So a good few months ago I mentioned to my good friend Kuba Markowski the idea of interviewing him for the blog. When thinking about photographers Kuba and Gareth both stood out due to their varied subject matter and uncanny ability to capture amazing moments and subjects. Kuba came to Aberdeen to study at RGU and over that time has developed his passion for photography which in turn has led to travels across Europe and has even helped him escape Aberdeen with a recent relocation to Bangkok!
With a strong interest in people and place, Kuba has been building up a portfolio of street portraits, capturing the every day for his subjects but something exotic and fascinating for someone like myself. Its been great seeing Kuba's work develop since her first joined me down at 26 Studios where he printed his first black and white print.
How long have you been taking photographs for and how did you get into it?
Hmmm let me think… I must be around 6 years now. My fascination with photography evolved from graphic design to digital photography to finally film B&W photography. I really like digital cameras and it gave you so much opportunity for post processing but it got to the point where I was not taking my finger off the shutter button which then resulted in thousands of photos from which you cannot choose the right one. And photography is all about capturing the moments. If you take 1000 photos a day you may as well take video and cut out screen shots. Nowadays I tend to take mostly B&W photos, there are situations like last autumn in Kyoto in Japan that the colours were so moving that I had to use a few colour films but mostly taking photos of people I want the audience to look at people and not being distracted to colours. I believe that B&W photos are more colourful than colour ones because you have to colour them yourself.
What camera do you use?
For the past 2 years I have been using Leica M6 with Leica 35mm F2 Summicron-M ASPH lense. That is really the only combination that I need in my kind of photography at the moment. However, being just a weak human that always wants more I've acquired a few other cameras that I occasionally use like my Rolleiflex T 3.5 and some old “bulletproof” toys from the past.
Who are some photographers that you admire?
I am not really a big photo-book reader so the photos that influence me the most are taken by my friends that I've met during my travels. One good example is Junku Nishimura who is an amazing Japanese photographer, a great guy and a dj with good taste in music. You can check out his work at junkunishimura.com
What are some themes that you explore in your work?
Because of the places that I work (UEA, Africa) sometimes it is hard to focus on street photography, either you're not allowed to get on streets or people are just not keen to be photographed so I try to focus more on photography during my personal travels. This is also the reason why I moved to Bangkok as Asia is fascinating and I can focus on my projects out there.
Whats your favourite shot you've taken so far or series of photos?
I would say the ones from my first exhibition in Aberdeen. It is a series of photos from the Thai Boxing show backstage where I tried to show the tension that follows fighters that are just about to get into to the ring. These were also the first photos that I developed myself without anyone’s help and without seeing daylight for 3 days…
What’s your future plans, photo series, a book, more travels?
I have stopped making long term plans some time ago because they very rarely work out so I just go with the flow. As I mentioned before I moved to Bangkok to follow my Muay Thai projects (both photography and training wise). I would like to gather a fair set of photos from the Thai boxing community and then decide what material is good enough for a book or exhibition. I would like to do some more traveling around Asia and experience the amazing culture and cuisine of countries like Burma, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan.
Massive thanks to Kuba for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out Kuba's amazing photographs via his Flickr, his excellent Blog and some choice selections below!