Lane Coder: Arkansas

The Photographer Uncovers Southern Living While Trailing a Rare Woodpecker

Shot in the crisp fresh light of summer’s dawn and dusk, the inhabitants, spaces and languid living of the Southern town of Brinkley, Arkansas are documented in this series by photographer Lane Coder. Coder made the personal project while soaking up the laid-back atmosphere and slow pace of life in Brinkley, Arkansas during his downtime from an assignment for The New York Times. He followed Bobby Harrison, who claimed to have discovered a previously-thought-extinct breed of woodpecker, around the local backwoods and bayou in a camouflaged canoe. The commission had originally been assigned to William Eggleston—who pulled out citing boredom—and in his first shoot in the American Deep South Coder added a gentle homage to the legendary photographer. “He’s one of my favorites and a huge influence on me,” says Coder. “I absolutely gave a nod to him in a couple of the pictures. I felt his spirit a little bit I guess. I could see where a lot of his images derived from.” Shooting fine art influenced fashion stories and reportage for Vogue, The New Yorker and V Magazine amongst others, Coder aims for an element of mystery in his images, leaning towards drama, nostalgia and clipped moments of activity. “A layered, textured storytelling approach,” says Coder of his style. “Little bits and pieces that are evidence of lives happening in these places, sometimes without having the people involved. Having an experience where you want to look at the photograph again and again, looking for answers and being intrigued.”

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