Stephen Dowling knows a hell of a lot about film photography, he recently released his own B&W film called Kosmo Foto Mono and runs various blogs and groups which delve into the wonderful world of analogue. We couldn't let his expertise go unnoticed and have crowned him one of our TEN AND ONE AWARDS Judges for 2017.
Hello! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m Stephen Dowling, a Kiwi who has been living in London since the mid-1990s. I’ve been shooting on Lomo cameras since the year 2000. For the last five years I’ve been running the film photography blog Kosmo Foto (formerly Zorki Photo) and in 2017 I released my first film, a black-and-white film called Kosmo Foto Mono. I also run another blog World on Film, a place for film photographers all around the world to showcase their lives on film (and I'm always looking for contributors - get in touch!)
How did your interest with photography start?
In the late 1990s, after buying a Canon EOS 50E. It really got me into the craft of photography, and researching the amazing world of analogue cameras. I bought a Lomo LC-A and a Praktica MTL 5B SLR in 2000 and my life has never been the same since.
How would you define photography? What makes it worth pursuing?
It’s the hobby you can take anywhere, providing you have a camera. To the end of your street or to the other side of the planet, halfway up a mountain or underwater. It makes you see the world differently. It can be life-changing.
What inspires you?
The work of the greats (I have a bookshelf full of photo books). The work of the unknowns too - every time I visit Instagram, Flickr or Lomography I see an image worth gazing at. Photography is fed by so many other art firms - painting, poetry, architecture, music, journalism and literature. Great photography is often influenced by so much more than just the camera and subject. Immerse yourself in photography and you’ll learn a lot more about everything else.
What makes a good photograph?
Atmosphere. Attention to detail. Composition. Mood. Timing. Intent.
Any advice that you’d like to give aspiring photographers?
Shoot lots. Read and study the work of great photographers. Travel. Be curious about the world around you. Take long walks with a camera. Regularly dip into Instagram and Flickr for inspiration. And keep your film in the fridge.