Jeff Luker — Edition 2 — Q&A
Jeff Luker’s wild landscapes, epic road trips and fleeting moments of love and friendship have been published in books and exhibited around the world. His in-the-moment, off-the-cuff style is instantly recognizable and almost impossible to replicate. For Edition 2, Jeff shot a roll of Kodak Porta 400 on a Contax T2.
What attracted you to One Shot?
I thought it seemed like such an interesting challenge to try and capture a whole project through single shots on film. I also love projects that celebrate analog film and all the strange mysteries and mistakes that come with it.
How did you pick the subject for your series?
I have always had this obsession with the ocean at night, just the endless energy that is occurring in the darkness while humans aren't watching, and I was always drawn to the idea of capturing a place over a period of time. This particular part of the Oregon coast has alway had a draw to me and is one of my favorite places to go and just watch the sea change, so I wanted to document that experience of shooting from dusk until dawn at and around that area.
How did it feel out there?
I was out on the North Central coast of Oregon. It is beautiful but so remote out there, so I was out at night taking photos and I kind of had this revelation that if I a giant sneaker wave came out of the night and got me there is no hope or help nearby. You are truly at the mercy of the sea, which is always important to remember that nature is truly more powerful than man and we need to be respectful of it.
Did you know what you wanted to capture beforehand or did you just let the shoot unfold organically?
This project is a bit different than how I normally shoot because it was a bit more calculated and in a shorter time span of just one day. Normally I shoot for months and then edit down. This time there was a lot of surprise involved because you really only get one shot. I liked the idea of how the sea and waves never ever look the same and are constantly changing. That subject matter seems like it corresponds with the element of surprise and mystery that comes when you get back a roll of analog film. I had an idea of what I wanted everything to look like but was completely open to whatever happened to be interesting when I was out there.
Any happy accidents?
I loved the night shots where the flash didn't fire that ended up as these abstract night landscape photos. That’s really the magic of film when you make a beautiful accident.
Did you ever imagine you'd be destroying your negatives on purpose?
Yeah, I sometimes fantasize about if my studio got destroyed how all my negatives would be gone and I would finally be free from all these binders and binders of celluloid that have followed me around my entire adult life. Haha. So I got to act out a little part of my fantasy.