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‘National Geographic Style’ Lighting Tips from a World-Class Photographer

Travel photography master Bob Holmes is back in the studio with the folks at Advance Your Photography talking about how to shoot that ‘National Geographic style’. In the last interview he was talking about composition, this time he dives into the intricacies of lighting.

As we mentioned last time, Holmes is exactly the type of photographer who should be offering this kind of advice. A 4-time winner of Travel Photographer of the Year, he’s been published in National Geographic, LIFE, and TIME among others. When he speaks, amateur and professional travel photographers alike should listen:

In case you didn’t catch everything, here are some of the main tips he offers in the video above:

  • Know how your camera (or film) records different types of light by practicing and shooting under different conditions.
  • For travel photography, don’t carry tons of equipment. Move your subject to the light, don’t carry the light to your subject.
  • Pay close attention to the eyes; always make sure they’re well-lit.
  • Don’t have a reflector handy? A sheet of newspaper will work very well.
  • Don’t be afraid to shoot at midday or under harsh lighting conditions, with a little bit of planning these shots can also turn out well.
  • Get out before sunrise, and eat dinner after the sun sets. Don’t waste the best light of the day sleeping or eating.
  • Expose for the highlights, let the shadows look after themselves.

Check out the video to see each of the tips (and more besides) illustrated alongside Holmes photography, and then head over to his website to see some of the beautiful travel photography he’s captured over the years.

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