When I started photographing in earnest a couple of decades ago (hard to fathom,) inspiration seemed boundless. Everything was new, unphotographed, and possessing secrets and opportunities for images to capture and to share. It was as though I was making my own inspiration, oblivious to the works of other photographers, which were largely not available to me then.
I’m sure many can relate, but once the creative fire was lit and became as much an obsessive need as a pursuit, I became thirsty for inspiration. In those days there was little to be found on the Internet and my primary sources for appreciating and learning from the works of others were galleries and books. I can still remember the thrill of opening a new glossy books rich in excellent photography, the scent of the pages, the intrigue with both the images and trying to read the photographer’s mind – what they thought and felt, what equipment they used; and at the time – what the chances were that I’ll get to see these places for myself…
One of those books was William Neill’s “Landscapes of the Spirit” and, as fate and a lot of hard work would have it, I did manage to not only visit these places but also to make a life for myself among them and to experience them in ways I never knew possible.
I always find creative work more meaningful knowing a little about the person behind them. When I first encountered Neill’s work, he was an opaque “big name” to me. In recent years I came to appreciate both his hard work photographing and writing about the landscape, and his generosity and responsiveness as a person.
My reason for recommending Bill’s work is not only for its beauty, but also because he deserves it. Call it my small way of thanking him for the inspiration in those early years and since. His most recent eBook: “William Neill’s Yosemite: Volume One” continues his legacy of excellence and inspiration. Load it to your computer, set aside a quiet evening, and page through it in a dark room.
About the Author (Author Profile)Guy Tal is a published author and photographic artist. He resides in a remote part of Utah, in a high desert region known as the Colorado Plateau – a place that inspired him deeply for much of his life and that continues to feature in his images and writing. In his photographic work, Guy seeks to articulate a reverence for the wild. He writes about, and teaches, the values of living a creative life and finding fulfillment through one’s art.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Celebrating Wilderness By William Neill » Landscape Photography Blogger | August 29, 2010