Heyshow.com Interview

July 28, 2020

Last September I was introduced to a young artist by the name of Suly Hsu who is living and working in Taiwan. She writes about art for an online magazine called Heyshow.com for Chinese and Taiwanese readers and asked if I would consider allowing her to interview me for an article about my photographic work. I agreed. We exchanged multiple emails, I answered some questions, shared some images, and a couple of weeks ago, Suly wrote to inform me that the article had been published. The original link to the article is here: 


I've done my best to translate it below using Google Translate tools. The translation is a bit clunky, but I think you can get the gist of it. I want to thank Suly for her time and her sensitive and beautiful writing about two art forms that are close to my heart: music and photography. 

Can photos actually have a musical sense?

Interview with TIF HOLMES, a photographer who can shoot music

2020/07/16 Photography/Art Design News

by Xu Siying

Photos by TIF HOLMES

When music meets photography, what kind of sparks will it spark?

Ocotillo and Bluebonnets (2019)

Photo / TIF HOLMES landscape works

Visual Art VS. Auditory Art

Psychologist Rudolf Arnheim once said that "any concept of musical structure has the nature of a visual image." To put it simply, vision and hearing are related. Artist Wassily Kandinsky uses music to paint. He thinks that the sound of a small horn is sharp, like yellow, light blue like a flute, dark blue like a cello.

Kandinsky, Composition No. 8, 1923, Guggenheim Museum Photo/Visual Literacy Learning Network

It is recommended to read this article while playing the music below, and feel the magic of music and visual art!


Music Joyce Hsu / Editing Xu Siying

Photography and music

The same is visual art, and photographic works can also present a beautiful sense of rhythm. This time we interviewed American photographer TIF HOLMES. She was a musician and now a professional photographer. What are the unique features of the world of images in her lens?

Photographer TIF HOLMES

Self-portrait, 2019

Born in the United States, a nature and portrait photographer. She used to be a flute player. Now she is engaged in nature and portrait photography and education. Works have been included in Provoc8 at 5&J Studios in Lubbock, Tx; Art of Dance at Las Lagunas Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA; Citizen-Soldier-Artist at Mid-American Arts Alliance in Kansas City, MO; Illuminance at Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock, TX; Citizen-Soldier-Citizen at Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, IN.

Image Number: CAN031

Photo/TIF HOLMES landscape works

Q1. What do you think is the relationship between music and photography?

A: Before the age of 25, I received academic music training, which was restricted by many rules and techniques, but when I was doing photography creation, I found that I had more room to play. I think this is a kind of conceptual. Creation, you can express yourself 100%. Music training gives me the most primitive artistic perception, pure auditory and temporal beauty, while photography provides me the most free stage, allowing me to give full play to my imagination.

"The more we learn about other art forms, the deeper the well from which we draw our inspiration and ideas and experience." – By TIF HOLMES

Image Number: CMW069

Photo / TIF HOLMES landscape works

Q2. Where do most of the inspiration for shooting come from?

A: It mainly stems from the love of nature. I grew up in the forest and the lifestyle far away from the city made my childhood basically surrounded by mountains and rivers. My parents love outdoor activities very much. My father is also an environmental conservationist. , I have a kind of inexplicable intimacy towards nature in their ears and eyes. It can always bring me peace of mind. Recording these beautiful scenery can express my gratitude to nature.

"I am inspired to make nature images because of my deep connection to wild places and my desire to protect them." – By TIF HOLMES

Winter in the Loess Hills (2017)

Photo / TIF HOLMES landscape works

Q.3 What is your creative process and understanding of landscape photography?

A: In order to shoot the scenery, I travel everywhere. The process is actually quite hard, especially when encountering high temperature and dry weather. For me, behind each landscape work is a long wait, which can even be understood as a kind of patience and practice. But when that moment comes, for example, when you see the scenery of sunrise and sunset, you will feel that all the hard work is very worthwhile.

“Resilience is rewarded with beauty, and each day is a new day full of possibility.” – By TIF HOLMES

Switchback Sunrise (2015)

Photo / TIF HOLMES landscape works

Q.4 In addition to shooting landscapes, you are also engaged in portrait shooting. Can you share some shooting skills?

A: When shooting portraits, I always use a single light source (one-light portrait photographer) to present theatrical effects. During the shooting, I will chat with the subject to relax them and take pictures of their best in the process. In a natural state, sometimes even lengthen the exposure time to capture the dynamics of the characters.

“I want my portraits of people to be as ‘real’ as possible.” – By TIF HOLMES

Photo / TIF portrait photography works

Photo / TIF portrait photography works

The beauty of melody in photography

Since the 17th century, people have begun to study the relationship between music and color. These methods of using color and visual composition to express the beauty of music are quite common in our lives, such as record covers, theater performances, and photography.

TIF HOLMES’s photography works have a sense of tranquility like an idyllic pastoral. In the lens, whether it is the scenery in spring or the snow in winter, the majestic canyon or the wide plain, you can feel the quiet rhythm and the melody of time, smooth and melodious. It gives people a kind of throbbing in the heart. Perhaps the most beautiful part of art lies in this. From the creation of others, one can experience another spiritual world, a space of imagination different from reality.

Image Number: WTX046

Photo / TIF HOLMES landscape works

Want to know more works? Welcome to TIF HOLMES personal webpage : https://www.tifholmes.com

Suly's writing (clunky Google translation aside) is beautiful, and her idea that music and photography are not only complimentary but perhaps necessary parts of my artistic output and growth is one that I have often considered in the last decade, as I made a transition from being a full time musician to a full time photographic artist. I really enjoyed communicating with Suly and seeing the end result of our conversations and her thought process in this article. I hope that you enjoyed it as well. Feel free to comment below with any of your own ideas about the article, or send me a private note about it via the contact form.

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