Paul Moore has got to be one of the best landscape mobile shooters out there. With little training Moore has a knack for majestic compositions which glorify his surroundings. Truly jaw dropping and unfathomable work all captured through the lens of an iPhone. Even big name photo stock companies, such as Getty Images, are taking notice of Moore’s spectacular work. It has been a real treat to see Paul develop into an elite mobile photographer over the past year.
EC: Tell me about yourself? Where are you from?
PM: I am from a small town called Tullamore in the midlands of Ireland. I am married to Karen and we have 3 children – Sean (5), Conor (4) and Caoimhe (1). I work as an accountant and financial adviser. I have always had an interest in the arts. Particularly music and cinema. But it wasn’t until I got my first iPhone that I discovered my own creative outlet :)
EC: How did you get into mobile photography/iPhoneography?
PM: My father has always had an interest in photography so I grew up surrounded by cameras. I had messed around with a few point and shoot cameras over the years but never really took it any further. When I got my first iPhone (the 3GS) I rarely used the camera as I reckoned that at only 3MP it must be useless. This all changed when I discovered an app called Photogene and realized that I could edit photos on the phone. This opened up a whole new world of possibilities. Shortly after that Hipstamatic was released and I was hooked :)
EC: What does mobile photography/iPhoneography mean to you?
PM: The beauty of the iPhone is that I always have it with me so if I see something of interest I can whip it out. As a result I can end up getting shots that I would never have been able to get if I was using traditional cameras. The ability to edit the photos on the same device I took them on is a huge bonus. I can take out the phone and do a quick edit whenever an idea hits me. For these reasons there is a lot more spontaneity to iPhoneography than their would be with traditional photography.
EC: Can you recall the first iPhoto you took that you yourself were blown away by and made you pursue mobile photography/art more passionately?
PM: Definitely. It’s a photo called ‘End Of The Line.’ I remember, when I finished the edit being very happy with the final result. I posted it on Flickr and Facebook and got a very positive reaction which I was delighted with. This photo has been on display at exhibitions in California, Miami, New York, Virginia, Madrid, New Zealand and Tullamore. It was the 1st print I sold. And it was also featured in the Washington Post in an article about iPhoneography. When I started taking photos with the iPhone I never for a moment imagined that something like that would ever happen.
EC: How often do you work on your iPhoneography? Do you spend a numerous amount of time working and reworking your photos?
PM: What I tend to do is shoot mainly at the weekend (when I out for family walks) and then edit during the week when time allows. I would probably spend at least a few minutes every day (sometimes a lot longer) editing shots. Sometimes I know exactly what I was to do with a photo and will have the edit finished in no time at all. Other times I will experiment with different processes to see what happens. This can sometime result in a nice surprise but more often than not the result is an over processed mess :)
EC: How has social media such as Twitter and Instagram helped or hindered the way you choose to share your work with others?
PM: I use mainly use Facebook. As I am a member of a number of photography groups on Facebook I can show off photos to a wide audience. I also use Facebook as a kind of testing ground. A lot of times I will post photos I’m not entirely happy with to see what reaction they get. I also use Flickr and 500px. Once I am happy with a photo I will post the final edit to Flickr as that is my back up. I do post to Instagram occasionally as well. I used to use iPhoneart.com and EyeEm but it just took up far too much time trying to manage all the different sites. Social media has been excellent for photography in general. What is the point of taking a photograph if it is never going to be seen :)
EC: Do you have any formal training regarding traditional photography?
PM: No. Apart form the pointers from my father I have had no formal training at all but the internet is a great resource. If I ever have any queries or issues I can Google an answer in seconds.
EC: What types of subjects do you like to shoot?
PM: The majority of my photos are of nature and landscapes with photos of kids taking a close 2nd place. Living in the heartlands of Ireland I am surrounded by beautiful scenery. I don’t get to travel around the country as much as I would like too as I have young children but there are plenty of locations on my doorstep. A lot of my photos are taken in a place called Lough Boora Parklands. It’s about 25 minutes from my home and every time I head out there I see something new. It is a very tranquil peaceful place. A great escape from the modern world.
EC: What has been the some of the challenges of using the iPhone as a camera?
PM: The biggest challenges of shooting with the iPhone 4 are the relatively low resolution and fixed focal length of the camera and the lack of an optical zoom. The digital zoom just doesn’t measure up at all. But all these challenges mean you have to be more creative when talking shots. You have to get in close to your subject and become more aware of the available light. This actually makes iPhoneography a far more immersive experience than traditional photography.
EC: Has your work been published before, if so, where? Did you ever expect your work to be noticed by the mobile community?
PM: I have been very lucky that I have had a number of my photos displayed at exhibitions around the world. See list of locations above. I have also had photos published in one of the P1xels magazine, the Washington Post and a number of local newspapers. And in the last week Getty Images approached me through my Flickr account about licensing 6 of my photos for sale on their website. This came completely out of nowhere and came as a complete, but very welcome surprise. I also sell prints through a framing shop in my home town. When I started out taking photos with the iPhone I was very happy to get the odd like on a photo I had posted on Facebook. I never imagined that 2 years down the road I would end up with photos on Getty Images Or that I would be approached by iPhoneogenic to do an interview :)
EC: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction from people to your iPhotographs/images?
PM: The usual reaction is that people are amazed that all my photos are taken and edited with an iPhone 4. The way I look at it is that the iPhone is just a tool and that it’s the person behind it that makes the shot.
EC: What’s in your iPhone camera bag? What are a few of your favorite apps that you’re currently using?
PM: I used to use quite a lot of apps. I would always be on the lookout for the latest apps. Recently though I have tended to concentrate on a few apps. These are Snapseed, PhotoToaster, LensLight and TouchRetouch. I occasionally use picfx, Rays, Color Lake and Juxtaposer. And that’s really it. Snapseed and PhotoToaster are both excellent for editing. The both have certain minor limitations but what I can’t do with one I can do with the other, so the compliment each other perfectly.
EC: Where do you see iPhoneography/mobile photography in the future?
PM: As technology improves the gap between mobile photography and traditional photography will narrow. Samsung are developing a camera based around the Android OS so you will be able to use apps to edit in the camera directly. But at the end of the day it’s more about the person taking the shot than the technology available. Some iPhoneographers were producing amazing work with the original iPhone and that only had a 2MP camera. That said I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the iPhone 5 to see what it has to offer :)
EC: Do you mind telling us how you have created a recent piece of iPhonographic work from start to finish?
PM: I usually tend to delete all the photos in a workflow as soon as I am happy with the final edit to free up space on my phone but I do have a workflow for one photo. Here it is.
This is the the original image. While I process all my shots I try to keep the processing to a minimum but still have the photo look processed if that makes sense :)
The 1st step was to use TouchRetouch to take out a few distractions and to help improve the composition.
I then used LensLight to bring in the sun to change the look of the photo entirely.
Next I imported the photo into Camera+ when I used the Darken function under Scenes to….eh….darken the photo.
Finally I used Snapseed to adjust the light, contrast and colour of the photo and then cropped into portrait format.
EC: What other thoughts would you like to share?
PM: I would just like to thank iPhoneogenic for the support and encouragement over the last year. I always look forward to your monthly selection to see if I’ve made it onto it :)
Thank you Paul, for participating in this feature here on iPhoneogenic, our Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to get to know more about you and honored to have you share your work here on the blog.
For more on Paul check out these links:
All images shown here are copyrighted property of the artist and are published on all iPhoneogenic outlets with the consent of the artist, please contact Paul Moore for copyright privileges.
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