Roaming the World: Meet Fine Art Photographer Paul Cassidy
From California to Canada and Iceland to Italy: The world is an oyster to Paul Cassidy, who travels for his fine art photography as often as possible. In fact, his passion for photography — which started as a teenager but was put on hold by career and family — helps dictate where he roams.
“Gastown Alley,” featured above, was taken while Paul was on a Canadian road trip with a friend he met while working in Abu Dhabi, UAE. “Everyone who visits Gastown [Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood] takes a photograph of the ‘Steam Clock’ and misses the raw beauty of the Alleys,” Paul says. For this photo, he used a Canon EOS R mirrorless camera with a Canon “walkabout” lens.
Paul’s Pasadena, California, location and his environmental engineer background collude to inspire his work, especially his nature photography. He shot “2019 Super Bloom,” shown below, at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve. “I used a slow shutter speed to capture the poppies blowing in a stiff breeze,” recalls Paul. At home, all his photos are framed in black. “2019 Super Bloom” hangs in his wife’s home office and is framed in Nielsen Profile 506B from Frame Destination. Our Nielsen Profiles 11, 12, and 97 are also among Paul’s favorites.
See More of Paul’s Work
The best spot to view more of Paul’s fine art photography is on his website. While you’ll see galleries grouped by geographic location, you’ll also discover Paul’s take on calla lilies, red crowned parrots, orange zinnias, quail, and cityscapes. To learn about his latest photography trips and how he fights FOMO (fear of missing out — on a shot), the Q&A below tells all.
Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Paul Cassidy …
1. What is your background; how did you get started?
A general interest in photography as a teenager was curbed by my profession as an environmental design engineer and raising a family. Now with more time on my hands, I aspire to be a fine art photographer. I combine world travel with photography, which influences destinations and activities.
2. How important is it for a photographer to "connect" with their subject?
As a photographer, I attempt to catch a moment in a scene either by just being there or by seeing and capturing the scene in a unique way.
3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
Take a photograph every day.
4. In what ways does your work reflect your personality?
I like to travel and I like to design. Being a more dedicated photographer has provided me with the opportunity to more carefully design the activities undertaken at each destination, which ensures we get the best out of each visit and also makes room for leisure and relaxation. When I was an environmental engineer, I designed control systems that help industrial facilities clean the water we drink and protect the environment from improperly treated wastewater (sewage). I’ve found that many engineers and hunters turn to photography — environmental engineers probably more so — as we continually look at our landscapes.
5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
Creative blocks occur all the time. I plant my feet at a scene, convinced that I have chosen the best location and that I would “lose the shot” if I moved. This is both true and false at the same time. I try to adopt the perspective that I am losing multiple opportunities by staying put, instead of losing just one opportunity by moving. That’s how I persuade myself to move, seek alternatives, and break the creative block.
6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
Adobe Creative Cloud apps are my most valuable tool.
7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
At the moment I am planning trips to photograph wildlife at national wildlife refuges in California during winter months to focus on migratory birds. Next year, I plan to travel to Italy with photographer Serge Ramelli.
8. What "fad" gadget do you most regret purchasing?
Haven’t purchased any fad gadgets, unless you count tether tools — I never use them.
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
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Last Updated September 28, 2022