National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes on how to find inspiration and “learning to see”


posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 7:30 AM EDT


Longtime professional photographer Bob Holmes has been a guest of Marc Silber's on numerous occasions. Holmes' latest visit with Silber is focused on learning to see light. Holmes remarks early on in the video below that much of what he has learned about light - and seeing in general - has come from his interest in painting. There's an important distinction between looking and seeing says Holmes. We all can look at something, but you have to go beyond that and analyze what you're seeing. Once you get used to that, it becomes a natural process. You must get to a stage in your photography where you recognize and see light such that your camera doesn't get in the way, but rather lets you capture what you see.

Having an emotional connection with a painting, or scene, is important. There is no painting or photograph from other artists that are guaranteed to elicit an emotional response for you, but Holmes says it's important to find work that affects you and try to determine what about it creates your personal response. Find your own sources of inspiration and ask yourself why it inspires you.

It's always interesting to hear Bob Holmes discuss photography. The award-winning National Geographic photographer has a lot of experience and a wealth of knowledge to share, so you may also be interested in a live question and answer session Silber did with Holmes this spring. You can watch that below.

(Via ISO 1200)