- Robert Smith
(b Hemingford Abbots, Hunts [now Cambs], Dec 13, 1832; d Beckenham, Kent, June 20, 1878).
Australian photographer and geologist of English birth. In 1852 he withdrew from studies at Christ’s College, Cambridge (1851–2) for health reasons, joined the Australian gold-rush, and spent two unproductive years prospecting in Victoria. The experience inspired an interest in geology, and in 1854 he joined the Victorian mineralogical survey as an assistant surveyor. During six months’ stay in London in 1856 and 1857 to study assaying at the Royal School of Mines, he became interested in photography. On his return to Victoria in 1858 he collaborated with Antoine Julien Fauchery (1823–61) in producing Sun Pictures of Victoria, a series of photographs illustrating various aspects of the life and scenery of the colony. Having rejoined the newly named Victorian Geological Survey (1859), in 1860 he began regularly using photography as a substitute for hand-drawn diagrams, and as a topographical record. With government financial support he produced photographs publicizing the colony for the International Exhibition in London of ...