11 Tips From Robert Holmes To Get The National Geographic Look

Find out how your camera reacts to light

First, Bob points out that it is essential to be aware of the light and what it does to the subject. However, it is even more important to know how your camera reacts. Analog and digital cameras don’t react the same to light, not to mention that the camera sees differently than our eyes.

Keep this information in mind while shooting.

Practice is necessary

To know how your camera reacts to light, you need to practice. Take pictures in different light and see how your camera behaves. This will help you understand the light and know what will be the final result.

Rembrandt lighting

Bob Holmes mentions two types of lighting patterns he uses frequently; the first one is Rembrandt lighting. It can be created using only one source of light, and it offers simple and natural results.

Vermeer lighting

The second type of lighting is the Vermeer light. It is a soft and diffused light, that always penetrates laterally from a window.

Lean to know your subject

When you photograph people, don’t waste your time setting up your equipment. Instead, use your time to know your subject and establish a connection. Then take as much time as you can to take your picture.

Control your lighting with a minimum amount of equipment

Sometimes, you can’t bring all the lighting gear you want. You should control your lighting without to much equipment. Instead of lighting your subject, take the picture with the available light.

The Golden Hour

Bob’s advice is to go out before sunrise or after sunset. Use this beautiful golden light to your advantage.

The Blue Hour

The blue hour also give fantastic results. When the cold light of the blue hour is combined with the warm, interior lights of a home, it can give an interesting contrast.

Midday Sun

Most of the photographers will agree that the midday sun is the worst light of the day. But when you travel, you sometimes have to take picture in less than ideal conditions. So move your subject to the shadow and make this light flattering. You can use something to make the light bounce. Bob uses newspapers but you can use what is around you to get best results with this light.

Understand the difference between your eyes and your camera

Just like you should know how your camera reacts to light, you should be aware of the difference between your camera and your eyes. Keep that in mind too.

Expose for the high lights

The last advice is to expose for the highlight. When you use a digital camera “let the shadows take care of themselves.”  In summary: pay attention to the light. Learn about your camera. The rest will come by itself.


11 Tips From Robert Holmes To Get The National Geographic Look