Monday, 13 November 2017

Sunset, Merewether Ocean Baths.

Sunset, Merewether, Newcastle, Australia (buy print)
When I headed down to the beach I had intended making some B & W storm cloud pictures. I had set up my Linhof 6x17cm camera and loaded it with Agfa Scala film. Then the clouds behind me parted and allowed the last rays of the setting sun to burst through...
Frantically, I pulled the unexposed film from the camera and re-loaded with Fuji Velvia. I hate wasting film but when the transparencies came back a week later I didn't mind on this occasion.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

the moment

© Paul Foley - Purchase

I remember the anticipation I felt when I took this image. I had been down at Newcastle Ocean Baths since before dawn and had already made what I thought would be one or two good pictures.
I had set up for this composition with the tilt shift lens dialed in to isolate a small plane of focus.  An elderly lady was swimming a slow breaststroke from the south when a blurred figure came into frame on the left. He was oblivious to my camera. Standing upright, he looked ahead as if bracing for the pool's cold water.

I was tempted to take a photo then but had a sense that something more interesting would happen. Although I was using a digital camera and knew I could take many pictures my instinct was telling me to wait.

Under my breath, I pleaded for him do something before the woman swam too far into the picture and ruined the composition I was visualising. Then he looked down.

The deliberate way I make pictures is rooted in the creative photographic process I first learned when I shot on large format film. It required planning, contemplation and patience. Catching the right moment pitted that patience against an excited anticipation. The knowledge that swapping around a sheet film holder and waiting for the camera to ‘settle’ took minutes not milliseconds meant I had to choose my timing carefully. Lots of missed moments were hard but important lessons.

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If you are interested in this image please click to purchase. It is limited to an edition of 25 prints.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Farmer, Phoenix Park, Hunter Valley, Australia

Gary Burton © Paul Foley

I drove past Gary Burton as he wheeled a strange device across a brown dirt paddock. It was like a wheelbarrow without the barrow. I had to stop and ask for a photograph.

While I went about setting up my paraphernalia we talked about his farm, his grandfather, his father and his children. He told me about the watermelon plants that were just sprouting and about the ancient machine he was using to tend them.

I made pictures as I listened. This is the moment I felt I best appreciated the stories his words, face and well worked hands were telling me.

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