Early Work: 1974-1976

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I began photographing in my late teens, when I was in college. My first camera was a Nikon SLR with a 55mm Micro-Nikkor lens. About a year later I purchased a used Leica M4 with a 50mm dual-range Summicron lens. I was intrigued both by the Leica rangefinder and the work of the photographers known for using it. The first photographic book I purchased was The World Of Henri Cartier-Bresson – a book I still own and treasure. A straightforward, documentary approach to photography became an enduring model for me.

My first serious photographic projects were focused on lengthy international travels–a road trip across Central and South America in 1974 and a backpacking trip in the Mediterranean and North Africa two years later in 1976. I was photographing almost exclusively in black and white during this time with the Leica M4 as my primary camera. The work from my 1974 trip to Latin America became the basis for a photographic memoir, 74.M4.Latin America: a year, a camera, a road trip, which will be released in November 2022, by Capitola Art Press, and distributed by University Press of Florida.

— Richard Sexton