Douglas So is the founder and director of Hong Kong’s F11 Foto Museum and has dedicated years of his life to heritage conservation. So is passionate about photography; originally trained as a solicitor, he now owns the city’s largest collection of Leica cameras. F11 is testament to his efforts. Located in Happy Valley in a fully-restored 1930s three-storey heritage building, the museum’s ground and first floors are used for photo exhibitions, while the second floor showcases rare cameras and equipment and a library of nearly 1,500 photo books – mostly Magnum books previously displayed in Paris, a city very close to So’s heart. View this post on Instagram New member of the F11 collection . #leica #f22fotospace #f11 #f11fotomuseum #museum #camera #hongkong A post shared by F11 Foto Museum (@f11museum) on Nov 20, 2018 at 5:36pm PST “Right now, when I look around the world – France, in particular – the knowledge of, and passion for, photography is really second to none,” he says. “Throughout the years, France has been home to so many artists from all over the world, including the most important photographers of the 20th century.” How to take SLR-quality photos with your iPhone Having started his career in corporate law, So’s first immersive experience with charity was when he became a legal counsel at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, eventually assuming the role of executive director of charities. Soon, the preservation of culture and heritage through photography and the instrument that makes it possible became a mission. He recalls a time when photographers would exchange prints to show appreciation for each other. “I went into the basement of a renowned photographer and on his walls were several signed prints from other famous photographers. This was how they exchanged ‘business cards’ back in the day.” However, despite nostalgia for practices of the past, the present holds great opportunities for emerging artists. “I think social media is very important these days,” So says. “Compared to the stories I’ve heard of photographers who started out 60-70 years ago – famous names at the time like Robert Capa and others – it was hard for them because they had to produce a portfolio of proposals and then knock on the doors of every magazine, newspaper and publisher and try to get people’s attention. Social media allows people to share and get instant feedback and recognition.” Right now, when I look around the world – France, in particular – the knowledge of, and passion for, photography is really second to none Douglas So As such, the bar has also been raised for professionally trained photographers. “I think the competition now is really incredible. You can share what you want but to really stand out from the crowd today is, I think, very difficult. There is so much good work being produced and people will ask, ‘What is so special about your work?’ Sometimes it’s not just about the single image; it’s about the project.” So cites the example of a current exhibition at F22 photo space, his Wan Chai gallery, of the work of Spanish photographer, Mar Sáez, whom he met three years ago at Paris Photo, one of the world’s biggest fairs. “Her projects ‘Vera and Victoria’ and ‘Travelling with Strangers’, for which Sáez took over a hundred trips, are very compelling,” he says. “I like her work because it is not about a single photo, or even two or three; it is about the story behind the idea.” We review the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Douglas So’s preferred watch “The craftsmanship of precision – especially the Swiss and German engineering – is second to none. I have been wearing this watch for 20 years. I always go back to this timepiece.” Want more stories like this? Sign up here . Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .