I struggle with the concept of grouping my work in arbitrary time slices, but I always find value in self-examination and introspection and so, I suppose the beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to look back and ponder. 2012 was a year of new creative directions for me. Beyond simply exploring new ground, I also realized that my thoughts on photography and art required a few course corrections. These are important enough to warrant a dedicated post in the near future. In the mean time, I decided to share a selection of memorable images from the past year. These are not necessarily distinctive in their aesthetic or technical aspects, but rather in the stories that brought them about.
In addition to being a photographer, I am also a writer. I work in both images and words. This is not to say that other media are not equally valid or interesting to me, but that these are the tools I work in because I feel that they best fit what I want to share with the world. In other words, these are, to me, the best means of telling the kind of stories I want to tell.
Stories can be factual, or they can be fiction; they can be clever observations or lengthy sagas; they can be in the form of essays, poems, proverbs, or novels. They may describe a moment in time, or they can unfold over years or decades or more. Some are best told in books, some in images or song or dance. The stories I want to tell in my work are neither poems nor novels. They are not entirely fiction, nor entirely fact. My stories are personal journals. They are intimate impressions of memorable times and meaningful experiences in my own life. Journals are based on real events, but at the same time are personal and subjective. They are both factual and interpretive. They are told in first person. They are not meant to provide an objective representation, but the subjective aspects of an experience that the author found most interesting or profound.
More explicitly: even though my stories and image may be true representations of actual events, they are not meant to portray them in an objective way. They are as much a glimpse into the subjects as they are into the person who created them. This is why I believe that photography is especially suitable for journals. A photograph can be both factual and subjective. Unlike painting, where the blank canvas allows an artist to weave entirely manufactured tales, photography comes with a belief and an expectation of the work being founded in reality, to an extent that is not possible in other media. This is both a great strength, but also a great handicap of the medium.
This past year I continued my explorations of my home. In particular, the Volcanic Plateau and the Badlands. A selection of my Badlands images was published in LensWork Magazine – a publication I long admired and was proud to be featured in. I also spent considerably more time further exploring black and white photography, manifesting in my Creative B&W Processing Techniques eBook, published earlier in the year to very favorable reviews, as well as new B&W portfolios.
All in all, 2012 was a very good year, creatively speaking, for which I am very grateful. It also set the stage for further explorations ahead.
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
- JMG-Galleries – Landscape, Nature & Travel Photography Best Photos of 2012 by JMG-Galleries Blog Readers | January 9, 2013
- 300 “Best Photos of 2012″ Blog Posts - Digital Photo Help | January 14, 2013
- Course Corrections | Guy Tal Photography Journal | January 28, 2013