Peter Dooley







Bio - Peter Dooley



Peter was born in 1958 and grew up in his family home, set in a large tranquil garden, a special place where butterflies, birds, bees, and children have co-existed right up to today.


He is a professional landscape photographer based in South Africa, and works mainly in black and white. His father, also an accomplished photographer, began teaching him about photographic techniques from a young age.


Peter’s mother, a Professor of Ikenobo (Japanese Floral Art - Ikenobo) gave him a deep appreciation of composition.The philosphophy of Ikenobo is grounded in aesthetics which emphasizes simplicity, understated elegance, and a deep respect for nature. The influence of this philosophy on Peter's work is very evident.


Their combined teachings led him to create immersive artworks that are elegant in their simplicity and deeply harmonious and inspiring.


Peter’s first digital image gained a place of honour on the cover of a major South African magazine back in 2002. The image was of a honey bee poised on the stamen of an orange Japanese Cosmos flower.


Yet, despite the accolades that his early nature art photography received, he spent many years pursuing commercial photography. Whilst this work fed his bank account, it never truly fed his soul. 


Now, Peter has fully returned to his roots. He made nature the primary subject of his photography and offers all his works as Limited Edition prints.


Peter was recently invited to be part of an International panel of judges, chosen to adjudicate the prestigious 'Africa Photographic Awards' - A Showcase of African Photography.






First magazine cover 2022



Peter Dooley on location

Artist Statement


I see my work as an authentic tribute to the natural world, an examination of the conspicuous, the beautiful, and the not so perfect.


I don't always wait for that perfect sky or romantic sunset. Instead I strive to capture what I see in front of me and bring it to the eyes of the world. I use nature's fleeting light and deep shadows to uproot thought processes from their private existence and arouse curiosity and intrigue that stimulate visual imagination.


Rather than carefully stepping around an object and thinking what it might be, I focus on what it actually is. My process forces me to connect intimately with all the elements of nature. When composing a photograph, I take into account how juncture and locality can be used to inject the viewer into the scene.


Through my art, I invite the viewer to consider their own human influence on environmental sustainability. The need to fully understand how action in one area affects the outcomes in others, has never been greater. I seek to portray values that resonate with our urban experience.


My goal is to awaken the fragmented mindset and culture of sustainability complacency, where humanity is seen as existing in a bubble separated from an idealised vision of pristine natural environments.


I use black and white to add a timeless and authentic quality, emphasising deep tones and specular highlights that are fundamental to my work. Rich blacks portray the saturated emotions that initially brought me to the space. 


Removal of the distraction of colour allows my patrons to carefully examine their own deep thoughts and emotions when viewing my work.

I invite them to examine their own personal interpretation of the artworks and ultimately tell their own story.


Peter Dooley



What People are Saying about Peter's Artwork


Renee Phillips


Director and Curator, Manhattan Arts International, New York, NY


"Peter Dooley is a contemporary master in black and white photography"



"Peter’s art is visual poetry that elevates us to a peaceful realm. We bask in the glow of his myriad tones and degrees of luminosity that provide a treasure trove of harmonious modulations and contrasts. His images are meditative, bringing a healing modality to the viewer."



Debra Russell


Art Collector | Artist, 

East Rand, South Africa



"Peter is a master in the art of landscape photography."



"Through his commanding use of black and white, Peter leads the viewer on an emotional journey through Southern Africa's majestic landscapes. His technical knowledge and skill push creative boundaries in the field and his love for his work is evident in every piece he produces.


We were privileged  to view Peter's exhibition in person.  The print we purchased for our collection is so beautiful and visually arresting that every visitor to our home stops in front of it to take it in. They fall as much in love with it as we did when we first saw it.


His unique blend of classic and contemporary provide new perspective into the Southern African wild; whether it be a dramatic storm gathering above ancient baobabs, a powerful yet sensitive portrait of the critically endangered quiver tree or rippled clouds mirroring where desert meets coast. It was a wonderful experience acquiring the artwork from Peter, who is incredibly generous with both his time and knowledge."




Robin Mortarotti


Owner, Mortarotti - Ramirez Productions,

Oakland, California,

United States



"Peter, I am always impressed by how crisp and clean your landscapes are."



"Your images are calming, thought provoking and serene.


You seem to have an uncanny ability to look through the haze and trauma afflicting the world to a more pristine view of what an unspoiled environment looks like, a view humanity has forgotten about or maybe never experienced.


You're an ambassador for environmental change in the face of our climate crisis.


Thank you for sharing these thought provoking views of the world that really gets the viewers attention and hopefully will lead to a sustainable change, before it's too late."




Tammy Marshall 


Art of Print Gallery,

Pretoria, South Africa



"Peter Dooley's Mastery of Black and White Landscape Photography"


"In a world teeming with vibrant colours, Peter Dooley stands as a master of capturing the ethereal beauty of landscapes through the lens of black and white photography.


With a keen eye for composition and a deep understanding of light and shadows, Peter transports viewers into a realm where monochrome becomes a gateway to a heightened sense of emotion and tranquillity.


Peter's photographs possess a remarkable ability to evoke a sense of timelessness, allowing viewers to see the natural world through a different lens. His choice to work exclusively in black and white strips away the distractions of colour, focusing attention solely on the raw elements of nature. Peter's artistry shines within this minimalist palette.


Composition plays a pivotal role in Peter's work. Each frame is meticulously crafted, showcasing a careful balance of elements and an impeccable sense of scale. From sweeping vistas to intimate details, Peter's photographs guide the viewer's gaze with precision. There is a harmonious interplay between light and dark, as shadows dance across the landscap.es, emphasizing the textures and contours of the natural world.


One striking aspect of Peter's black and white landscapes is his masterful control over tonal range. The grayscale spectrum he employs is rich and nuanced, revealing remarkable depth in every image. From the stark contrast of a rugged mountain peak against a brooding sky to the subtle gradations of mist cascading through magical African plains, Peter's photographs captivate the eye and invite contemplation.


Beyond technical prowess, Peter's photographs possess an undeniable emotional resonance. Each frame exudes a mood—a quiet stillness, a sense of awe, or a contemplative melancholy. It is through the absence of colour that he draws out the emotional essence of the landscapes, allowing viewers to connect on a deeper level. One cannot help but feel a sense of reverence for the majesty and grandeur of nature as portrayed through Peter's lens.


Peter Dooley's mastery of black and white landscape photography is an artistic feat that transcends the limitations of the medium. Through his meticulous composition, expert handling of tonal range, and profound emotional resonance, Peter transports viewers into a realm where nature's beauty is distilled into its purest form. With each photograph, he captures not only the visual splendour but also the intangible spirit that resides within the landscapes.


Peter Dooley's black and white landscapes are a testament to the enduring power of monochrome photography and a testament to his exceptional talent as a photographer"


Tammy Marshall, Art of Print Gallery,

South Africa




Peter shoots both Medium Format Hasselblad and Full Frame Canon