A world traveler and a camera… isn’t that a great combination for some great photos? Paul Cashman (Cashman) has in four years been to over thirty countries and shot some dramatic shots from landscapes, streets, portraits to wildlife, giving every little corner of the world its own colorful story. He wants his viewers to feel a sense of excitement when they are looking at his pictures. Enjoy our conversation!

Can you tell us about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. Growing up I pursued various interests but did not take up photography until I was 25 and started travelling. Since this time I’ve spent about four years travelling to over thirty countries through out Europe, Asia and the Americas. Whilst I love my home town, most of my images are from elsewhere so I guess you could call me a Travel Photographer. Professionally, I work as a Management Consultant and have qualifications in computer science, psychology and business. I use Photography as a creative outlet and as an excuse to get off my butt and see the world!

When did you first think about becoming a photographer?

I invested in an old Minolta A1 to document a trip to Canada. The trip was amazing but my camera broke in the first few days! Without functional equipment I borrowed other people’s cameras and made copies of photos where I could. I believe that the exposure to different people’s photography probably inspired me more than if I had my own working camera. As soon as I returned home I invested in a Canon 500D with a few kit lenses. Whilst searching for new and interesting subjects I discovered the world of macro and abstract photography. At this point, I would say my interest in photography was established.

Where do you get your photographic inspiration from?

Whilst I can appreciate well-known photographers, I get a lot of inspiration from online communities such as ViewBug. In all honesty, there are so many great professional and amateur photographers who are posting their work online. It a great time for photography!

Do you have any influencers?

Not in a stylistic sense, but my wife’s aunty (Tracy) pushed me to pursue my interest in photography before she passed away. I am very grateful for her support and her influence on my work.

What is your favourite subject to shoot?

It changes all the time. My photography is a good mix of landscapes, street, photojournalism, wildlife, abstract and macro. Whilst a lot of this could be labelled as “Travel Photography”, I think that the only common theme is that I like to discover images, not stage them. That said, my favourite subject to shoot at the moment is my five week old baby boy. He is fascinating but he will not keep still!

What is your favorite gear to shoot with?

I like my gear small and discrete. As such, most of my photography uses micro 4/3 technology such as the Olympus E-M1 and Pen cameras. The small form factor makes them very portable and very useful for street photography where a big camera might intimidate people. For my lenses, I invest in good quality M.Zuiko pro lenses which have great optics and are weatherproof.

When you go in one of your travels, what do you take with you? Why?

I usually take my wife. Seriously, she has qualifications in photo-media and design so I value her feedback greatly. I suppose that my advice for other travel photographers is to make sure that your companions share your passion for photography. Otherwise you will quickly disagree on how best to spend your time abroad.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

My education began with an old book by Michael Freeman called The 35mm Handbook. Once I understood the technical components of photography I started to learn about different styles of composition through reading more books, viewing others’ work and a lot of practice. Online resources are fantastic for developing post-processing skills, whilst online communities are great for getting feedback and inspiration. I’ve also had the benefit of joining other professional photographers to learn “on the job”. At the moment I am studying photography history to learn about how the perception of “good photography” has changed over time.

What it is you want to say with your photographs?

I want my viewers to experience a sense of wonder and excitement about the world. That said, most of my photography is personal. Like many people, I have 1000s of photos documenting my own experiences which would not interest others.

How do you actually get your photographs to do that?

I think that my understanding of post-processing techniques influences how I select and compose photos. If I can visualise how I am going to process an image, then I tend to be more selective with how I compose the shot. Like many photographers, however, I have made mistakes with over-processing. Some of my earlier work appeared a little too fantastical. I now try to minimise processing to keep it realistic.

B&W or color, what do you prefer and why?

It changes all the time. If I am shooting landscapes, wildlife, or macro then I am typically shooting in colour. If I am photographing people, however, then I usually shoot in black and white. At the moment I am taking a lot of B&W photos of my newborn son.

Want to see more of Cashman's photography? Check out his profile and website.