Inspire Me: David Noton

September 4, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | 6 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!

Entry Tags

photos, landscape, professional, technique, David Noton, landscapes, photographer, inspire, inspiration, protect, lenovoinspireme, noton, lenovo

Tracker Pixel for Entry

Your Comments

6 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#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

#6 Janet Sheaffer

Interesting interview! I’m fond of Steve McCurry photos especially his portraits because they transmit the mood of the person and surrounding atmosphere. From the photographers of the past century, I admire Yousuf Karsh. He’s taken pictures of lots of famous people of the past such as Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. He was the first man who photographed Churchill without a cigar. Recently, I’ve even found photos of those famous people shooted by Y. Karsh with their inspiring quotes.

10:13 am - Thursday, April 21, 2016