Mark R Smith
Mark became interested in micro/macro photography at around the age of 18, when his good friend, mentor and childhood neighbour Anthony Gutierrez asked him to help with the development of a novel focus-stacking system he was developing for the US Army Health Services Command.
Over the course of his undergraduate and graduate career studying geoscience, Mark realised that focus-stacking devices were overlooked and underutilised. Therefore, he began streamlining the method used to capture images, and commercialised a simplified version of the focus-stacking system built for the US Army through his newly founded company Macroscopic Solutions.
Aside from his wife and family, Mark loves nothing more than blending together information, art and nature in order to solve problems related to climate change, conservation and healthcare. Mark lives in a quiet corner of Connecticut, USA, with his wife, Annette Evans, who is a PhD student studying the conservation and ecology of the eastern redback salamander at the University of Connecticut; Mark is a recent graduate of the university’s Geoscience Graduate Program. Mark’s one true hobby aside from work is riding mountain and road bikes – he commutes 20 miles per day to work by bike, weather permitting, and also rides the local single track 3–4 times a week.
Today, Mark owns and operates Macroscopic Solutions with Annette, and offers 2D and 3D imaging services and products capable of generating highly detailed content of samples ranging from a few microns (such as pollen) to a few metres (drill cores) in size, using one compact, portable and non-invasive imaging system called the Macropod Pro.
Mark strongly encourages young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and finance. He says: “These careers give young people a perspective and understanding that is valuable to both themselves and society. Art, philosophy and creativity will develop naturally as you become more knowledgeable and optimistic about the world. Always, always, always think outside the box.”