About Yonah Paley
Former New Brunswick resident turned world traveler, Yonah Paley has devoted much of his photographic work to the documentation of his adventures abroad. Thailand, Malaysia, Israel, Egypt, Costa Rica, Singapore and Nepal are just a few of the foreign lands his lenses have gazed upon, and his ever-growing endeavors for excursion include visiting every country around the world. Paley’s latest locale was the remote region of the Indian Himalayas, a cold and mountainous landscape marked by miles of natural beauty and perilous climactic conditions.
Now living in New Zealand, Paley continues to develop his craft as a filmmaker and film photographer. To Paley, the art of photography is one of the purest forms of expression possible: while any number of people can photograph the same thing, each person ends up with their own unique perspective, and the record of reality is altered through that specific personal vision. While capturing an image through a camera requires technical skill, Paley stresses the importance of using feelings as a guide and surrendering to the uncontrollable process of interacting with the real world. The viewfinder can only display a basic estimation of what will eventually become a fully realized photographic piece, and some of the best pictures are produced through serendipity and surprise.
Photography is one of the purest forms of expression there is. Fifty different people can photograph the same exact thing, and end up with fifty different perspectives. It’s subjectivity mixed with craft, mixed with gut instinct. When I put the camera up to my eye, I have only a vague idea of how the picture will turn out. The viewfinder is but a hazy reflection of what will become a fully realized, three dimensional entity.
While there is a tremendous amount of technical skill involved in photography, it allows the eye to express what the soul is thinking. I am sure the photographer’s mood at the time they push the shutter button, has a large impact on the final product. I love photography, because it is visceral and technical, yet full of surprises.