Paul Jurak began kayaking in the thick of a punishing treatment regime for cancer, intending it to be a physical path to returned fitness. Never having kayaked, he took the plunge and bought two kayaks on the basis of an advertisement for a 50 per cent special, ventured untrained onto the lake and on his first sortie snapped a photo of his son using a phone camera.
In many ways, this characterises the matter of fact and pragmatic approach that Paul takes to life. With absolutely no sense of self-importance, he speaks about being in the right place at the right time of day to make images he says anyone can take.
However, he does himself a disservice. His photographic work, much of it shared on Instagram, is breathtakingly beautiful. He frames images to perfection, captures the wonder of light on water, crisp reflections, nature in all its magnificence – and it is here in our own Canberra back yard.
For some years Paul has produced a calendar. Initially this was just for family but it has grown, along with his following, and he is now selling not just a 2021 calendar featuring a varied and vivid series of his lake images, but also a range of prints through ACT tourism outlets.
The time he spends on the lake has also grown from merely a physical test to a meditative pause, the finding of an emotional and spiritual still point in the midst of the noise of life. His work reflects this capacity to see beauty all around both in the largeness of a view and in the detail of a water ripple.
You can find more about Paul and his work at https://kayakcameraman.com/
Photo: Cover image of Paul Jurak’s 2021 calendar