Hi, I’m Ben Dowling from Melbourne, Australia. I found photography through many years of skateboarding and being around a lot of creative friends, whether they were photographers, painters, designers, etc… that also skated. I dabbled here and there in photography and when everything started to hurt too much, I turned to the camera more and more as an outlet. And then one obsession just fell into another. It was a natural progression.
I like to get out and about, explore and be continually moving. I’m not really one to sit on a corner for hours, I did play with it here and there very early on and have seen great work by other photographers doing so, but I always have the desire to keep on searching, whether it’s by car and walking certain areas or jumping off a train midway to somewhere. I like the unexpected.
I will go back to certain places if I think there’s a possibility of something interesting though.
I heard a great quote from Mark Steinmetz which I thought summed it up nicely …..”‘you never find treasure on a mowed lawn” .
The last few years, I’ve been concentrating on the western suburbs of Melbourne and the outer greater Melbourne area predominantly, slowly building up a body of work within these areas and just keep on plugging away. It all comes back to that exploration for me. I have also done a lot of travel overseas over the years and have plans to get back out there.
I work full time shift work, and usually cram 40 hours into three or four days/nights to free me up to shoot those other free days. My day-to-day work is quite physically demanding, when I don’t have a camera in my hand it’s usually a grinder so I’m always trying to find that balance. I also like to keep my gear nimble these days, so I can just grab and go. It’s one less step to getting out the door.
It started as an outlet that turned into an obsession. It gets me out into the world and makes me explore even further than I normally would.
Turn down this street or that street… I think there might be something over there… maybe?
I think it’s quite easy to just go through the motions of our day-to-day lives, it’s a great way to slow down and pay attention. Photography comes in waves, you just have to stay on the boat and enjoy the ride.