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The Interior Landscape by Guy Tal

Obregon Obregon

Is from: Southold, US
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Thu 27-Oct-22 04:01 PM | edited Fri 28-Oct-22 02:50 AM by Obregon
The Interior Landscape The Landscape on Both Sides of the Camera Reflections on Art, Creativity, Expression, and a Life in Photography by Guy Tal

This book is a series of short essays that deal with the author’s life philosophy as a photographer and as a person. The biggest benefit I find in reading Guy Tal’s occasional books is to remind me that not all photographers, or at least not all serious photographers, come at the world from the same place. Tal lives in the moment. His goal is to be in nature, not to take photographs, and if he is led to take a photograph and if it turns into art, so much the better.

I do not live in the moment. I do not consider myself altruistic, but even at my moments of greatest pleasure in being outdoors in nature, I want to share my feelings, and that is what I try to do with my photography. I must confess that I occasionally envy Tal’s self-centeredness.

It’s not that there is nothing for me to learn from Tal. I agree with him that if you want to create art, you can’t want to create art. His views used to be called “Art for Art’s Sake.” It reminded me of an old Buddhist koan from my younger days. The shepherd can only find the lost sheep when he doesn’t look for it. (No one would hire a shepherd who espoused this philosophy.)

Tal advocates taking photographs for one’s self. If someone else also enjoys those photographs, so be it. I can agree with that. If the only reason you want to take photographs is to make a living, go to work for a newspaper or become a wedding photographer or open a portrait gallery. Instead make images as an extension of the act of communicating with the landscape.

Although the book is mainly text, he does include some of his photographs. After reading his text, I knew he made these pictures for himself and, perhaps, didn’t care whether I liked them. You may find them interesting.

All this might discourage you from reading this book by what I envision as a solitary curmudgeon. Instead I say give it a try. You might discover that you are a solitary curmudgeon, or at least you might appreciate a solitary curmudgeon. On the other hand you might find yourself becoming a pessimist. I should note that the author expresses himself well, if slightly mystically.

I regularly say that the piece of equipment I seek most is vision. While I can’t say that I have adopted Tal’s vision, it has helped me in the search for my own.

G