Daniel Martin Moore: Accidental favorite subject

Daniel Martin Moore photographed at CD Central in Lexington, Ky., Jan. 29, 2011. Nikon D300s, Nikkor 17-35 mm, f2.8 lens.

A couple years ago, I went down to The Dame to shot a performance by Lexington native and roots cellist (there’s a description you don’t see everyday) Ben Sollee.

Daniel Martin Moore performs at The Dame, Dec. 11, 2008. Nikon D100, Nikkor 80-200mm, f2.8 lens.

Opening, and later performing with Sollee was a singer-songwriter I was unfamiliar with, Daniel Martin Moore. But it turned out I got some of my favorite shots from the show of him, including the counter-intuitive one to the right. I remember being sort of relegated to the sides of the stage to shoot this concert. Since it was a quiet show, people weren’t getting up and dancing, so in a venue like The Dame, which is now closed, popping up centerstage would have been obnoxious to say the least.  Being that close, my tendancy would have been to pull out a wider lens. But instead, I felt myself zooming the 80-200 in to isolate Moore and his guitar in that intimate performance.

It was a style that was affirmed when I grabbed a chance to go shoot a set by Moore, whose new album is In the Cool of the Day, at CD Central last weekend. Walter Tunis has a wonderful account of this performance in his story about Moore in today’s Herald-Leader. As he says, it was literally an unplugged session, which meant we photographers needed to keep our noise and movement down, almost like a classical concert – no running around in front of the stage, like the night before at Avenged Sevenfold. So it was another occasion to focus on the intimacy of Moore’s performance – which included a haunting rendition of It is Well With My Soul.

CD Central gave Moore a beautiful stage for the performance too, situating him under this lovely chandelier. Walter talks about music being an internal experience for Moore, and fortunately for a photographer, he expresses that externally with his head often back and his eyes closed. This time around I knew Moore, and now I know I really like shooting his performances.


Daniel Martin Moore (center) performs at CD Central with mandolin player Joel Runyon and keyboardist Daniel Joseph Dorff. Nikon D300s, 50mm, f1.8 lens.

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