David Noton, Biographical Information
An award winning landscape and travel photographer with over 26 years’ experience as a professional under his belt. During his photographic career David has travelled to just about every corner of the Globe, with the exception of Antarctica – which apparently is on the list.
Born in Bedfordshire in 1957, David started exploring the world at a young age, moving to the USA while his Father worked on the American space programme. David subsequently spent what he fondly refers to as ‘life changing years’ in Canada, enjoying a typical Canadian childhood, dominated by hockey, skiing and summers at lakeside cabins.
After receiving a Kodak Instamatic for his 13th birthday, David took his first pictures on a family skiing holiday.
In 1971, when the family returned to England, David attended the prestigious Trent College to fulfil his Father’s desire for David to become a Pillar of the Establishment.
It didn’t quite work out that way, but David did become a fanatically keen member of the Combined Cadet Force – signing up for flying with the RAF, assault courses with the Army and ‘yomping’ with the Royal Marines. During this period David learned map reading, navigation and field skills that he still uses daily.
And so the adventures began...
In 1977 David joined the Merchant Navy and set out on a journey which would circumnavigate the globe via Australia, New Zealand and the Panama Canal.
David’s subsequent naval adventures saw him sailing through Suez, across the Med and down the coast of Brazil to Uruguay and Argentina before traversing the South Atlantic to Durban on the way back to the Gulf with a cargo of frozen chickens.
Over the next few years he sailed on a variety of ships, running from Europe and the East Coast of the US to Central & South America.
During this time the passion for photography took over, and after having his camera stolen in a bar in Honduras, he resolved to buy himself an SLR camera on his return to dry land.
By this time he knew he was destined to leave the Sea, the gloss on the salty sea dog life had worn off. But his time in the Merchant Navy left him with honed navigational skills, a repertoire of useful knots, a survival instinct bred from too many dodgy encounters in Brazilian shanty towns and an insatiable appetite for travel.
Feet back on dry land, an Olympus OM10 followed.
Now it wasn’t all glamour and luxury world travel – with what David affectionately refers to as ‘The Wilderness Years’ including a number of dead end jobs before finally biting the bullet and returning to college in Gloucester to study Editorial & Advertising Photography. By this time David was obsessed with photography and his three years of total immersion in all things photographic was a real joy. In his final year, a range of his landscapes were published by Athena as posters.
After setting up his photography business in Bristol in 1985 David initially undertook work for local design group, PR consultancies and advertising agencies in the region.
His career continued to develop within the landscape and travel arena too, winning awards in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in 1985, 1989 & 1990.
During this time (in order of importance!) David married Wendy, a nurse from Devon, joined the Telegraph Colour Library (now part of Getty Images) and was spending most of his time travelling and shooting stock work. When at home David was undertaking regular commissions for the National Trust as well as working for advertising and PR agencies.
Over the following years – with Wendy now at his side – Team Noton travelled, travelled and well travelled some more, exploring deserts, rainforests, mountains, islands and ice caps. And the model featured in many of David’s images...the now world famous Mrs Noton...also capable of whipping up a three course dinner in the desert, precision driving of a 4x4 in Africa, and who’s nursing skills still come in handy when face with dislocated elbow in Umbria and the threat of malaria in Africa.
However, in 2005, David went through a painful, messy and expensive separation before eventually running off with a younger camera system – he switched to the Canon digital system.
Horizons expanded significantly in 2007/08 with the writing and publication of David’s first book ‘Waiting for the Light’ and his ground breaking film ‘Chasing the Light’. The book launched to critical acclaim at a four week exhibition at London’s OXO Gallery, which attracted over 27,000 visitors.
2009 saw the launch of David’s innovative Chasing the Light Road Show, which now tours the country. In 2010 David’s next book Full Frame was published alongside his second film Photography in the RAW.
David’s pictures are now published all over the world and David writes for a broad range of media including photographic magazines and websites. After a 7 year run with Practical Photography magazine, David is a regular contributor to Outdoor Photography and writes monthly for his f11 Club members online landscape and travel magazine 'Chasing the light '.
A series of talks, workshops and shows have followed – and from the feedback – lives have been changed. David enjoys a loyal following from photographers and travellers alike, old and young, from across the globe, with whom he communicates directly through his monthly email updates, blogs, Despatches and Facebook posts– many of which are sent from the field.
These days, Team Noton continues to grow – one way or another, the ‘crew’ is now around ten strong at any one time – and we believe we’ve got one of the best ships around.
David added: ‘Photography captivated me 30 years ago and it’s dominated my life ever since. To establishing yourself as a professional photographer takes time, to carve out a niche doing travel and landscape work you can double that. But for me there was never any other option; beautiful pictures of beautiful places are what brought me into the profession in the first place. I seem to spend my life waiting for the right light and I’m a weather forecast addict. But in 1981 I was working in a glue factory, so I guess it’s going pretty well.’