Heath Paley creates large-scale, high-definition photographs that are explorations of the particular, and the universal aspects, of the urban milieu. His fascination with intricacy and rarely noticed details gives Paley’s urban portraits a more informed understanding of the environment in which most people spend their time.
Because it is impossible to capture the grand scope of this complexity using traditional one-shot photography, Paley developed a technique combining focal blending with a panoramic grid structure.
Paley enhances the depth of field of his photographs by shooting the same shot at different focus distances and combining them into a single image. He then stitches those images together by overlapping the individual shots into a grid. Paley’s final images can contain as many as one hundred individual photographs, and they have enough pixels to support large-format, highresolution prints with extraordinary clarity. Paley prefers this technique because the exceptional detail and depth of field in his photographs mimic how the eye and brain interpret an image, completely immersing the viewer into his photographs.
Paley holds an MFA from Emerson College and an MA in history from Northeastern University. He studied with Sam Abell at Maine Media Workshops, Rockport, Maine. In 2016–2017, Paley’s Downtown series of eighteen Maine villages, towns, and cities were highlighted in a traveling exhibition at the Maine State House, Augusta, and the University of Maine’s Lord Hall Gallery (Orono) and Reed Gallery (Presque Isle). Paley’s photographs are included in private and museum collections, including the University of New England Art Gallery and the Portland Museum of Art.
Paley lives with his wife in Portland, Maine. The couple recently purchased a second in Ellsworth to be closer to Acadia, and they now split their time between these two Maine cities. Paley has since created over forty large-scale photographs of Ellsworth.