Guy Tal is a full-time photographer, writer, and naturalist living and working in the Colorado Plateau - a scenic and diverse desert region of the western United States spanning an area larger than most countries and states. His goal is to produce images that inspire without venturing outside the realm of the believable. Guy's ability to imbue a photographic image with one's personal thoughts and emotions is indeed what puts the "art" in Fine Art Photography. We had the privilege to interview this magnificent landscape photographer featuring some of his best wilderness photographs that capture the beauty, power, and fragility of nature, and we invite you to check them below.
Tell us about something about Guy Tal Photography?
Guy Tal Photography is a fictional entity - my business name. It is a means of using my art towards the less inspiring yet necessary goal of paying my bills. The primary goal for my business is to enable me to live what I call "the creative life". Much as many would like to believe that artists just blissfully wander through life without concern for basic necessities, the reality is very different. Still, I always knew that in order to be happy with my work I needed to align my personal goals with what I do for a living. Other than merely selling "stuff," I want my work to make a difference in people's lives. I want to share those things that enrich my own experience in the hope that others will find meaning in them as well. To that extent I offer my work as fine prints, books and eBooks, and workshops focused on creativity and finding meaning in personal expression through art.
Can you make a brief description on the pictures in this set?
In truth, it is a rather random selection. My work tends to be intimate in nature, meaning that I try to distill the essence of my experience by guiding the viewer to the specific elements that are most meaningful to me and that embody my interpretation and emotional state. I don't seek to document places for editorial use. Rather, I want to convey some of my own feelings and love for the subjects through visual elements. In other words, I try to create a viewing experience through composition, lines and color, rather than present photographic evidence of a random subject or phenomenon.
What’s your creative process like?
"Creative ideas and concepts may emerge at any time. They may be prompted by sensory stimuli such as sights or sounds, they may be brought about by impactful events, or they just may strike out of the blue. Bringing these ideas into fruition in the form of a finished product, however, requires discipline and skill. It also requires a process framework and a well-practiced workflow to consciously and deliberately pilot an idea from raw concept to a finished, presentable, work. This framework is the creative process. [...] Our proposed process will cover six distinct and progressive phases: Concept, Visualization, Composition, Capture, Processing, and Presentation."
The eBook further elaborates about each of the phases and some of the larger topics are further explored in other titles.
Where do you find inspiration and why you like photography?
I can find inspiration anywhere but my most productive time is usually spent in an area known as the Colorado Plateau (named after the Colorado River, which is the main drainage running through it). It is a land of deserts, canyons, mountains and rivers that feels more like home to me than anywhere else. It is also a place still mostly in a natural state and where human footprint is still relatively small, allowing visitors to find solitude and peace in some of the most beautiful and diverse areas on Earth.
I like photography in the same way some people like carpentry or painting. It enables me to produce something with my own hands, something that is personal and expressive and can be shared with others.
What are some tips you could give to people that really like your work?
When Theo Van Gogh was asked about his brother's work, he responded that in order to understand the art you must also understand the artist. I think this is true of any art so, anyone interested in my work may also be interested to read some of my essays and musings (many of which are found on my blog). I will add, though, that you will not gain much from trying to mimic my images. Instead I like to teach my students that the core of a personal style is being true to yourself. When working on your own images, make a conscious effort to silence all voices other than your own and express the things most meaningful to you in your art.
Can you name some great photographers that inspires you and why?
I can but I would honestly rather not. I have many friends who are excellent photographers and by naming a few I will most certainly overlook some deserving names.
What can you tell us about your next project/workshop/book?
I'm currently working on my B&W photography eBook, which I hope to release in the next couple of months. After its release I plan to shift my focus to more creative and, dare I say, philosophical writing, which I feel will be of greater importance to the art of photography and to those who also strive to live a creative and meaningful life, integrating their art into their stories rather than treating it as a hobby or entertaining distraction. In addition I'm also working with an innovative new company called Commercial Fine Art, which represents some tremendous talent and is working to promote photographic art to businesses and commercial designers.
Dear Mr. Guy Tal we are very glad that you accepted to help us with this tremendous interview and to share some of your exquisite pictures with the fans of our magazine. Good luck with the new book, and all your fantastic projects. Thanks.