on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Happiness, Creativity and Photography

Artists, Scientists & Thinkers on Happiness & Creativity

Guy Tal

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


But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads? ~Albert Camus

I recently posted a quotation by Humphrey Trevelyan, who wrote that an artist “must never grow complacent, never be content with life, must always demand the impossible and when he cannot have it, must despair.” In response, a reader commented “Keep it then. Sounds awful.” This led to an interesting exchange that set in motion the train of thought below.


The study of happiness has been a topic of thriving research in recent years. Having a keen interest in psychology and neuroscience, I follow closely as study after study reveals correlations between happiness and such things as creativity, cognitive performance, health and success. But admittedly there is another reason for my fascination with the subject of happiness, which is this: for most of my life I did not consider myself a happy person, did not consider happiness to be very important in general, and often even considered occasional episodes of depression to be instrumental in emotionally engaging with my subjects and conducive to the things I wish to express in my photographic and written work. 

This is a premium article and requires a paid subscription to access. Please take a look at the subscribe page for more information on prices.

On Landscape is part of Landscape Media Limited , a company registered in England and Wales . Registered Number: 07120795. Registered Office: 1, Clarke Hall Farm, Aberford Road, WF1 4AL. Midge Specs, midge net glasses from the Highlands.