An Interview with Photography Tour Instructor Ossian Lindholm

A renowned nature photographer from Tucuman, Argentina, Ossian Lindholm is Travel Vision Journey’s photography tour leader extraordinaire. A photographer, teacher, and documentary filmmaker, Ossian is dedicated to capturing, preserving, conserving, sharing, and sustaining the landscape, nature and culture of the countries where we travel  in their most pristine states.

1. How long have you been a photographer. When did you first discover photography?

Along with curiosity about the natural world, photography caught my interests as child me. Undoubtedly, National Geographic Magazine, which my grandfather collected, was an important source of inspiration. My career as a photographer was launched when I was 14 when I created a black-and-white darkroom from a small room my parents gave me in our house. While I was in school, I began practicing professional photography and started shooting weddings, birthdays, and friends’ social events. Aside from my professional pursuits, nature photography was what I liked the most.  After high school and before starting my university studies, I worked in fashion photography in order to finance my hobby. During university, I put photography on the back burner but in the depths of heart, I always dreamt of dedicating myself to nature photography.

2. When did you first think of becoming a photographer? When did you decide to focus 100 percent of your time on photography? Why?

My university degree is in Agricultural Engineering and for a period of my life I was totally committed to working in my trained profession as an Agronomist Engineer. I continued with photography as a hobby that I continued to develop depending on the travel opportunities that came my way.

During this time, I was eager to dedicate my life to photography, but the daily grind and responsibilities of life got in my way and prevented me from dedicating myself to my passion. By the time I reached 40, I experienced a kind of professional crisis that forced and allowed me to rethink my priorities in life. It was an opportunity to make the “big change” and start my career as a professional photographer.

3. Do you remember your first camera?

My first camera was an Agfa, a kind of point-and-shoot of the time; I was about 10 years old and it was 1967. I used a roll called 120 that took pictures in 6 x 7 mm. I remember that I had a button that allowed me to select between 2 different diaphragms, one was for sun and the other for cloudy.

By the time I had my second Agfa, it was a 35 mm camera. Afterwards I started using a Voigtlander that had a photometer and with it, I started to learn photographic techniques. Those were the times when I had my first black-and-white dark room. My first Reflex was a Chinon that I bought with savings when I was 19 years old, and my first Nikon was an FE that I bought used from a friend when I was 23 years old. My first digital camera was a NIKON D70 that I purchased in 2004.

4. How long have you been teaching photography? Where?

I started offering my first classes in 2008, but it was more by special request. In 2010, I began dedicating myself more to teaching and began giving several classes a year in Salta City and Tucuman in Argentina. This is when photographic instruction became an important part of my life.

5. What is your primary goal when teaching photography-leading photo workshops?

Photography is more than a profession: it’s a passion and a way of approaching nature. I like to teach this combined passion for nature and photography to all of my students. I am very satisfied when a student is impacted by my teaching and changes their way of seeing nature when on a photography tour with me.

6. How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

I constantly learn from reading web sites on specific photography topics. I also read books on specific topics. Most important is the constant and steady practice of capturing challenging light situations, seeking different points of view and creating original compositions. What I love about photography is that it is a discipline that I can and must continually learn more about. Because the learning never ends, I am continually evolving as a photographer.

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