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More Than a Rock

Book Description

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

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Coyright
  4. Dedication
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Foreword by Chuck Kimmerle
  7. Preface
  8. Part I Art
    1. 1 My Audience
    2. 2 Difficult Questions
    3. 3 Art and Philosophy
    4. 4 The Things Themselves
    5. 5 Driving Miss Camera
    6. 6 The Phase of No Emotion
    7. 7 Lie Like You Mean It
    8. 8 The Meaning of Words
    9. 9 No Lesser an Art
    10. 10 Art and Rebellion
    11. 11 What Is Real
    12. 12 The Educated Audience
    13. 13 The Medium Is Not the Message
    14. 14 Contemporary Oligarchy
    15. 15 Art for People’s Sake
    16. 16 The Important Thing
    17. 17 What Makes an Artist
    18. 18 On Subjectivity
    19. 19 The Mythical Personal Style
    20. 20 Such Things Could Be
    21. 21 Where Credit Is Due
    22. 22 Shock and Awe
    23. 23 Artistic Promiscuity
  9. Part II Craft
    1. 24 Finding the Needle
    2. 25 Forget Vision
    3. 26 Projects and Explorations
    4. 27 Of and About
    5. 28 On Art and Writing
    6. 29 Rethinking Visualization
    7. 30 Composition Means Nothing
    8. 31 Creative Blocks
    9. 32 The Missing Dimensions
    10. 33 The Concept
    11. 34 Breadth and Depth
    12. 35 Isolation
    13. 36 The Velvet Handcuffs of Predictability
    14. 37 Abstractions
    15. 38 Invisible Gorillas
    16. 39 To See as Beautiful
  10. Part III Experiences
    1. 40 End-of-Season Reflections
    2. 41 What Is Enough
    3. 42 Wilderness and Me
    4. 43 Coming Home
    5. 44 A Measure of Worth
    6. 45 Small Joys
    7. 46 Early Spring Meanderings
    8. 47 Living the Life
    9. 48 Listening to the Stories
    10. 49 Working from Home
    11. 50 The Image and the Experience
    12. 51 Solastalgia
    13. 52 Canyon Time
  11. Part IV Meditations
    1. 53 Big Thoughts
    2. 54 Heaven and Hell
    3. 55 The Meaning of Meaning
    4. 56 On Significance
    5. 57 The Art and the Life
    6. 58 Know This
    7. 59 Photography and the Creative Life
    8. 60 Stories of My Generation
    9. 61 The Wonderful Lightness of Being
    10. 62 The Problem with Moments
    11. 63 Attention Overload
    12. 64 Aboutness
    13. 65 Experience, Uninterrupted
    14. 66 The Abyss Is Always There
    15. 67 Politicizing Art
    16. 68 Meditations on Art, Work, and Solace
    17. 69 Reentry