Taken from a magazine interview DonStevie did:-
Did you have any influencers early on?
I came to photography through art. The likes of Francis Bacon, with his body dysmorphic, visceral work, Natalia Goncharova, the strong mix of colours, angles and dynamism, through to the likes of L.S Lowry with his little match stick men and women set against those dark satanic mills. Photography is a means of being able, in my own way, to express myself and these artists deeply impacted the way in which I both perceive and photograph the world.
What valuable lessons have you learned?
A photograph is a surface area. It’s a triumvirate of your natural and learned skill, so in this I include camera control & the way in which you see, then, the amount of opportunity you provide yourself, the places you travel, the people you meet, the situations that provide for that “stage” and thirdly, a function of time, the length of time you allow yourself to spend photographing. To this function you can apply a small single digit multiplier for the gear used, but this in my experience rarely moves the needle. If you invest in any of these, you will naturally improve your photographic outcomes.
Do you set yourself projects?
I tend not to set strict projects but depending on location and light pursue a particular style of image. If the light is stunning for example, then those introspective graphic shots with refraction are the obvious choice, but if it is a dark grey day, then a spot of full frontal flash maybe the way to go. I like to keep it as informal as I can!
Favourite ever camera (film or digital)
I enjoy shooting with Leica M, not because they are a Leica, but because they allow you to forget it, and that you need not spend time trying to conquer it. It requires little or no thought and enables the focus to be outward rather than inward. focal lengths I tend to shoot mostly with a 25mm or 50mm, I generally carry two camera and no bag, so either a 25 and 50 or a 25/50 and a joker lens, so a 15/16 or something random, that will force a different outcome.