Influences
John McKenna Photographer Scotland
Photographic influences:
Landscape:
Michael Kenna; Ansel Adams; Colin Prior; Daniel Kordan; Tobias Richter; Rachael Talibart
Street Photography:
Henri Cartier-Bresson; Vivian Maier; Harry Benson; Margaret Watkins; Elliott Erwitt
Portraiture:
Iwona Podlasinska; Steve McCurry; Annie Leibovitz; Yousuf Karsh
Japanese:
Nobuyuki Kobayashi; Hiroshi Sugimoto; Taikichi Irie

General influences:
My photographic style has been heavily influenced by my interest in Buddhism, and most recently by my exploration of the Buddhist and Shinto traditions of Japan.

I am also deeply influenced by the history and landscape of my homeland, Scotland, and this connection finds it's way into much of my photography - sometimes unintentionally and with surprising results!
In general I prefer a minimalist approach to my photography. I'm happiest and most creative when out wandering with a camera, a couple of lenses, a tripod and not much more.

I've never been attracted to the idea of working in a large studio with multiple assistants and strictly controlled conditions and this is reflected in the photographers who have influenced my work.

In landscape work I love the classic style of Michael Kenna, Ansel Adams and, fellow Scot, Colin Prior. While I appreciate the sense of scale, and dramatic lighting of Russian photographer Daniel Kordan and German Tobias Richter. The seascapes of Rachael Talibart are timeless and inspiring.

Street Photography is a genre I've dabled in over the years but is an increasing part of my work, both at home in Scotland and when travelling.
The classic style of Henri Cartier-Bresson influenced me greatly, as has the work of Vivian Maier and Margaret Watkins. Harry Benson's images of my hometown Glasgow and the humour of Elliott Erwitt are always in mind when I take to the streets to try to capture a location and the people living there.

The Japanese aesthetics of Wabi-sabi and Mono-no-aware were the initial influences for my Japanese works "Transient Moments" and "Envying the Maple" but this artistic style has found its way into much of my subsequent imagery and continues to influence my latest photography.

Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, simplicity and an appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. It attempts to capture the Buddhist "three marks of existence", specifically: Impermanence, suffering and emptiness.
Mono no aware is a gentle sadness, or wistfulness at passing time and things lost, but, still fondly remembered. A fellow photographer recently summed this world-view up for me - by accident - when describing the feeling one gets while looking back at old family photographs. There is happiness, but, a gentle sadness when we recognise lost friends and family. This is the essence of mono no aware and it is something I frequently attempt to capture in my work.