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Julian Augustus Romaine Smith was born in England and moved with his family to Melbourne as a young boy. He studied medicine at Melbourne University and went on to a distinguished career in surgery.

Dr Smith took up photography around 1925 as a relaxation from his demanding medical practice. He was an extremely energetic and forceful personality and soon became a prolific exhibitor. He became a founder member of the Victorian Salon in 1929 and a member of the Melbourne Camera Club, serving both societies as an official and judge over many years.

Dr Smith worked chiefly in portraiture and what was known as the character study. His busy schedule made outdoor work difficult. Instead he had models come to the studio to be dressed up to represent a character type or figure from literature such as Dickens’ novels.

With characteristic energy and inventiveness Dr Smith developed a special printing technique to give his prints extra richness. It is described in Jack Cato’s The Story of the Camera in Australia (1955).

A portfolio of reproductions of his prints titled Fifty Masterpieces of Photography by Dr Julian Smith was published posthumously in 1949.

above text based on Gaël Newton's Silver & Grey
Angus and Roberston, Australia 1980


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