Images copyright Cecil Holmes. All rights reserved.
by Skip Cohen
In January 2019, we launched the first episode of Tamron Recipes. Well, here we are over a year later with a new series of conversations with our guest "chefs." My co-host, Chamira Young, and I chose to play off the chef analogy because so many great artists are like the fine chefs we've grown to know through reality TV. And the Tamron Kitchen, just like a foodie-driven episode on the food channel, is loaded with great ingredients - one of the most diverse collections of high-quality lenses in photography.
Cecil Holmes joins us in the kitchen this month, but we thought we'd have some fun with a different kind of "dish" and show his diversity. While Cecil's passion is outdoors with landscapes and critters, there's nothing he can't photograph. So, we thought we'd have fun with two of his favorite extremes - the night sky and a macro of a daisy.
In these two new recipes, Cecil's using two of his favorite Tamron lenses, the 15-30mm G2 and the 90mm macro. The links to both lenses are below.
Cecil is no stranger to the SCU blog, but until last month we'd only talked on the phone or in cyberspace. At IUSA, we were able to actually meet face to face, as Cecil and his son walked the trade show floor. There's something about meeting people you admire face to face that enhances the impression you've already developed from other means of contact. Cecil couldn't be more passionate about the craft or more friendly and approachable, and his son, Keegan is a chip off the old block.
With each new "chef," I like to search for a quote that applies to their work or personality.
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Like most photographers, Cecil is a storyteller. I'm so familiar with his work - his images are often about sharing what he's experiencing or observing. In an episode of "Why?" here at SCU, and later featured in a Tamron video, he talked about changing plans on a landscape shoot when Mother Nature didn't cooperate on the weather. He had no choice but to simply go with the flow.
Whether he's on assignment for his portfolio, teaching, or working with another photographer, his approach couldn't be more relaxed. While he's often got a vision of what he wants to capture, his approach is to head out with his camera and capture what he wants to share.
About "Chef" Cecil: If there's one word that describes Cecil Holmes, it's humility as an artist. I usually don't share a chef's about page here, but I pulled a paragraph from his website that's so appropriate in demonstrating Cecil's love for the craft:
Oh yeah....about me. I am a forty-something. I do not know if my generation has a name. I do not have any kind of art background at all. I didn't study under any of the big names in art or photography, in fact, I am self-taught. I know...I know, it seems blasphemous. I simply picked up a camera some time ago, when my oldest son began playing sports. Even though he was 5, I knew I would need good, sharp images to send to all the college scouts and coaches ten years in the future. That's when I decided to purchase my first DSLR. I still blame my son. Soon after, I combined my love of photography with my love of the outdoors. Those two things fit together naturally.
Click on either of Cecil's recipe images above to visit his website and galleries.
About the two images:
As you know, there's a story behind every image. The Milky Way image was made on a solo trip to Yellowstone one spring. It was so dark out there that I sat in my car talking myself into walking out into the darkness alone for 15 minutes before I got brave enough.
The daisy was shot in my dining room at home. I do a good bit of macro on my dining room table. I have two windows that provide nice natural light and on days when that isn't enough light, I added a Litra to the setup.
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Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.