Inspire Me: David Noton

September 4, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

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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