Interview with Guy Tal | GBPW Episode 131

Don’t think about what you will do with your image. Don’t think about who may or may not like the image. Just think about what you can do, what you can create photographically. Get yourself immersed in that experience. Try to find that state of flow, that state of extreme concentration. To me, that is the greatest reward that you can get from photography.

Guy Tal

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This week, I speak with the amazing Guy Tal. Guy expresses himself beautifully through his photos of nature and through his books. (Many of our podcast guests are obsessed with his writing!) Well known before the rise of social media, Guy is a unique role model in the photography industry.

We talk about:

  • Guy Tal’s passion for writing
  • His thoughts on social media
  • Why self-expression is an important part of his work

& much more!

Guy Tal has a mesmerising portfolio that’s full of emotive photographs. Make sure to listen to our episode if you’re interested in the meaning behind his photographs and if you want to improve your own photos of nature.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Guy Tal.

Q: What photography products are you currently selling?

Guy Tal: Right now I’m selling my books, writings, and workshops. I also sell prints, but it’s a revenue stream that has become a really small trickle in the last decade or so. I still offer small prints for sale, but generally, I don’t consider it a major source of income anymore.

Guy Tal’s books are More Than a Rock, Another Day Not Wasted, The Interior Landscape, and The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop.

Q: What do you love the most about hosting workshops?

Guy Tal: It’s the way that I see the results of the teaching reflected back. One of the skills that I try to instil in people is to think creatively and to try to relate their own inner experience. Obviously, I can’t tell someone what their experience is. Creativity is about bringing new things into existence. I can’t tell someone how to do something that has never been done before and that perhaps I wouldn’t think of doing.

So really, I’m trying to teach them a way of approaching the subject, approaching the landscape, being mindful both of what’s in their environment and in what’s happening within their own minds, and trying to relate the two. The most rewarding thing for me is at the end of the workshop, when we ask people to show photographs. We make it very clear that we don’t need to see masterpieces. We don’t grant awards and we don’t praise you for the most beautiful image. We want to hear the thought process that went into the photograph.

Q: After you became a photographer, when did you start writing about photography?

Guy Tal: It couldn’t have been very long because I’ve always liked writing. I was always writing about things that were meaningful to me. Photography started as a fun hobby. It was just something else to do while I was out hiking. I was always a nature person. I always loved being outside.

Then, I started bringing the camera with me to document some of the things that I found. I didn’t really expect to show it to anyone or have it published, certainly not to be my profession. It grew from there and became something of an obsession and then eventually evolved into a career. Once it started getting fairly serious for me, I started thinking about it very deeply, which is something that I do for anything that interests me. Probably around that time, I started writing about it.

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