’s a perfect description of what Geraint does.”
–Ron Richardson – Jasper, Alabama
“Did a half day photography trip 6/20/17 with Geraint Smith. Picked me up at my location and we traveled to several photogenic sites in and around the Taos area. Mr. Smith is very personable and has years of experinece and accumulated knowledge of Northern New Mexico. Enjoyed the trip very much and would recommend to anyone wishing to have a great photo experience and a chance to improve your skills.”
“During the day we spent with Geraint in New Mexico we were guided to see the “Land of Enchantment” through the eyes of a wonderfully talented photographer and teacher. If you have an interest in taking your photography to a new level, Geraint is the guy to help you on the path.”
“We had the opportunity to do three days of photo touring with Geraint. What a treat! We were able to do three different tours, all of which were outstanding. The High Road to Taos, Georgia O’Keeffe Country, and the Rio Grande Gorge area were all a visual delight. The added plus was that the Cottonwoods had changed to their fall colors, a golden yellow. Magnificent!! Geraint ‘s intimate knowledge of knowing the time of day for the best natural light on the preferred shot was a real added plus. He was able to incorporate historic architecture, western weathered buildings and churches, old country stores, and a whole lot more into our day. It was a photographers delight! If you are an avid photographer you will really enjoy Geraint’s tips and instruction. When we began our time with him he was our guide, at the conclusion of our time we parted friends.”
–Bill and Gretchen Northrup – Columbus, Ohio
“My husband Mel and I have done two of Geraint’s photo tours and plan to do a tour of the four corners with him in the near future. The beauty of a photo tour with Geraint is that in addition to his awesome talent, he will take you places that you would never find on your own. He is easy to travel with and incredibly patient in his approach. There is never a dumb question or any intimidation in working beside one as talent as he. Another favorite part of the tour is the studio work that Geraint does with us recapping the trip and using photoshop to enhance our photos. If you find yourself in Taos, indulge yourself and book a photo tour with Geraint.”
–Anita and Mel Moore
“A great big GIGANTIC “Thank you” for the AWESOME photo tour! It was fantastic….indeed a highlight life experience. I’m really greatful for the shooting tips but more so for your “photography as a meditation” philosophy. Of all the instruction you gave me, this mindfulness viewpoint resonated the most and will endure with me in all my future endeavors. I also appreciate your flexibility and am now convinced that a good scene can be had, no matter what the situation may be.”
–Gabe Mounce – Albuquerque, NM
“My photo tour with Geraint was worth every penny. He is a master at seeing beautiful compositions where most would drive by without a second glance. The tour was from 9-5: no sunrise, no sunset, yet he still found many good subjects. Geraint gave suggestions on how to frame, focus, and expose the shots. He brought a laptop and for some of the shots we did post-processing. This immediate feedback was helpful in visualizing the final result when taking shots. While driving between locations, we had the opportunity for unhurried conversation about photography. This tour is about the art of photography, not the camera gear. Afterwards, I felt creatively re-charged. I would recommend Geraint’s photo tour for any level of photographer, from beginner to professional.”
–Colin Barnett – Albuquerque, NM
“Geraint, Susan and I wanted to thank you for the wonderful day we were able to spend with you last Wednesday. Thanks for so many things – for showing us how to use our camera features more efficiently, for new ways of “seeing” a subject, balance and composition, we could go on and on! We have lived in NM most of our lives but had never seen many of the places you took us. The weather was stunning; thunder clouds, rainbows, mountain villages. It was a day that we were truly filled with wonder at all we saw! You were so very patient with us as we would try to grasp concepts that come naturally to you. And finally, it was a pleasure to get to know you as a person, not just a photographer. Thank you for sharing a day with us.”
–Mark and Susan – Maine
“I just completed a three day intensive photography tour with Geraint Smith of Taos, New Mexico. I dumped my Nikon DSLR heavy and bulky camera and accoutrement and treated myself to a new Lumix G85 mirrorless 35 mm camera and new glass in preparation for my journey into the unknown.
After many years as a public school teacher, university instructor and professional photographer I think it’s fair to say that I know a bit about teaching and learning in my areas of expertise.
And now, I have bumped into Geraint Smith. And, yes! He has rekindled the flame in me as a photographer. I am filled with gratitude for the many ways he has gifted me with his amazing ability to transfer his knowledge technically and philosophically around seeing, sensing and composing photographic images. This is the “stuff” of life for me.
Hanging out with Geraint for so many richly filled hours, following my heart and heeding his advice and wisdom, made the entire experience truly worthwhile…and it all came so unexpectedly! That is how I often know when I am living life most fully. Being with Geraint has proved again that at least for this man, I believe that “life is a rip-off when you get what you expect!”
I’ve often spoken about the difference between “change” and “transformation,” both with friends and in college courses I’ve conducted. The problem with “change” is that all too often, people who value “changes” in their lives seem to come around sooner or later to lament that, “yesterday I was different…today I’m the same…”
My time touring and talking with Geraint was without a doubt, one of the finest and most satisfying learning experiences of my life. I now recognize it as transformative. The writer George Leonard wrote in the 70’s in his powerful book, “Education and Ecstasy,” that learning should be an ecstatic experience. That describes exactly what happened over the course of my three days with Geraint. I will never forget the lessons learned from Geraint because many things have moved inside me in terms of how I see Mother Nature, still objects and of course, people. Yes, I have had an ecstatic learning experience with Geraint Smith and I wish the same for you.
So, in gratitude, I want to share some of the numerous superlatives that come to mind about this charming Welshman, Geraint Smith. How about…Master Teacher, genius at through the lens composition and light, kind and patient, bold in giving feedback, generous and strong, wily as the foxes and wolves he photographs, loving and compassionate, thorough and committed to his art and that of the student and yes, the sweetest guy you could ever wish to talk with about the meaning of life and the importance of taking photographs from within.
So, you see, my testimonial stems from a very deep place. I returned to my home in Mill Valley, California, renewed, more aware of my surroundings than I can recall in way too many years and eager to go right back to study with Geraint again and again. I love photography like never before and I am ready to leave my lazy-making I-Phone at home in a drawer now that I have reclaimed my passion and my chops for photography.
Thank you, dear Geraint for being you and sharing yourself so fully with your students. You make all the difference in the world to those who are open and willing to just stop, look and listen. After all…why not!”
–Don Kline – Mill Valley
“Geraint Smith and I have been doing photo day trips as friends for a very long time. As a landscape painter it is wonderful to explore the back roads and villages of northern New Mexico. Usually I do solo trips, but find the search for new material so much more fun in Geraint’s company. He openly and unselfishly shares his knowledge of this area – it would be a great privilege for any visual artist to work with him. I have total admiration for his beautiful photography and talent. Any of the photo tours on his itinerary is the essence of northern New Mexico at it’s most beautiful best.”
–Donna Clair – Taos, NM
“After completing your half-day photo-tour session, in the back country around Taos, NM, I can only say that it exceeded my expectations and left me with both wonderful memories of the terrain and a renewed perspective of landscape photography. I can certainly recommend your service to any Taos bound beginning or intermediate photographer who wants to enrich their view of nature’s grandeur, as seen through your eyes. Thank you again for your knowledge and patience with the slowness of my 73 year old brain and ability to hike the area.”
–Kenneth S. Cohen – California
“As an enthusiastic photographer, I found instruction with Geraint a unique opportunity. He is generous and patient as well as thoroughly knowledgeable about digital cameras and photo-editing software. I would not hesitate to recommend his photo-tours to anyone, tourist or photographer alike. This is a great way to experience the special sights of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado.”
–Elizabeth Manny – El Prado, NM