Dupain, who exhibited his first landscape photographs while attending grammar school, studied at the East Sydney Technical College and the Julian Ashton Art School (both 1933–35), while he apprenticed from 1930 to 1934 with commercial photographer Cecil Bostock. During World War II he left his fashion - and portrait -photography studio to work for the army camouflage unit; he then worked for the Australian Department of Information (1945–47). Upon his return to studio work, he de-emphasized picturesque landscapes and portraiture in favour of the more abstract architectural and industrial imagery that established him as one of Austalia's most significant Modernist photographers. His work was featured in numerous exhibitions and retrospectives, notably an exhibit at the Photographer’s Gallery in London that celebrated his 80th birthday. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1982.