Tony Moore is a professional photographer from Omagh, Co.Tyrone. He runs a business called Tony Moore Fine Art Photography.
His main passions in photography lie in landscapes/streetscapes, commercial premises and architecture, with a three dimensional atmospheric feel. He said: “My specialist area is in night or dusk themed photography and capturing the natural and synthetic nuances of light.”
He also puts great emphasis in bringing out details in his work that can only be appreciated fully when expressed in a large print, unfortunately the work he puts into bringing out these details cannot always be fully appreciated when viewed on a webpage.
Tony had two exhibitions last year. Both exhibitions showcased large prints of his work to reveal the details that he spends so much time working on, in the digital darkroom.
He has had an exhibition in Gormley’s Fine Art entitled ‘Landscapes of Light’.
He has also had exhibitions in the Omagh Community House called ‘Into the Light’ and ‘Prints of Darkness’, which showcased landscapes and streetscapes.
They also featured images taken in the Ulster History Park of the set of the Hollywood movie blockbuster “Dracula Untold” which was a great experience.
Tony says you don’t have to travel to get great pictures. If the light is right then great images can be had practically on your doorstep. Nearly all of his images are taken locally.
He joined the Omagh Photographic Club in 2013, entering 17 of their 18 competitions and winning 1st place in ten and winning 2nd, 3rd or 4th places in the rest.
He also won their coveted 2013 award of “Photographer of the year” and “Shot of the year” as well as the “Shot of the Night” in the North West Tripartite competition which included the areas of Omagh, Derry and Strabane.
He said: “To be honest, I’d rather produce a really good photo than win competitions. In fact, I felt more humbled when my framed images where chosen as awards for the winners and nominees at this year’s Omagh Community Spirit Awards. The greatest award for me is when my clients are happy with my work.”
He took some time out to answer some questions about photography for us.
Why did you want to be a photographer and how did you get into it as a profession?
I always had a curiosity in photography so I decided to buy a semi-decent, entry level camera almost five years ago. I found that it unlocked a real passion and natural instinct in photography especially when I became engrossed in learning what technically makes the best images and how to evoke mood and atmosphere into a photograph through digital darkroom techniques. I now dedicate most of my waking hours to it.
What training did you do?
Apart from educating myself through reading books and watching “You Tube” tutorials, I also purchased online courses and one to one training webinars with experienced, professional photographers. It was a lot to take in but well worth the knowledge of their expertise. Still now, I find every day is a new learning experience and will always continue to be so.
What attracted you about your particular field of photography?
I always seemed to have an eye for nice sunrises/sunsets and a visual sense of the way artificial light plays with its surroundings, especially when it is compatible with natural light. I always wondered how I could technically take this picture as best as possible to try to capture it with a sense of mood and atmosphere.
What would you say are the main challenges in getting the best pictures in your particular area?
Well, because I have to take multiple exposures to try and retain a high dynamic range of light, it proves difficult when the good old Irish weather doesn’t play ball. Also, I feel very passionate about quality, not quantity and I will abandon a project if it doesn’t have the wow factor for me. If it doesn’t work, it just doesn’t work.
How important to you are issues such as location, subject, lighting, time of day etc.
All issues are paramount. The location and subject have to be interesting. It could be something that caught my eye, just walking down the street or driving by the countryside, but it was enough to inspire my imagination to want to come back and visit that scene again and capture it in the perfect light and at the right time of day so as to convey mood and atmosphere in a way that it looks as close to the mind’s eye as possible, yet adding my own personal take or spin on it.
What would say are the top two or three pictures you’ve taken and what is that makes them so good or special to you?
I always find (in my experience) that my favourite picture, is the last one I did, and, the best one is usually the next one that I’m going to do.
But here are a few of my favourites that are also sentimental to me:
1 – Family band – I always wanted to take an image of my father and his brothers in a music session in a great lighting scene.
2 – An Irish girl in Tunisia – My eldest daughter, Molly, whilst on holidays in Tunisia some years ago. This was the first photograph I won an award for. It won first in the black and white category of Omagh Photography Club’s annual competition, then it went on to win shot of the year.
3 – The Leap Bridge – Between Omagh and Beragh in Co Tyrone, taken nearly three years ago. After 3 visits, and what looked like another nonstarter, the sun peeped out from under the clouds, above the bridge, for just enough time to get a few shots to work with. It seemed to become the most popular of all my images.
What cameras and special equipment do you use?
I use a full frame Nikon camera and a range of different lenses Including 16-35 Nikon. 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 2.8 tamaron lenses. Also the 50mm 1.4 and 105 2.8 nikon lenses.
Everyone can have access to good cameras nowadays. What does it take to stand out as a professional?
Dedication, passion and a complete love for what you are doing. Being able to learn from your mistakes and trusting your imagination. Also, very importantly, finding your niche and own style.
What tips and advice do you have for our readers?
Find what pleases you and stay on that path. Keep on educating yourself on every aspect from researching locations right down to the final print.
Use the best equipment you can afford. You don’t want to be let down in the field by poor products when a great opportunity arises.
Learn to use manual mode as soon as you can.
What kind of projects are you planning next?
I’m going to continue with photographing churches, bridges and old buildings as they are embedded with history and character and make interesting and stunning subjects to shoot. I also have some great ideas on coastal shots which I’m looking forward to explore.
Is there one special picture you’d like to get that has so far eluded you? Tell us about it and how you plan to get it in the future.
Funnily enough, it would be the coastal shot I have just mentioned. Because I live so far from the coast, it would prove difficult because I would have to get it at just the right time and weather permitting. My ultimate goal is to make things look as real as possible in my images. Some paintings look like photographs, I want a photograph to look like you are just looking through a window, or that it seems like you could just reach out and touch the subject.
What advice would you give to people wanting to become a professional photographer?
Anything’s possible if you love what you do and you have a feeling or a passion for it. Try to be original and make what you do, your own. Don’t be discouraged by a few bad shots. Learn from the mistakes. Don’t listen to anyone else who tries to discourage you or advise you against what you feel capable of. Just follow your heart.
Thanks very much to Tony for taking the time to answer our questions. For more information visit Tony Moore Fine Art Photography
Take a look at some more of his photographs below.