Josef Koudelka

Koudelka is possibly the single greatest influence on me as a photographer. I was shown his work by photographer and old friend of my fathers, Dick Swayne. I immediately fell in love with his work and, through the glimpses of his personality that shone through the images, with Koudelka himself and the lifestyle he led. What I saw helped me to understand where my own visions were coming from, where they lived within me and what I would need to do to set them free.

His images were raw and grainy and broke rules. Their composition was natural, yet they played with your eye. And they were taken by someone who seemed to live the life he photographed. He was there, amongst the tanks, he was a traveller sleeping in the fields, a nomad, an exile and a gypsy in spirit.

To me Koudelka and his work seemed to be everything I wanted to be as a teenager, both as a photographer and a person.

The best place to view Koudelka’s work is on the Magnum Website as he does not have a personal site.

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