on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers


Guy Tal asks is too much bad for you

Guy Tal

Professional photographic artist, author and speaker working primarily in the Western US. Website

“Let anyone who is accustomed to looking at a great many pictures in an exhibition try just once, if he is still capable of it, spending an hour or more in front of a single master-piece and content himself with that for the day. He will be the gainer by it.” –Hermann Hesse

It is estimated that more than 350 million images are uploaded to Facebook each day. Other popular sites report lower but similarly astounding figures, and of course these numbers still do not account for images published daily in newspapers, magazines, billboards, television shows, advertisements, etc. Certainly only a small percentage of these images is presented as art, but even subscribers to more exclusive photographic forums and media, which do promote art, likely still divide their attention among dozens, perhaps hundreds, of new images on a daily basis and often in short bursts. As cameras become more ubiquitous and more people join online communities, these numbers will continue to grow. What is not likely to grow is the amount of attention available to a viewer to experience, contemplate, research and appreciate individual works. I wish to make the point here that a disciplined approach to managing our limited “viewer time” ultimately yields more satisfying experiences than momentary impressions of large numbers of images.

Image by Guy Tal

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