Luke Marshall Johnson
Would you mind introducing yourself? Hey, I’m Luke. Since the name Luke Johnson is so common, I also use my middle name, Marshall, when it comes to photography.
Where are you from, and where do you currently live? I grew up in Iowa, lived in Minnesota for like seven years, and moved to Berlin a little over a year ago.
How would you describe your style of photography? Intentionally simple. Photography’s obviously inherently subjective, but I want to create a fairly objective representation of reality in my photography.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? Growing up, my dad had a cool Olympus SLR that he got while living in Japan, and I remember playing around with it even when I was really young. I think it kind of evolved from there. We also had a camcorder we’d use for home videos, and I really liked filming with that. And when I was 15 or so, my parents split the cost of a Nikon D60 with me.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? A few years ago, I went to Iceland with some friends during the first week of November. We went to Seljavallalaug (the Insta-famous pool you’ve probably seen a million times), and it was really cool being in a thermal pool surrounded by amazing fog-covered mountains (and having the whole thing to ourselves since it was November). In the end, the photos I took are pretty similar to most of the other ones out there, but nonetheless I’m glad that I have them to preserve the memory of that day.
What inspires you to take these wonderful photographs? When I have the chance to be out in nature, most of the inspiration just comes straight from the subject.
What kind of camera do you use? I use a Nikon D810 most of the time. I have an old Nikon FM and shoot with it occasionally, but usually more for special occasions, trips, etc. I definitely want to keep growing my collection of analog equipment.
What is your editing process like? I pretty much just use Lightroom. I make basic corrections and minor adjustments to create an aesthetic that I like. In general, though, I try to keep the final image as close to the way I remember the scene as possible.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Basically just go out and take your time framing and composing your shots.
What are some of your passions/hobbies other than photography? I really like good music and would be interested in maybe making music someday.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? Honestly I need to do more reading/study of the history of photography, but lately I’ve really liked the ideas behind old collectives and movements like Group f/64 in the US and New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) in Germany. So specifically, photographers like Ansel Adams, August Sander, and Albert Renger-Patzsch just to name a few. And then, of course, there are a ton of really good photographers who I’ve found via Instagram over the last few years – for example, Isabella Stahl, Patrick Warner, and Jared Chambers.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you love and wish more people knew about? Yeah, definitely. I think there was this wave of early entrants that amassed huge followings, but nowadays Instagram is so saturated that you end up having a ton of really talented photographers with relatively small followings – usually hundreds or thousands, instead of hundreds of thousands. And part of that group includes people outside of the Americas/Europe whom I think fly under the radar in general but deserve more attention, like @samsupfilm in Hong Kong or @byosaye in Nigeria, just to name a few.
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Probably either the middle of the North Atlantic or interior Antarctica.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? Late fall. It’s my favourite time of year in general, and I really like the colour palette and the feelings that it evokes in photos.
Do you have any upcoming photography trips/sessions planned that you would like to share? Nothing huge planned, but hopefully I can take some trips this summer to some nice places.