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.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bathing Beauties - The Tweeting Queens of 2014

A few days ago I was asked to participate in the media launch of the ‘Australia Day Your Way’ initiative for 2015. In 2014 The National Australia Day Council partnered with Twitter and the National Museum of Australia to promote the sharing of images using  #australiaday .

Bathing Beauties - Images by Paul Foley

Over 70,000 tweets and 30,000 images were shared with the #australiaday hashtag and 5 people who published images on Australia Day in 2014 have been chosen to attend the launch event in Canberra on January 16, 2015. Probably due to some clerical error I am one of these people! 

I love the celebration of Australia Day - especially when it recognises the complete story of our country. From it’s people living here for the centuries before Captain Phillip’s arrival through to the multiracial peoplescape we live in today. In truth, I have always considered every day Australia Day - even the occasional awful ones as we witnessed this week.

A few days before Australia Day this year I selected some pics from my archive to post on the 26th to celebrate some of the Australian faces I had photographed over the years. 

One was ‘Bathing Beauties’ and I was so happy to see that it selected by The National Australia Day Council. 

I made this picture quite a few years ago at Newcastle Ocean Baths. I was down there one dawn on an advertising shoot when I heard loud splashing and laughing demands from behind me to ‘Take our picture!’ I turned around to see these four wonderful, feisty and definitely not shy women. How could I refuse?

So the four other selectees and myself will be in Canberra on January 16th to tell the stories behind our pictures and invite all Australians to tweet their own pics on January 26th using #australiaday. I hope you will take a few moments on January 26th, 2015 to tweet your favourite Aussie face and don’t forget to add #australiaday

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Monday, 31 March 2014

Limited Edition Instagram Prints

Instagram prints Signed museum quality prints limited to editions of 25. Maximum print size is 300mm x 300mm. $75.00 (AUS) including postage. Please visit Paul Foley Photographer to see the full range.