Taking war photography back to the 1640s?

I really don’t believe one should explain one’s photography – I’m of the “look at the pictures, make up your own mind” school. But back in the 1980s what really made me want a camera was the work of photojournalists like Don McCullin and Brian Harris, whose pictures led the early Independent newspaper, or seeing exhibitions by Chris Killip or Sebastaio Salgado. My long term documentary projects like Speakers Corner might spring from these influences, but it’s never so simple, is it? After all, I was a fan of Robert Mapplethorpe’s prints yet never went towards studio photography, while my big project on historical re-enactment owes as much to having studied history at Cambridge.

Landscape has always been my other photographic love. I distinctly remember McCullin’s wonderful book of harsh black and white Somerset landscape, other favourites would be Fay Godwin and William Neill, while more recently some of David Ward‘s ideas have been thought-provoking. Maybe they and others are influences, but again just as much inspiration comes from my interest in art history.