Inspire Me: David Noton

September 4, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 5 Comments | |
Inspire Me: David Noton Image

This post is brought to you by Lenovo Inspire Me. More info can be found at, where you can enter our competition to win the trip of a lifetime. 

Main Image: Portrait of a girl nr Vang Vieng, Laos

What inspired you to become a photographer?

Something literally clicked when I purchased my first SLR (an Olympus OM10) early in 1980. I was on the point of coming ashore following several years at sea in the Merchant Navy and just knew without a shadow of a doubt that from that point on my life would be dominated by photography. I made the decision then and there to be a professional photographer. Of course its one thing to say it, quite another to do it.

Can you remember the first picture that you ever took, and why?

I think it was while skiing with my father, around about 1970, in Canada where I grew up. I would have used a Kodak Instamatic.

Who is the photographer that you most admire, and why?

That’s a tough one, as I tend to be inspired by individual images as opposed to photographers, but to name a few whose commitment and vision are an example I would say Henri Cartier Bresson, Don McCullin, Sebastien Salgado and Steve McCurry.

Inspire Me: David Noton

Amphitheatre, Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA

Which photograph do you most wish you'd taken?

I honestly can’t answer this, as to do so would be to wish to have someone else’s vision, and we photographers are nothing without our own unique view on the world. I don’t really subscribe to the word “taken” when referring to an image anyway; it implies a process akin to “bagging” a shot which is so opposite to the way I work. I believe we photographers make pictures which are the product of our own hopefully distinctive vision and an ability to be in the right place at the right time.

Inspire Me: David Noton

A Nun at Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Which photo / series of photographs are you proudest of, and why?

I would have to say the series I produced in Burma late 2012 represented well where I am with my photography at the present. The goal posts are permanently shifting of course and we never stop learning and improving, but that month of intensive photography felt like a defining moment in my career; everything I’d done photographically previously had lead up to that trip. Mind you I could say that about every trip!

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#1 Dashbolt

David, I love the shot taken at night time over the mountains. The stars look amazing. What settings did you use? I would love to take a shot as good as that! Don

7:19 pm - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#2 Jennie Brady

I’m not sure even how to ask, but in the picture of the girl on your post in Laos I believe, how do you focus on your subject and everything else in background or foreground is blurred. Thirty years ago, I knew how on a regular 35 MM manual camera, but I can’t figure out how to set the PowerShot camera in order to get this result. Beautiful picture by the way!

12:56 pm - Wednesday, July 9, 2014

#3 Nick Cockman

I’ve always been fond of David’s work and have followed his journey for the past couple of years as he had a different outlook to many uk landscape photographers.

Jenny - I believe David shoots full frame (same as your 35mm) and so will have shot this with something like a 80mm lens at f1.8 to get the beautiful out of focus background. You could try on your camera by zooming as much as possible & whilst still being close to the subject

10:35 pm - Monday, December 22, 2014

#4 alan ranger

David has always been a great inspirer and teacher of photography - His series on chasing the light is a must for anyone new or keen to learn landscape photography.  I also like his analogy of shooting digital the way you would film - observe more and wait for the decisive moment before you press that shutter - it will reward you with quality rather than quantity!

7:29 am - Friday, July 10, 2015

#5 Clipping Path

Nice photography picture!

3:02 pm - Wednesday, November 4, 2015