Photographer of the Month: Levi Moore
I have a vague recollection of the first time I encountered Levi Moore’s photography. It was an abandoned building: a schoolhouse. There was a poignancy and intimacy that drew me in and bade me stay awhile. Levi’s images often speak to me of beauty in passing. There is an element of time and transience that permeates his images. He gives voice to once bustling places that otherwise would be forgotten. He invites us to see and explore life in a down to earth manner that sees beauty in the brokenness and magic in the moment. I’m very excited to get to share my visual ambassador and historian for West Virgina with all of you. May you enjoy, as I do, the photography and words of Levi Moore.
Q. How did you get interested in photography?
A. It was on a beautiful November day in Tucson, Arizona that some friends, my wife and I decided to take a trip up Mt. Lemmon and make a day of it. At the end of the day we decided to stop at the “first overlook” and watch the sun set. Watching the sun set from this vantage point is always a wonderful sight and so I'd brought our brand new Kodak point-and-shoot "CX" something-or-rather to capture the occasion. Little did I know that that one decision would start something that would become a huge deal in my life and a major player in future personal decision making.
I was happily able to get some shots of the sunset and our friends and other cool stuff before the sun dropped below the horizon and because November is still a very pleasant time of year in Arizona we decided to just sit there and enjoy the sight of East Tucson spread out for us in the valley below. It was during this time I decided to see what the camera could do to capture what we saw.
To be honest I had no idea what I was doing, so I set it on "Night Mode", set it to the longest exposure setting it had which was about 3 seconds, set a 2 second timer and put it on the roof of my car. The resulting photo was the catalyst for my photographic “career”.
By no means was the photo any good, but it IS very special. You see, when I saw that photo it was like a door to a new world had just been opened up before me and I was able to look in and see a place of wonder waiting for me to explore. From that moment on I've been exploring and discovering and experiencing and meeting new people.
Q. How long have you been a photographer?
A. I’ve been actively involved in learning and improving my photographic skills since about November of 2007, so just over four years.
Q. What is your favorite place to photograph? Or subject?
A. My absolute favorite location to photograph is the New River Gorge National River here in West Virginia. It holds so many wonders from wild flowers to amazing sunsets to being filled with fog on rainy days, how can I not love photographing there.
As for my favorite subject, that would be what many call URBEX (short for urban exploration ~ Editor). The funny thing is, though, that many of the sites I shoot aren’t in an urban setting at all but a very rural setting. So I guess I shoot RUREX then.
Q. How can photographers help change/impact the world, while they are traveling?
A. Oh my gosh! The better question is how can they not? As photographers we have a very powerful and instant medium with which to impact and change the world. With our photographs we have the ability to give sight to the blind, to bring visual awareness to those that may not know about the plights of the oppressed or the amazing beauty of an endangered location. With just one photo, one, we do the work it would take others a thousand words to do. By bringing to light with our photographs, that which is wrong or threatened in this world we change and impact it every time.
Q. Are there rules in other countries people need to be aware of about who or what you can or cannot shoot?
A. Living in the U.S. I’m not very familiar with the photographic rules of other countries. However I will mention one very important rule for here. A photographer can photograph another person as long as that person does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. So basically what that means is that you have the right to photograph anyone on the street. However, if there is a couple kissing in a back alley or if you’re shooting a person inside their home you could have legal action brought against you because those people had a reasonable expectation of privacy in their respective locations.
Q. Any photography tips you want to share?
A. Always know your light. From it’s direction, to its' intensity to its' source, always be conscious of the light.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
A. Just that you should never underestimate yourself or your ability. Every person has it in them to make great photographs, all you have to do is accept that and work towards it.
You can find more of Levi's work at:
My Blog: http://levimoore-photographyandme.blogspot.com/
And we welcome him to the Wandering Educators Editorial Team as our Southern West Virginia Editor!
Jordan Oram isn't only WE's Photo Editor, he's also the Outdoor Adventures Editor and combines these passions in photographically adventurous ways on his world rambling journey. You can follow his zany hijinks at www.coastalforestdweller.blogspot.com
All photos courtesy and copyright of Levi Moore