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Photographer prefers to be in the thick of it

For new Ashland artist Patrick Moore, farming and photography have been closely intertwined over the years. He&

s been avidly taking pictures ever since he received a Christmas gift of a Brownie camera during junior high in &

145;68 in New Jersey. And he&

s worked in farming for most of his adult life in the Puget Sound area where he became one of the first organic farmers in the Pacific Northwest and taught self-sustainable agriculture at Evergreen State College for 13 years.

Moore&

s fine art prints are displayed at the Art Works Gallery in Ashland and were part of this month&

s First Friday, which features his images of nature, people and places from around the world (including Cuba Italy, Morocco, Mexico and the Northwest).

While his online gallery contains many striking pictures of landscapes, from soft, rolling hills of wheat in multiple shades of green in the early morning light to snow capped jagged mountain peaks, most of his photographs include, and often focus on, people: a farmer tending to his herbs, a child running down a beach path, a woman walking in the rain in Florence, Italy.

&

I take sort of a photojournalist approach, Moore explains. I love taking pictures of people doing things opposed to posing.&

Talking about his photographs quickly leads to telling the stories of people he&

s met along the way, like the 75-year-old woman who makes cheese on her homestead that she shares with three goats, three cows and three sheep and where she was grandfathered in allowing her to make cheese the old fashioned way. Moore explains with delight that she sells her herb cheese wheels for $300 each to a gourmet food Manhattan company and that she had 50 set out for shipping on the day he visited.

&

I love getting to know people. I get a real charge out of it. I have a lot of fun doing it. I enjoy the process and making people look good,&

says Moore, whose specialties include portraiture.

— — ARTIST SKETCH — —

Name: Pat MooreHails From: Born in Brooklyn, lived most of adult life in Puget — Sound area, moved to Williams three years ago and Ashland three weeks — ago.Age: 49Training: Primarily self-taught, one year of photography courses — at University of Idaho.Niche: &

People, places and nature from around the world and — at home.&

Claim to Fame: One of the first organic farmers in the Northwest.Inspiration: &

Taking the photos&

133;&

While Moore has several fine art prints produced from his backpacking adventures around the Western states and the East Coast, he says he has no preference of nature shots with people over cityscapes with people.

&

My last trip, I spent six weeks in Spain, Portugal and Morocco and I got a lot of pictures in the cities, with most focusing on people.&

And, it&

s his love of people that drew him to Ashland about a month ago.

After moving to the Applegate Valley from Puget Sound about three years ago, he grew medicinal herbs full time at a Williams farm. He says in half-joking, half-serious tones that he moved to Ashland because there&

s more opportunity to date, to meet that special someone.

&

I&

ve been a hermit &

but not by choice,&

he quickly adds. &

I love Ashland. When I lived in Williams and went to town, I went to Ashland.&

Moore&

s shown his photography for a few seasons now at Lithia Market. For the past nine years as professional photographer, he&

s exhibited in art shows from Seattle to San Francisco and while living in Puget Sound, in galleries and art walk events in Olympia Washington.

He&

s no longer a full time farmer, but he continues to work in agriculture, as a part time inspector of organic farms where he uses his camera more and his trowel less.

He says his inspiration comes mainly from taking the photo: &

Lots of people think taking a photo separates you from what you&

re photographing, but taking the photos is what inspires me; it draws me in.&

But as much as he loves getting a great shot, he loves the moment itself. &

You&

re never going to see me digging around for my camera while missing the opportunity to watch that cloud going over the moon.&

Moore shoots with either his digital Canon Rebel or digital XP, with six to eight megapixels and high quality lenses. While mostly self-taught, he says he learned much from the books of photographer, Ansel Adams, a pioneer &

in the technical aspects of photography, of the properly exposed photograph.&

Moore says that now that he&

s living in Ashland, he hopes to work more in commission portraitures and event photography, but that clients should be forewarned, he&

s not into studio shots. He prefers to photograph people in their own places, whether that be in their homes, downtown, or on a hillside.

Pat Moore&

s photography can be viewed at Ashland Art Works, 291 Oak Street and on his Web site at www.patmoorephotography.com.