Paul Scinocca – Harbor Photographer


IN FOCUS: Paul Scinocca (Information appeared in the Duluth Seaway Port Authority publication North Star Port

Paul has been photographing the boats and scenery around the Duluth Harbor for many years and is one of the premier photographers of the area. You can visit Paul on his Facebook site to view more of his wonderful photography.

Photography is more than a hobby for Paul Scinocca; it is “relaxation.” A project manager at Hunt Electric with 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Scinocca is drawn to the waterfront in his free time—framing shots and building a portfolio of award-winning images that grace numerous area buildings and a broad range of publications. He is a regular contributor to North Star Port magazine, and his winning image appears on the Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s 2017 calendar.

How did you get into photography, specifically the shipping scene?

My uncle (Fred Cummings) sailed for the Great Lakes Fleet. When he retired, I thought it would be fun to make a “ship” calendar to give him for Christmas. That was the beginning of the end. I really do love the ships, all of the ships. The people I have met via this hobby are the best. Talking to the locals as well as the visitors about our city and the shipping industry is fun. I also do landscape photography, usually water-related like rivers or waterfalls.

Do you feel a personal connection with Lake Superior and the Port of Duluth-Superior?

Our beautiful lake has been a part of my life for just about every day of my life. I grew up swimming in it, playing in it, and fishing in it. Even when I am not chasing a ship, sunrise or sunset, it is important to me. I have also had many relatives who sailed the Great Lakes.

How would you describe your approach to photography?

I’m always looking for the next better shot; each shot is a learning experience to the next level.

Is there a favorite time or season when you get your best shots? Why?

Mornings and sunsets. The light is softer, and colors are more pronounced.

The water is usually calmer, giving nice reflections. As for the season, they all have their exclusive attractions.

How do you choose your shooting locations or vantage points? Are most shots planned?

Most of the time, the sun position is the basic determining factor. I prefer the sun to my back or perpendicular to the shot. I also try to get some foreground or background interest into the shot. I usually try to get to a site with enough time to “pre shoot” and make sure the camera settings are optimum for pictures.

Do you know immediately when you get a great shot?

I can usually tell when a shot is going to be better than nice.

Is there an elusive image that you hope to get someday?Every image is elusive! To me, the quest for the perfect image is equal to catching one’s shadow.