Guy Tal • Of vs About

Think about what your photographic work tells the world about you the next time you stand in line waiting for the all-too-predictable in a location already photographed many times before

Shortly before his death, and after an illustrious career, photographer Minor White was asked what he thought of the work being done by budding photographers. His response was: “There’s no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I’m always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don’t give a damn how it got made.” As I read that, I felt a strong sense of agreement with and understanding of what White meant. It was obvious and intuitive to me to recall those images I felt had ‘spirit,’ and yet, I found it challenging to articulate in words what the term meant to me; it was one of those ‘I know it when I see it’ kind of things. Still, being the obsessive sort, as well as a writer who values words, I wished for a way to communicate this intuition in a non-ambiguous way to my students and readers.

The answer came to me through a process of elimination. I always found more value in images that expressed a photographer’s subjective notions – their own unique story – rather than those that were ...

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About Author


I am 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.

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