Thomas Moore is Chicago-based graphic designer and photographer. His main gig is doing design work for record labels, bands and festivals. He shoots bands when the opportunity presents itself and takes his camera for walks whenever he have free time.

 

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What inspired you to become a photographer?

 

I first became interested in taking pictures watching my mom use her Argus Brick. The design of that camera really caught my eye.

 

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She took a lot of slides of our family in the 60s and 70s. She was also the art teacher at my high school, so I grew up around art books and communication arts magazine.

 

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I owned several film cameras growing up and shot mainly black and white but my output was rather limited. I was more into music and playing in bands. While study jazz history, I looked through many great black and white photographs. I think my appreciations of black and white photography deepened during this time.

 

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Whats inspires your photography?

 

Around 2001 I bought a digital camera and got back into photography. I liked photographing “scenes” and people without really knowing photography genres.

 

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I later discovered documentary and street photography through photo books.

 

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The photographers I gravitate towards are Eugene Smith, Joseph Koudelka, and John H. White as well as Harry Callahan, Saul Leiter and Ernst Haas.

 

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What does it mean to you?

 

Photography is my best way to tell a story. I am more adapt at pushing the shutter than assembling words in an interesting order.

 

What are you looking for in street photography?

 

I view street photography as mix of jazz improv and graphic design, creating art and documenting life on the fly.

 

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I'm looking for a gesture, emotion, action or reaction when I'm out shooting. I am also thinking about fashion and pop culture and how it changes over time.

 

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What cameras do you shoot with and why?

 

I shoot with a Fuji xt1 and the original x100. I like having the manual controls on top and both of these cameras fit my hand well.

 

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I don’t use a strap. For lens I use the fuji 18mm, 27mm and 35mm as well as a Minolta Rokkor-PF 55mm F1.7.

 

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Any closing comments?

 

Stay passionate and have a good time. Don't take yourself too seriously.

 

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