Guy Tal | Photographer, Author, Artist

More Than a Rock

More Than a Rock
Essays on Art, Creativity, Photography, Nature, and Life


Ostensibly about landscape photography, More Than a Rock is a passionate and personal book about creativity and expression. In this series of essays, photographer and teacher Guy Tal shares his thoughts and experiences as an artist who seeks to express more in his images than the mere appearance of the subject portrayed.

Tal makes an argument to consider creative landscape photography--expressing something of the photographer's conception through the use of natural aesthetics--as a form of visual art that is distinct from the mere representation of beautiful natural scenes.

Tal covers topics such as the art of photography, approaches to landscape photography, and the experiences of a working photographic artist. His essays also include reflections on nature and man's place in it, living a meaningful life, and living as an artist in today's world.

The book is decidedly non-technical and focuses on philosophy, nature, and visual expression. It was written for those photographers with a passion and interest in creative photography. Anyone who is pursuing their work as art, is in need of inspiration, or is interested in the writings of a full-time working photographic artist will benefit from reading this book. The book is visually punctuated with Tal's inspiring and breathtaking photography.

'Some images look like things, while others feel like things; some images are of things, while others are about things. ... A creative image is not a record of a scene nor a substitute for a real experience. Rather, it is an experience in itself--an aesthetic experience--something new that the artist has given the world, rather than a contrived view of something that already existed independent of them.' ~Guy Tal

'Guy Tal's photography is thoughtful, compassionate, and poetic; it's no wonder then that his writings evoke similar feelings in me. If you want to be a better camera user, read your manual. If you want to be a stronger, deeper photographer, read Guy Tal.' ~David duChemin
The Landscape Photographer's Guide to Photoshop

The Landscape Photographer's Guide to Photoshop
A Visualization-Driven Workflow


You are not offering testimony to the existence of something, you are bringing something into existence--something that did not exist before, and that would not exist if it were not for you.
~Guy Tal

The first step to creating an expressive photograph happens before you even click the shutter: it is the act of visualizing an image in your mind's eye. Once composed and captured, the data recorded by the camera is then transformed in processing to match the visualized image.

To become a better expressive photographer means, among other things, to become a better visualizer. This requires more than just technical skill, but also an understanding of what art is, what it means to be an artist, and how to translate your thoughts, feelings, and experiences into visual creations.

In The Landscape Photographer's Guide to Photoshop: A Visualization-Driven Workflow, Guy Tal provides a broad theoretical foundation for digital landscape photography as an expressive visual art, and for understanding how art and technology come together to serve your creative purpose. He then offers a roadmap for a visualization-driven approach to processing images in Photoshop.

Topics include:
  • An overview of the history of art and of photography as art
  • A deeper understanding of creativity and visualization, and of the technical underpinnings of digital imaging
  • Techniques to effectively apply visualization in creating and processing your images
  • How to perform 'gap analysis' to identify the gaps between the image at any point in time and the desired outcome
  • How to convert your RAW files using Adobe Camera Raw prior to editing in Photoshop
  • How best to employ many of Photoshop's tools and features
  • How to leverage Layers and Masks to accomplish your visualized results
  • How to control and adjust contrast, color, and tone
  • Image blending techniques to extend dynamic range and for focus stacking
  • Processing strategies for black-and-white conversions, including toning your images
  • Printing and other output techniques including sizing, sharpening, noise reduction, and color management
Bringing all of these techniques together, Guy presents a detailed case study, beginning with his initial visualization for the final image and working through his processing steps from RAW conversion to the final print.

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