Wednesday, 20 April 2016

photographs of light

'Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.'
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Fine art photographs of the horizon

Much of my inspiration lives on the shoreline and at the horizon.

The shoreline is my base - it is where I wander when I need to feel home. The horizon is where I gaze when leaving home becomes a plan for discovery and adventure.

The visual link between the shoreline and the horizon is obvious - the closest leads to the distant other. However, though connected, they serve different roles in my creative process.

The shoreline is busier - I need to be aware of waves and tides. Timing is everything. Photographing the horizon, on the other hand, is a slower process. The longer exposures give me time to gaze out and dream - which is just fine by me.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

finding pictures - one on one mentoring

Photography is a wonderful, creative outlet in a hectic and sometimes overbearing world. Digital photography has made picture making easier yet more daunting at the same time. Of course, there are plenty of workshops and online tutorials to choose from but which ones are best?

I believe that nothing can beat expert one on one mentoring. Targeted mentoring is perfect for enthusiast and novice photographers. It is effective and fun learning that will nurture and expand the joy of photography.
I love sharing the rules and techniques I have learnt during a 30 year professional career. I enjoy even more showing my students how to bend and break those rules.
'My 'one on one' mentoring' will guide you towards your own photographic style. I call it 'finding pictures' and it provides steps and techniques to make the most of the light you find and the camera you have.'
There are two versions of mentoring available - in person or online:

In person one on one mentoring

The process includes:
1/ Interview - A phone conversation to discover your photographic interests and experience level. I then prepare a mentoring session based on the interview and the amount of time you book.
2/ Mentoring - The session takes place at a location relevant to your photographic interests. I will make suggestions but it could also be your preferred location.
3/ On-going assessment - I critique up to 10 pictures after the session. I will provide ideas and solutions to any photographic challenges you encountered making them. For best learning outcomes these critiques are best spread over a 4 to 6 week period after the mentoring session.

In person two on one mentoring

For friends or couples sharing a common photographic interest I can offer mentoring for two in a single session. Each photographer can provide their own images during the ongoing assessment component. This is a great way to split the costs and save.

Online one on one mentoring

I conduct online mentoring via email. It features a series of photographic exercises based on your interests, experience and equipment.
The process includes:
1/ Interview - An email conversation to discover your photographic interests and experience level. I then prepare a mentoring session based on the interview and the number of assignments you buy. Assignments are sold in batches of 5 or 10.
2/ Mentoring - Each week (or fortnight) I set an assignment that relates to your interest and skill level. It will include suggestions on how to complete the picture and is based on your experience and equipment range.
3/ On-going assessment - After each assignment you upload a high res file and I provide feedback and suggestions to ensure your ongoing improvement.
Please email with a brief description of your interests, experience and the camera equipment you use. Include an outline of what you wish to achieve with mentoring and I will explain how I will approach your needs. From there you can decide how many critiques you might need.
A skype consultation option is also available.
In person 2 hour session (1 person) - includes 5 image critiques: $295.00 
In person 2 hour session (2 person) - includes 10 image critiques: $395.00 
In person 4 hour session (1 person) - includes 10 image critiques: $495.00 
In person 4 hour session (2 person) - includes 20 image critiques: $595.00
Online 5 image critiques: $245.00 
Online 10 image critiques: $395.00 
Click here to buy. Just use the 'Add to cart' button to select your session or critiques.
About me
My professional career has covered the gamut of photographic assignments. I work for small and large clients in regional Australia, capital cities and internationally. My fine art photography is an eclectic mix of people, landscape and abstracts. While all this gives me wide experience and constant challenges it is not to say I am an expert in everything. I don't take on clients unless I have experience relevant to their interests.
My expertise covers:
The technology of digital capture: This knowledge makes you a better photographer who creates clean files with contrast and tone. Perfect for display in high resolution detail on a computer screen or as beautiful prints.
The art and design of photography: I know the rules of photography and how to apply them to everyday photographic challenges. Importantly I know when and how to break them. I believe every photographer can discover their own style with my practical processes and methods.
The process of picture making: I explain how composition, exposure, focus, depth of field work and how to use them to create your own style. I will help you get the most out of your existing camera and equipment. I can also offer honest, practical advice on any future equipment choices you might be considering. I will help you understand how pros get their pictures and the tools they use.
The power of light: Of course having a great camera is for nothing if you don’t know how light works and how to control it. Powerful photographs are often as much about what is left out as is included within the frame.
Understanding Lightroom: I will help you get started with RAW photography and the clean 21st century ‘lightroom’. You will learn how to make pictures with lots of information and be able to fine-tune and tweak the files in Lightroom. Your pictures will show all the beautiful details and colours or black and white tones that you saw - or imagined!
In person mentoring prices are valid for the Sydney, Newcastle and Illawarra areas. Please call or email for bookings, Gift Vouchers, full day and multi session mentoring or if you have any questions at all. I have a full money back guarantee for all my services if you are not 110% satisfied!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Photographer in Residence

Visualise a region’s essence, personality and vibe.

Just over 12 months ago I began promoting the Photographer in Residence (PiR) project. The initial interest was encouraging and I looked forward to further explaining and discussing the concept.

However, before I could progress it, I was engaged to shoot a long term assignment which had me travelling around Victoria for a good part of 2015. The open ended time frame meant I had to put PiR on the back burner.

After this delay I am pleased to begin shooting the first PiR next week.

Photographer in Residence is adaptable and modular - customisation is a key feature. It creates material and social media interest encouraging visitors to explore regional destinations and stick around a little longer.

PiR embeds creativity, experience and skill to tell the story of a place. It establishes an ongoing visual record of essence, personality and vibe.

PiR is my solution to many of the challenges in photographing regional Australia. It enables me to catch moments, light and expressions that defy the scripting of a time limited shot list. Of course, there is also a detailed briefed component to cover branding and specific activities or events.

The program utilises social media and educational photo walks to engage with enthusiast photographers. Tapping into this omniscient interest in making and sharing photographs is a key component of PiR. It is set up to encourage new, longer and return visits.

Another important feature are the workshops I conduct for local business operators. First developed for then Tourism NSW, they teach operators how to effectively use contemporary digital photography.  The topics covered are specific to the attendees of each workshop. I provide practical lighting and styling hints for real world photographic scenarios. Attendees also learn what is achievable by themselves and when and how to engage a professional

Other important components include:

  • A fine art photographic collection. Tell a region's story through local galleries, capital/sister cities, trade missions and embassies.
  • Online photo competition. Encourage visitors and locals to enter and win prizes (eg local accomodation, meals etc)
  • Where to tips for the best photo locations.

The residency is for 15 days but can run in shorter blocks across seasons and/or to include different events. As mentioned, PiR is very modular and designed to adapt to local requirements.

There are still two of the original promotional packages left and I would be very happy to send a detailed proposal to any interested parties. The introductory fee for a 15 day project is $9000.00 plus GST. It includes perpetual, flexible usage rights.

Email: Phone: 0412 683 007

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Going Dark

Every so often I go dark and stop taking pictures. I’m not referring to commissioned work for clients - just my personal work. And it doesn't mean I’m bored with picture making, I’m just not feeling inspired enough to lift the camera to my eye. And it doesn’t mean I put my cameras away either. I still carry one around I just don’t use it.

going dark - Images by Paul Foley

These periods don’t usually last long and I don't consider it a time of stagnation. I consciously offset my personal dry spell by observing and experiencing other people’s creativity. It’s refreshing and, in a way, a relief to just bear witness to the work of others and not put any pressure on myself to create.

This past 3 weeks has been the longest stretch I have gone without making a picture just for me and I didn’t really notice the moment when I came out of the dark. The file sat in my camera for a few days before I even downloaded it to the computer. Ironically, the picture that signifies the end of this ‘going dark’ period is of a very moody scene I saw the other night. Go figure.

I am always reading the blogs of the latest photography wunderkinds. They both inspire and frustrate me with their unbound creativity and ‘what rules?’ processes.

One piece of advice that is often repeated is to ‘just keep taking pictures’ in a practise makes perfect way of learning. And for less experienced photographers in this digital age it can be a good approach - as long as each of those pictures is a step along from the previous.

Back in the day of film it was not so easy (or affordable) to just keep clicking. You had to be careful with each frame (especially if using the 4 x 5 format). It taught me to be more reflective about my photography and more considered about when I pressed the shutter. In fact, besides the nerves and excitement I experienced on my first real professional assignment, I remember thinking how cool it was that the client was paying for each roll I exposed!

I see these dark periods as important to my growth as a photographer and, while I don’t want to experience too many or for too long, I know there are rewards for not taking pictures.