on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Conflicts of Interest

A Personal Relationship with Wild Places

Guy Tal

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



Save a piece of country like that intact, and it does not matter in the slightest that only a few people every year will go into it. That is precisely its value. Roads would be a desecration, crowds would ruin it.
~Wallace Stegner, Wilderness Letter

Most of my photographic work is done in places that are relatively close to my home in a rural desert town. In my mind, this is the most beautiful and inspiring landscape that I can hope to live, work, and be in. Some are surprised to learn that I do not offer guided tours of the wild lands I work in, and I generally do not respond to queries about specific locations where my images were made.

In the past I also declined to contribute to guide books about the area, and resigned my position with a local business committee that sought to encourage increased tourism in these places. Such decisions are, undeniably, in conflict with economic interests (my own and those of tourism-related businesses in my area) and may seem questionable until one considers that taking the opposite approach would conflict with what to me are more important interests.

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