Paul Dowe Career Profile
Paul has worked in the photography industry for over 30 years and began his career in New Zealand as a lab technician, photo composite artist, and a production manager for a professional lab.
During this time Paul launched his shooting career with travel, tourism and fashion, including shooting for three seasons with Contiki Tours. Late in 1989 he immigrated to Western Australia where he established himself as an award winning wedding photographer. In 1995 he was awarded the AIPP Wedding Photographer of the Year, Western Australia.
In 1998 a change in focus came as he adjusted for family commitments turning his attention to shooting editorial and tourism, food and cuisine. He became the primary photographer for Cravings Magazine, a premium West Australian based food and cuisine publication.
At the same time Paul set a plan in motion to follow his life long dream as a landscape photographer, taking trips away whenever he could and build his portfolio of images. By 2004 he had opened his first gallery in York Western Australia. By 2007 he opened a second gallery in the Swan Valley where he is still based today. Over the years his landscape images have been recognized with a number of national and international awards.
Paul has always believed it is important to give back to the industry that has provided him so much and has served on the council of the WA AIPP and is a regular judge for WAPF club competitions in Western Australia. He also regularly mentors up and coming photographers who cross his path.
Paul's Photography Passion
Paul first picked up a camera at the age of 19 as a consequence of his studies in advertising and design. It was while developing his first prints in a darkroom and watching them come to life that photography captured his imagination. The impact was immediate and altered his view of the world. Now, over 28 years later, photography has become an all-encompassing passion.
Having spent many years as a professional photographer Paul has carved out success as an award winning landscape photographer.
Paul’s greatest influence has been that of Ansel Adams. He was captivated by Adams stunning black white landscapes and had him dreaming of capturing stunning images in far off places very early on in his career. While his work is very different to that of Adams, Paul still refers to his books for inspiration.
His other major influence has been that of his grandfather who taught him to paint as a young man. He learnt from him how to craft an image, to understand the nature of light and composition; his grandfathers influence is still very much a part of all he does today. Because of this background much of Paul’s work retains a painting like quality. Many pieces include gentle light with soft tones and colours that become the subject of discussion for those who visit his gallery.
When he first started out, photography required special skills that few knew about and even fewer could do well, hours developing film and even more hours in the darkroom developing prints. Today much of this has changed and instead of a traditional darkroom many of the tasks have been replaced by a new set of skills that are computer based. This has not however changed the basic elements of capturing beautiful images.
While the digital age has made photography more accessible to everyone there are still time-honoured skills that require years of experience to develop. To remind himself of this Paul collects box brownie cameras, these beautifully simple cameras will shoot as well as any digital camera if placed in the right hands. Certainly digital cameras make capturing a sharp image with the right exposure easier, yet photography is a way of seeing that takes years to develop and represents a life-long study of light, composition and depth. With the intuitive use of these three elements photographers can capture something truly memorable.
In a world awash with digital cameras and millions of images flooding our lives every day, the art of photography still remains with the person behind the camera. It is because of this that Paul remains as passionate as ever about the craft that captivated him so long ago.