My passion for photography feels like it is completely inherent. Something that has always been there, lying dormant, but awaiting a catalyst.

I spent my early childhood in South Australia and then, grew up on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

That catalyst came when, with my brother, I embarked on an epic adventure in 2000, travelling almost continually for the best part of 3 years. We bought a VW campervan (named “the Krait”) in Germany and in one prolonged road trip travelled to 43 countries on 3 continents over the 3 years covering 140,000km which included two engine rebuilds en route.
It was on this trip that I really started to observe scenes in a different way. How scenes started to become a succession of freeze frames and that one of these freeze frames was so much more striking than all the others.

I wanted to find that one in every scene. The camera itself seemed supplementary, just to recognize that perfect angle at that perfect time, was enough.
To capture it, and keep it was a whole new objective.
People will often say that “the photo never does it justice.” I disagree with this. In fact I believe the contrary. I believe that a photo can accentuate, enhance or bring attention to a moment. It can become the very essence of a scene. It can be that single quintessential moment in an exchange between kids in a Sana’a alleyway. That split second when the sun slices through a dark cloud to illuminate an alpine shepherd hut. Or a portrait of an old man that is everlasting, entrancing and won’t turn away. A photograph “can” be a moment or an angle that many people don’t see. Therein lays the challenge. The challenge of anticipation.

I have always liked to keep my photography simple. I believe that the foundations of photography stand up above all technology. The relationship between light, time and composition has been and will always be the basis for truly capturing a moment. Time spent in the darkroom or on a computer when the moment has passed will never be a substitute for good basic technique and a sharp sense of anticipation. Therefore along with my camera, my legs and my watch are my most valuable pieces of photography equipment.

I used to look at photographs of people from isolated and very different countries to where I have come from and feel a great distance, a gaping canyon of difference to these people. I soon learned once I started travelling that although it certainly is a gaping canyon, bridges across these canyons from one individual to another were relatively easy to build.
When you break society down into individuals, I feel that an understanding between us all is much easier to achieve. And with travel, not only do we have the opportunity to achieve this, but I believe it is our responsibility.

I hope you enjoy my photography and I hope my photographs have encouraged you to see that beauty can be found in some of the least expected places. Especially if we wipe away our external influences just for a moment and see things exactly as they are.

Currently, I am continuing my career on a private yacht, just departing from Palma de Mallorca for my first circum-navigation of the world. I love this job and it enables me to follow my other passions of travel and photography at the same time. I feel very fortunate.
It’s all out there for us to enjoy and to explore.

I would be glad to hear from you.

Paul Neill

November 15th 2011