My photo treasures: Guy Tal

Some of the photographers that I like and whose writing and photography I am following are filed (only in my brain) under different stereotypes (by which I identify them for example to my wife, who has to listen to my photography gibberish in length). Guy Tal is the philosopher photographer, even though this does of course not at all do justice to either his writing and much less his art (as no stereotype ever does). In fact, one of the first things that I read from Guy Tal was a rather technical ebook on Creative Digital Printing.
Guy Tal is a very interesting person, thoughtful writer (check out his blog) and sensible observer that I have become to appreciate. He has a genuine attitude towards life and making a living and has been described as an artist, photographer or writer (teacher or philosopher could also be added) - in German I may have used the title Lebenskünstler, for which I have not found a satisfactory English translation (according to Leo, bohemien is a possibility that I quite like). Here, I would like to primarily mention Guy Tal's photography, which I think may be the tie for his passions and the main source for his wide acclaim.
It is not the well-known and famous landmarks that are Guy Tal's motifs, but rather hidden gems of natural beauty that he finds on his treasure hunts in the Colorado plateau. Guy Tal's photographs, as well as his writing, convey an intense and personal relationship with the wilderness that is his home; they are truly intimate landscape photographs in the very sense of the word.

Cottonwood in Slickrock Bowl / Fine Art Landscape Photograph by Guy Tal Photograph © Guy Tal. Cottonwood in slickrock bowl from the Sandstone Worlds portfolio.

While classical landscape photographs capture the vastness of the environment, intimate landscapes depict details from a close and personal angle. I do not feel qualified to describe, let alone define, intimate landscapes, but there are numerous essays including highly recommended articles by Guy Tal and many others (for example HERE or THERE; in addition I also like THIS text). Guy Tal beautifully describes intimate landscape photography as "... the artist’s attention to detail that allows them to expand their repertoire and find nuggets of beauty in practically any situation, with almost any subject and any light." Along the same line, the intimate landscape master William Neill (whom I have introduced in an earlier post) describes intimate landscapes as "little gems of nature (that) are lost without a conscious effort to slow down and to look for the picture within the larger picture."

2012/09/26 by Florian Freimoser
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