Interview

Luke Byrne

Photographer

The ever-talented Luke Byrne hails from Melbourne, Australia. He's been called 'a wandering junkie hippie taking washed out photos of dream-like landscapes'.

Born and raised in urban South Australia, Luke is a self-described 'Full-Time Adventurer' who captures soulful images of people and places. In a truly surreal translation almost exclusively from film, Luke shares his journeys in life as few photographers do. His images are always honest, never failing to incite a sense of freedom or wonder.

Thanks for taking the opportunity to chat with us, Luke. What have you been up to lately?

Been keeping really busy on a bunch of different projects of late. As I write this I'm sitting in my Melbourne house filled with half-packed boxes, about to be shipped to Tasmania - as thats where I'm moving for a change of pace - in about a week!

What is your go-to camera and why?

Easily my Canon F-1 and a roll of 400, 24 exposure Kodak Portra. My F-1 is a work horse thats built like a tank! + takes the most amazing photos and is like looking through a warm time portal when I look through the viewfinder. The Kodak Portra is a little more expensive than my other film Fuji Superia, but the colours and look you get with that film is unbeatable.

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You capture wonderful images of both places and people. What is your favorite thing to photograph?

I think a combination of the both. I don't like just taking a landscape photo that has been taken a million times before. I like to use my surroundings and maybe look for an interesting character to frame in the shot or get a friend to be in the photo. I like the idea of giving the image scale while taking a unique photo noone else has taken before. I'm not Ansel Adams nor am I any where near as talented as him.

Who are some of your favorite photographers? Why?

I'm a massive fan of Stephen Shore and Mitch Epstein. Their photos just blow mind, i find I can stare at some of their images for hours. really just take a look at some of their work and you'll understand. In particular Mitch Epstein's book Recreation. I'm also a big fan of Helmut Newton he was one of the first photographers that really got me into photography to begin with.

Any lesser-known photographers inspire you?

I think he's a bit more known these days but an Australian photographer Renee Ellis is one of my all time favourites he seemed like a really good dude that would be great to hang out with + just seemed to love taking photos for the fun of it.

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Talk to us about your developing process. What tips or techniques can you offer to young and old photographers inspired by your work?

I get all my films developed by my Melbourne homies Hillvale. I then do colour correction and a little curves in Photoshop to all my photos. I do this as I like all my photos to have a specific look that gives it my own stamp I guess. I like the idea of people seeing an image and knowing its mine.

How do the outdoors inspire you?

I love how hyped I get with seeing an amazing landscape, my head immediately becomes clear and I realise how rad life actually is.

These days, everyone is a photographer. What is your take on the new world of mobile photography?

At first I was really bummed with a lot of the mobile photography, I'd spent a lot of time developing and trying to harness my own look for my photos. Then a thing like instagram and VSCO comes along and allows you to make your photos look great instantly. Its only been in the last year that I've begun to embrace it and really see how great it can be.

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What motivates you to keep taking photos?

I don't know how to do anything else.

If you had a free flight to anywhere, where would you want to go shoot?

Man thats really tough, this location changes everyday for me. I think I'd love to go to Iceland as that place looks nuts and I've always wanted to visit. But I reckon if I could have a flight right now I'd say New Orleans! I spent a week there last year and I tell you that place has some magic juju over me. Its such a crazy place that I can't put into words, I can definitely see myself moving there, opening up a bar and setting up shop at some stage in my life.

The night is young. Drinks are on us. You'll have:

The coldest, cheapest local beer you have on offer.

Thanks for talking to us Luke. Keep up the killer work. Any parting words?

Listen to Spacemen 3.

"I love how hyped I get with seeing an amazing landscape, my head immediately becomes clear and I realise how rad life actually is."

See Luke's photography on his flickr page or contact him at luke-byrne.com.

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