About Paul Foley

'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.’


2016 – Raw Artists Signature Exhibition, Sydney, Australia
2011 – Portrait Prize — National Portrait Gallery Canberra
2005, 2007, 2011, 2012 – View 3 – Newcastle
2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 – 2088 Group Exhibition – Mosman Art Gallery
2006 – “lightmoods” – Headland Gallery Mosman
2003 – Tokyo - ACMP Collection Touring Exhibition
2002 – one of two Australians invited by Chinese Government to join a group of 50 international photographers to exhibit and photograph in China.
1996 – Five Women – anonymous bodyscapes – Suters Architects, Newcastle and The Photographers Gallery, Sydney
1993 – School Days - a series of portraits showing the students of Newcastle SSP for intellectually disabled students. Complemented by poems / stories written by the children after viewing their pictures – Watt Space Gallery (University of Newcastle) – Also published in SMH “Good Weekend” magazine.
2006 – Epson Award for Digital Imaging Excellence - 2006 ADAPT Awards
2006 – Canon Award for Digital Photographic Reproduction - 2006 ADAPT Awards
2006 – 2 Silvers– Australian Professional Photography Awards
2005 – Runner up (Landscapes) International Photography Awards, NYC
2003, 02 – Acceptance into Australian Photographers Collection
1997 – The Gold Medal at The National Print Awards
Lake Macquarie - Reflections of our City (2004)
Newcastle - New Century, New Horizons (2001)
The Light Moods - views of Ocean Baths (Self published 2011)
As part of my commitment to charity and fund-raising I have been privileged to photograph:
The Betty Cuthbert Tribute (featuring 58 Prominent and World Champion Australian Sports People), raising funds for Betty and MS Research.
The World Professional Surfing Champions, raising funds for SIDS
All of the living AFL Brownlow Medallists bought together at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, raising funds for Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital


Ansel Adams, David Moore, Geoff Brown, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieglitz