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conormolloy

Interview with Conor Molloy

Interviews

26 June 2015

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Conor! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

Photography is my second career and a hugely enjoyable part of my life. Birds are my main passion and I have travelled to Hungary, Romania and Finland so far to get images of birds in their natural environment. I also like to visit the best places in the UK e.g Farne Islands, Skomer, Cairngorms etc to get images of our more local birds. I also enjoy landscape photography but I find it takes me a long time to get it right. Both of these genres require a lot of patience, they are highly unpredictable and you just don’t know whats going to happen in front of your lens but when that defining moment does appear its simply magical.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AMoving into a snowy field in Kussamo, Finland to get setup to take pictures of the hunting owls. I couldn’t see that the snow was so deep and plunged waist deep into it with my camera gear flying everywhere. When I eventually got to a good position I was able to carve a makeshift seat out of the deep snow which proved very comfortable and surprisingly protective against the cold winds. I had to wait in this position for over three hours before the owl left the tree to come hunting. It was quite a contrast to my previous office life and an illustration of just how much photography has changed my outlook.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AFor wildlife photography I shoot with a Canon 1DX and Canon lenses 200-400mm and 600mm. The need for long focal length is a given in wildlife photography and the speed of focusing and high frame rate per second of the 1DX is excellent. For landscape work I use a Canon 5DMark II with 16-35,mm Canon lens and also I’m just getting used to a 24mm tilt/shift canon lens. I guess my favourite set up is the 1DX with the 200-400mm, its just such a versatile lens for all situations and it gives terrific results.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AAlways remember photography is an art form and thus it raises different emotions in different people, some people won’t like your work, others will rave about it but try to keep level headed, don’t get too full of yourself when people delight in your work but likewise don’t get too depressed when they don’t.

'My favourite image is the one of the beeeater tossing a bee in its beak. This was taken in Hungary. It is such a spectacularly colourful bird and to capture it playing about wi... Read more

'My favourite image is the one of the beeeater tossing a bee in its beak. This was taken in Hungary. It is such a spectacularly colourful bird and to capture it playing about with a bee before eating it was a bit of a highlight for me. Also, you have to be very careful about backgrounds, they can make or break an image, and I just loved how the background in this image complemented the colours of the bird.' Read less

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Conor Molloy

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'These are very difficult shots to get as the bird moves at such incredible speed. It takes a kingfisher 1.2 seconds to move from perch to catching a fish and back to the perch ... Read more

'These are very difficult shots to get as the bird moves at such incredible speed. It takes a kingfisher 1.2 seconds to move from perch to catching a fish and back to the perch again. So you have to be shooting at around 1/4000th of a second and have good light plus quick reactions.' Read less

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Conor Molloy

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'Taken in late evening in one of my very favourite landscape photography locations - the English Lake District. It was a very calm setting and the low angle ensured I captured a... Read more

'Taken in late evening in one of my very favourite landscape photography locations - the English Lake District. It was a very calm setting and the low angle ensured I captured all of the elements of the scene - the posts, the detail of the boat, the evening sky and the foreground. I tried many different angles and found this the best.' Read less

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Conor Molloy

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'This was taken at 200mm thus showing just how close this owl came to where I was sitting. Whilst I got many pictures of these owls hunting, this is one of my favourites as its ... Read more

'This was taken at 200mm thus showing just how close this owl came to where I was sitting. Whilst I got many pictures of these owls hunting, this is one of my favourites as its wings are fully extended just before it pounces on its prey. The intense focus of the eyes gives the image added impact.' Read less

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'Another image from the Lake District, Tarn Hows, in mid January. It's the foreground sparkle in the ice on the frozen lake that really grabbed my attention plus the shafts of l... Read more

'Another image from the Lake District, Tarn Hows, in mid January. It's the foreground sparkle in the ice on the frozen lake that really grabbed my attention plus the shafts of light creeping in from the left hand side. It was quite a difficult shot to take as everything was so bright and blown highlights were a big concern.' Read less

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Conor Molloy

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'Taken in Finland in early March. I had expected to see loads of waxwings in their home territory but we only managed to see three! They really are quite friendly birds and not ... Read more

'Taken in Finland in early March. I had expected to see loads of waxwings in their home territory but we only managed to see three! They really are quite friendly birds and not scared by human presence so it's quite easy to capture them up close. Reactions again need to be sharp to capture the moment that the berry is plucked from the branch and ready to be swallowed - its a nano-second.' Read less

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'I thought this would work better in monochrome, its taken from the top of the Rockefeller centre in New York at daytime and I hope it captures the sheer grandness of the Manhat... Read more

'I thought this would work better in monochrome, its taken from the top of the Rockefeller centre in New York at daytime and I hope it captures the sheer grandness of the Manhattan skyline and the imposing Empire State Building. Tripods are not allowed up there so its all handheld work which I just don’t do in Landscapes!' Read less

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