Lynchburg Times adds Tony Patterson as a Featured Photographer

This iconic shot of the historic Lynchburg Courthouse is just one of the many examples of Tony Patterson’s recent work. (Photo Credit: Tony Patterson)

Some people just see the world in photographs and former Lynchburg resident Tony Patterson is one of them. On Tuesday, Lynchburg Times Editor Tabitha Evans Moore announced that Patterson would be joining the local, independently owned newspaper as a featured photographer.

“We are super excited to add Tony to our masthead not only to amplify a rural, creative voice but also to let our readers see both Lynchburg and Moore County through Tony’s lens,” she said. “He has a talent for turning the ordinary into art and we can’t wait to share that with our readers.”

Patterson will contribute photos to profiles and feature stories as well as working on independent photojournalism pieces for The Times – many of which the duo plan to develop in books.

One of Patterson favorite subjects is the downtown Lynchburg area after dark. “There is just a different vibe after the tourist and store owners leave,” he says. (Photo Credit: Tony Patterson)

A former Lynchburg resident and MCHS graduate

Born in Ohio, Patterson moved to Lynchburg in the sixth grade. He graduated from Moore County High School in 1991 and received his A.A.S. degree in Commercial Photography from Randolph College in Asheboro, North Carolina. He now resides in Tullahoma with his wife Angela Holloway Patterson.

Patterson credits his love of photography to his mother, Debra Patterson, a Community Relations professional at Motlow College.

“As a former local newspaper gal, she was always taking pictures of something or someone,” Patterson says. “I got my first camera around my freshman year in high school. In the beginning, I just snapped images of whatever caught my eye.”

This image was shot inside the Lynchburg Winery and American Craft Distillers of Lynchburg. Patterson and The Lynchburg Times are currently working on a series that tells the backstory of our local small businesses. (Photo Credit: Tony Patterson)

Iconic, analog images through his Hasselblad lens

To say that Tony Patterson is a Hasselblad enthusiast would be understatement. The Swedish, medium format cameras are not only collectors items but Hasselblad shots are iconic. NASA chose the the Hasselblad 500 EL/M as its go-to camera during the Apollo Space Program and many of the historic moon shots were snapped with it.

And his approach to photography is methodical.

“You have to test and make notes and test again. You adjust your development time, compensate for shadows, adjust your ISO rating for your film speed, and well, so many other things. You have to know what you are doing from start to finish. If the final image doesn’t turn out well, there is no one to blame but yourself.”

His discerning eye eventually led him to focus mostly on black and white film images shot with a collection of medium and large format cameras and vintage lens. He prints his film images from negative in his personal darkroom at home.

When asked why he prefers film to digital, he talks about its focus on composition and the slow-paced process that often gets bypassed by the instant gratification of digital photography.

“With film, you compose each image, make adjustments, meter the light, and then finally take your shot. You move with intent, but slow intent. … You really know that you want that shot, or else you don’t waste the time setting everything up. … In the fast-paced world in which we live, slowing down is a highly rewarding process.”

His recent show The Rural Perspective Project began as a 15-image exhibit at the Nashville International Airport before including local landscapes, photo-journalistic shots of everyday life here in southern, middle Tennessee, as well as portraits of some notable local folks. It’s that type of work that Patterson hopes to continue as part of The Lynchburg Times.

“I’m very excited about this creative partnership,” Patterson says. “Lynchburg is such a charming , little historic town filled with stories to tell. I look forward to telling some hidden gems.” •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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