A new start after 60: ‘I was a globetrotting photographer. Then I stayed home – and my world expanded’

His career took Roff Smith, 63, to more than 100 countries. But he started to feel jaded. Exploring his local area by bike led to a whole new approach to his pictures

Roff Smith’s photographs show a solitary cyclist – Smith himself – in a painterly landscape. His wheels appear to turn briskly, but really the bike moves as slowly as it can without a wobble. As a writer and photographer for National Geographic magazine, Smith, 63, visited more than 100 countries, but now he has squeezed the brakes and shrunk his world. His photographs are all taken within a 10-mile radius of his home, and yet travel has never felt so rich to him as it does now.

Before the pandemic, he had already begun to feel jaded: air travel made “the world everywhere look the same”.

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