When photographer Glenn Smith aimed his camera skyward the evening of Independence Day 2007, he knew he would get fireworks.
The white streaks, of the firecracker's explosion, cutting through the vibrant orange smoke was a happy surprise when Smith downloaded the images from his Sony DSL100 to his computer.
"It is one of those things photographers love to have because nobody can redo it," Smith said.
The mountain will still be there tomorrow but a burst of orange color against what was a night black sky is a one-time only shot.
Smith is the newest co-op member at Artists of the Rim Gallery.
He framed the captured pyrotechnic moment in a wood frame that looks like copper.
Smith is recently retired as the Town of Payson chief fiscal officer.
Now, he has the time to pursue his avocation.
"It was a hobby until I retired in June. Having my work in a gallery was one of my retirement goals," Smith said. He met it in November.
"It has been a busy time for me," Smith said.
In addition to pictures, framed and unframed in a variety of sizes, he also has seasonal cards for sale.
As the featured artist for December, he was at the gallery for First Friday and will be there again all day Dec. 22 and 30.
He has loved taking pictures for the past 45 years.
The first camera Smith recalls buying was a "black and white point and shoot" he used to photograph his son as a baby.
Now his preference is nature photography, especially the wildlife and majesty of the national parks.
Several of his photographs are hanging on the walls of the Payson Town Council Chambers.
"Photographers take tons of pictures. Most never get published. It takes time and patience to find what you are looking for. It is fun," Smith said.
Smith said he is becoming more particular in his images.
Having more time, means he can look at a photograph and say, "that's nice, but..."
He knows his composition is right when he can look at it and say, "That's a cool picture."
Except when he is running around town, Smith carries the Sony with him every place he travels, camps or fishes.
The scenic byway in Kodachrome, Utah, the sunset on Green Valley Lake, the delicate roses of a garden are among the natural subjects that attract Smith.
"When you take a picture, the human eye is going to see the rose, the leaves and what is around the plant," Smith said.
Yet, in "Sleeping Red Rose" Smith caught the late afternoon shadows as they fell on the flower.
Smith places a single pressed wildflower on each of the frames he makes as part of his signature.
The "Creative Critic" in Smith's life is his wife, Sherry.
At her behest, he stopped the car in the middle of a mountain range to take picture of a thistle.
Name: Glenn Smith
Advice to beginning artists: Do it. Just keep taking pictures. Start with a camera you can afford and work up.
Award most proud: For the past several years I have entered eight to 10 photographs in the competition at the Gila County fair and all have placed between third and first.
Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Why Payson? For work a dozen years ago.
Upcoming project: Going back to take photographs in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks.
Food: chocolate chip cookies
Music: easy listening, soft guitars
Points of contact: (928) 474-3367 or email@example.com. Also, Artists of the Rim Gallery, 408 W. Main St., Payson, (928) 472-1159.