Michael Kenna

Michael Kenna

Tim Baskerville
Your work, more than any photographer I can think of, seems to bridge the gap between night photography and “daylight” (for want of a better term) photography. You move freely between situations, time and light constraints, yet you still seem to incorporate the nocturne and its sense of mystery into much of your work. Because of this, you’ve not been pigeonholed as a Night Photographer, your audience has grown and I believe you have advanced night photography, it’s aesthetic qualities and concerns by a wide margin. Are you still a night photographer at heart?

Michael Kenna
[Laughs] Night and day are one and the same, they are parts of the whole. I can happily photograph during the day or night or dawn or dusk. I like to photograph at any time and there are qualities about every time of the day and night which should be appreciated, so I try to move in and out at will. There was a period when I was starting out, when I could have been called a Dawn photographer. Then I became a Day photographer, next I became a Night photographer, and now I suppose I am an Anytime, All time, Every time photographer [laughs.] I found that working at night I learned much that I could then bring into the day. Working again during the day I discovered elements that I could then take back into the night. Confining myself to one particular area or one particular time period is, I think, self limiting. In general, I look for “timeless” imagery, which could be taken at night, during the day, at dusk, or dawn.


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