about paul foley
Paul Foley is an Australian artist respected for his landscape and fine art photography | Photographing in Australia and internationally Paul creates black & white and colour prints of inspirational seascape, landscape and bodyscape photography | Paul Foley is a photographic artist working with archival inks and cotton rag papers to museum quality standards
Paul Foley - photographer
Paul's fine art photography is an eclectic collection of details and broader views. Passionate about the search for light, he forges and caresses it, both in camera and with software. The essential finale of the process, though, is an archival, museum quality print. Today, when amazing pictures are swiped away in seconds, standing before a thoughtful, well crafted print is to experience the soul of photography.
'I make pictures to express how light and shadow shape my creativity. While I do photograph single experiences or light events, I am most attracted by the 'scapes - land, sea, cloud, body - for inspiration. I call my process ‘finding pictures’ and it may help explain my eclectic range of subjects. It grows from an inquisitive interest in landscape and the human condition as well as a persistent search for interesting light.'
Paul sees himself as a generalist photographer working on disparate projects or themes that intrigue and even beguile him. Some themes are ongoing but he is often inspired by a single experience or light event. Paul's fine art prints can be colour, black and white or toned - it is the light that determines the process.
'My first attraction to photography was through the pages of 1970’s surf magazines. Inspired, I saved for a Pentax and a cheap 400mm lens then began photographing my friends surfing. I was full of teenage ambition of seeing my pictures on a magazine’s page. After a week of waiting, the Kodachromes would come back from processing. I would project the best on my bedroom wall, imagining them as magazine covers with mastheads and headlines.
During the mid '70's and '80's there was some limited publishing success. But even more fun and adventure travelling to various surf locations around the world. Travel opened my photographic soul - it encouraged me to better understand my craft. I discovered (and devoured) the images and teachings of Ansel Adams. Practical instruction came via many workshops conducted by contemporary masters of photography. I was also very fortunate to receive mentoring from iconic Australian photographer, David Moore. This mix of 'on page' and in person tuition taught me to photograph with precise techniques and greater reflection. For many years I would make photographs using only large and medium format cameras.
Later, I settled into a professional photography career in Newcastle, Australia. Commissioned by local, national and international clients I was a busy pro. All the while though, I made pictures for me. Everyone needs a hobby as a break from everyday work and mine was photography - despite my day job.
In 2006 I almost permanently lost my sight after eye surgery. It took several years for my eyes to recover and longer to come to terms with the associated depression. Even now I am somewhat limited by the amount of commissioned work I can comfortably undertake. The recovery period gave me more time for my ‘hobby’. I used it to express how that smeared vision, in the months immediately after the surgery, filtered the world. I found myself drawn to disguising scenes and details with blur and motion.'