Inspiration

Whilst technical resources are (of course) useful for certain things, I learn far more from other photographers’ photographs than from seeing lists of their equipment, which tend to be really rather boring. Trying to discern how other people see is far more useful: I don’t want to copy others, but as Susan Sontag pointed out, there is an element of acquisition of other people’s work involved in creating images, whether we intend it or not (we may not even be aware of it, but it is still happening).

In that sense, then, these are some of the photographers and graphic resources that I turn to for inspiration.  In saying this, what I mean is that these are people whose work I make a point of looking at on a fairly regular basis – of course, I look at countless other photographers’ work too!

In any case, this is by no means a complete list: I find I’m adding to this all the time. Twitter addresses are given for people that I ‘follow’. Most of these people work primarily in one particular area, but I have listed them all here together as I don’t wish to categorise people in ways they may not wish. And in any case, inspiration can be found in many different settings. Finally: there are people like Ansel Adams that I obviously find inspiring, but here I am wanting to draw attention to contemporary photographers.

If you find a broken link, please tell me about it – thank you!

Mohamed Adel
a great Egyptian photographer.
Guy Aubertin
Guy moved from digital to large format photography for his landscapes, but also pursues weddings and so on. Twitter: @guyaubertin.
Richard Baker
a commercial photographer, I particularly like his blog and the images he shows there: England’s Pleasant Pastures. Twitter: @bakerpictures.
Mark Banks
Mark is a large format and digital photographer; his images have a depth and profundity to them that is really engaging. Twitter: @ThePackhorse.
Kirsteen Bell
Bell started following me on Twitter (from @KBellPhoto) and I reciprocated. She has an interesting blog, and her website is nicely done: playful and creative images abound.
Alex Boyd
a Scottish/German photographer (on that front alone, I feel I have something in common with him!), whose Sonnets series I really like, and who explores all kinds of traditional photography – not as a gimmick, but as an artistic tool. Twitter: @AlexBoyd.
Kate Brooks
an amazing photojournalist covering much of the Middle East and other conflict areas.
Ian Cameron
a landscape photographer who creates evocative images, many of them from Scotland; I find his philosophical reflections on how he creates his images very attractive.
Jim Chuchu
absolutely stunning portraits, with a lot of African imagery (he’s from Nairobi).
Mike Colechin
someone I have come to know personally, and photographed with (see here): a large format photographer who creates very personal imagery, most recently connected to interpretations of music.  One day, I’m sure, he’ll get around to constructing a website to showcase his work (hint, hint!).  Twitter: @mike_colechin
Alastair Cook
a Scottish photographer (and filmmaker) who uses traditional photographic methods. His background as a conservation architect informs much of what he does. Twitter: @AlastairCook.
James Dyas Davidson
James has photographed numerous deserted houses across Scotland, as well as landscapes. Whilst there are rarely any people in his images, they often convey a profound sense of human emotion. Twitter: @JDyasDavidson.
Vladimir Donkov
I came across Donkov via Bruce Percy’s site (see below), and spending time on Donkov’s site it’s easy to see why Bruce would like his imagery. His bold, but somehow also very intimate landscapes are the most fascinating for me.
Nick Fancher
I first stumbled over the portraits and fashion shots on Nick Fancher’s site, but some of his travel images are very striking too.
Duncan Fawkes
a photographer who is mostly engaged in photographing landscapes; I feel as if we are both discovering similar things at similar times! Twitter: @duncanfawkes
Mabel Forsyth
a gifted local (to me) photographer, with a great eye for captivating monochrome images. She’s also a very talented illustrator. Twitter: @pinkpig3.
David Gordon
a news and commercial photographer, David also has interesting personal work on his website. Twitter: @PhotoGordon
Mike Green
a landscape photographer who also engages in thoughtful written form with his photography – it is well worth following his blog. Twitter: @mikegreenimages.
Carolyn Hampton
I particularly like her narrative portraiture, though she pursues various subjects. Twitter: @Carolyn_Hampton.
Matt Harris
landscapes, and especially seascapes – his images have something taming about them, as if he is bringing the wildness of nature into a more understandable form. Twitter: @MattSHarris.
Rob Hudson
although he earns most of his income as a (very creative) wedding photographer (in south Wales), he also has interesting ways of communicating landscapes in his photographs. And his politics seem to be relatively close to mine! 🙂 Twitter: @RobHudsonPhoto.
Rula Halawani
deeply moving photographs from Israeli-occupied Palestine.
Tamara Kuzminski
a well-known wedding photographer, Tamara is currently taking time out from weddings in order to focus on landscapes.  She is discussing this process on her blog, and it makes for very interesting reading.  Twitter: @tamarakuzminski.
Michael Kenna
beautifully simple, minimalist landscape photographs. An inspiration to many; for example, his gorgeous book, Huangshan, feels more like a collection of intimate and very personal portraits of the Chinese mountain range – they transcend the traditional idea of landscapes.
Ciaran Lee
amazingly elegant portraits, as well as landscapes in his private work – all created in black and white. Twitter: @clportraits
Magnus Lindbom
a Swedish landscape photographer who could almost be a pupil of Bruce Percy. I feel his images frequently combine bleakness with warmth, simplicity with imagination. Twitter: @MagnusLindbom.
Jodie Mann
were I to be a fashion photographer, Jodie is the photographer I’d want to be! I think her images are astonishing – technically perfect, and yet possessed of a warmth and connection to her models that is really wonderful. Twitter: @JoMannPhoto.
Max Marinucci
gorgeous, simple images, mostly in black and white and on film (actually, a mix of portraits and city/landscapes, but I look mostly to his portraits).
Michael Marten
no, of course this is not me! This MM started the Science Photo Library, but now creates landscape photography on various themes.
Niall McDiarmid
creator of the completely inspired Crossing Paths project – he travels around Britain, photographing people and creating a snapshot of some of the more eccentric characters that roam these islands. Twitter: @NiallMcDiarmid.
Jim Mortram
Jim brings his whole self into his photography in a very emphatic way: he seeks to document the effects and responses to social marginalisation in a way that I find really moving. The narratives that accompany his images are an important part of what he is trying to do. Twitter: @JAMortram.
Indra Moonen
under the name Contrastique, this Dutch photographer, Indra Moonen, uses mostly traditional methods to capture interiors and some landscapes. Twitter: @Contrastique.
Deborah Parkin
a fantastic portrait photographer; I have her Childhood Narratives book that I reviewed on this site: very beautiful, and somewhat disturbing, but in a good way! She has published more since then. Twitter: @deborahparkin.
Tim Parkin
a landscape photographer from Yorkshire in northern England. He publishes On Landscape along with Joe Cornish, and runs large format photography workshops with Dav Thomas (see below). I don’t think he’s related to Deborah – see above! Twitter: @timparkin.
Bruce Percy
an Edinburgh-based (so local for me) landscape and travel photographer extraordinaire – and he runs fantastic photography courses that I can personally recommend too! His ebook on photographic processes is fantastically helpful, as are many of his other ebooks. In 2011 he published a retrospective book, and most recently a book on Iceland.  Twitter: @brucepercy.
Fabrizio Perilli
portraits that I think really feel as if they are penetrating into the subject’s inner life.
Galen Rowell
another great landscape photographer who also wrote very thoughtfully about photography.
Helen Pugh
local (to me), I like her imaginative portrait work.
Carl Radford
Radford’s work centres on portraiture using old analogue processes, in particular the wetplate collodion process (that Alex Boyd, Alastair Cook and Deborah Parkin – see elsewhere on this page – also use, and that I’d like to try out one day!) Twitter: @CarlRadford.
Douglas Robertson
another local: I’d heard of him, but never consciously seen his engaging photographs until one of his former models alerted me to his work. His studio also serves as a music venue!
Alastair Ross
a Scot now living in England (we’re not all perfect!) and pursuing mostly landscapes; reflective and thoughtful, and seeking to create more than just a ‘pretty’ image.  Twitter: @alastairrosstog
Heike Rost
a German photographer, she writes about her work in German and in English. Working in journalism and commercial photography, there is always a sense that her work is also deeply personal. Twitter: @HeikeRost
Iain Sarjeant
based in the Scottish highlands, Sarjeant mostly photographs landscapes, but also some interesting cityscapes. He has a great wee occasional blog, called Out of the Ordinary.  I was very pleased to make it to his 2012 exhibition, Among Trees.  Twitter: @iainsarjeant.
Sven Seebeck
a German landscape photographer who lives in Finland, he captures beautiful light landscape images.  Twitter: @svenseebeck.
Tim Smalley
I really like the way Tim’s images deal with both detail and broad vistas – in some ways questioning whether details are not also broad vistas of a different kind. Twitter: @TimSmalley.
Stewart Smith
photographing in the Lake District and beyond, Stewart creates mostly commercial landscape images of simple beauty, and increasingly, these are fairly distinctively his (not all of them commercial, but intriguingly beautiful). Twitter: @stewyphoto.
David Stanley
a landscape photographer who also writes stimulating reflective articles about his work (though as of the end of 2010 his site seems somewhat dormant – I’m not sure what this means…).
Nancy L Stockdale
an academic working in a similar field to mine – but she is also an intriguing photographer (known online as Futurowoman – the link is to her blog, but she has lots of online connections listed there). Twitter: @futurowoman.
Lucy Telford
Lucy sees reality differently to many: it is mostly an inner, dreamy, minimalist and sometimes rather dark view of the world that her photography uncovers. Twitter: @lucy_telford.
Dav Thomas
an absolutely inspirational landscape photographer. Using mostly large format cameras, Dav is without a doubt one of the best photographers in Britain (especially of trees!). Twitter: @peaklandscapes.
Brad Trent
‘standard’ commercial portraits (but exceptionally well done), along with a lot of creative portraiture – and his blog gives endless helpful details of how he set up the lighting for particular images. And the name for his company is fun too!
Hugh Webster
lovely Scottish landscape images – whilst Hugh mostly describes these as ‘stock’ they communicate a great tenderness for the landscape that belies the commercial purpose of the images. Twitter: @hughhwebster.
Chris Weeks
engaging and stimulating portraits.
Jenny Wicks
in recent times, Jenny’s work with prisoners under the title Punishing Spaces has really moved me. She’s a very creative and imaginative photographer, using her skills in social documentary and comment. Twitter: @jennywicks.
Joe Wright
a large format photographer, Joe’s images are intimate, almost like portraits of the landscapes that he encounters. Sometimes I find they almost tease a little, as if to say ‘look at this, stop thinking about what else there might be around the image’ – fascinating small glimpses of the world. Twitter: @JoeARWright.

Other resources

These are some of the more useful resources that I have turned to in the process of developing my own photography.

Beyond Words
undoubtedly the best photographic bookshop in Britain, and certainly amongst the best in the world…
Mechanical Icon
an intriguing collection of short videos discussing iconic photographs. Despite (a) a bias towards American images (it is an American site, after all), and (b) some rather cheesy pop psychology at times, Mechanical Icon is nonetheless a really interesting way to reflect on images that we tend to think we ‘know’.
On Landscape
a magazine devoted to the artistic aspects of landscape photography, i.e. it doesn’t just focus on equipment. Some of it is free, and the parts that are not can be licensed on short or long subscriptions. It’s a very stimulating publication, and I recommend it. It’s run by Tim Parkin and Joe Cornish. Twitter: @on_landscape.
Ken Rockwell
excellent and opinionated reviews of camera stuff, despite making the point repeatedly that what matters are the photographs, not the equipment. I find his colour saturation is usually way over the top for me, but some of his galleries are interesting too.
Scottish Photographers
an informal network of Scottish photographers seeking to encourage art/personal expression (for me, those two are linked anyway…!). Twitter: @ScotPhotography
Stills
Scotland’s photographic resource centre: exhibition space, teaching, equipment and studio usage… a wonderful place!
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