My love of looking at photographs preceded any wish to take photographs; and still exceeds it. I believe that any serious artist must love, before all else, the products of that art-form: a photographer must love looking at photographs more that he does the equipment, techniques, or the rewards, be they financial or glory. More than even the creative act.

No one would take seriously an ambitious classical musician who’s never heard of Bach; or an ambitious painter who’s never heard of Rembrandt. But I meet serious photographers who’ve never heard of Eugene Atget, Cartier-Bresson or Man Ray.

If I had to pick the five artists who have most inspired me it would be: Eugene Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Francisco Goya, Francis Bacon and Sally Mann (whose work first made me realise that photography was a true Art).


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But I draw inspiration from a much wider range of photographers. To name even a fraction of these would excessive, but a dozen that come to mind at the moment of writing are Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank, Irving Penn, Walker Evans, Julia Margaret Cameron, Harry Callahan, Bill Brandt,  Josef Sudek, and Bernd and Hilla Becher…

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I have been inspired by the work of non-photographic artists, including that of R.B. Kitaj, Ivon Hitchens, Eduardo Paolozzi, Walter Sickert, Joseph Cornell, Giorgio Morandi, Carel Weight…

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Writers, poets and art and photography critics who have clarified and guided my approach to photography are John Ruskin, Robert Adams, T.S. Eliot, John Szarkowski…



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