on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Path of Opportunity

Making Life Hard for Yourself

Guy Tal

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



The... arguments against photography ever being considered a fine art are: the element of chance which enters in, finding things ready-made for a machine to record, and of course the mechanics of the medium. ...I say that chance enters into all branches of art: a chance word or phrase starts a new trend of thought in a writer, a chance sound may bring a new melody to a musician, a chance combination of lines, new composition to a painter. ...Chance—which in reality is not chance—but being ready, attuned to one's surroundings—and grasp my opportunity... Edward Weston

Every so often I come across a bit of wisdom stated so brilliantly that the words resonate in my mind even years later, any time a related subject is brought up. One such case was a discussion several years ago among a group of friends, all experienced photographers, about our respective approaches to making images. Although all offered interesting insights, the one that left the most lasting impression on me was offered by my friend, Canadian photographer Eric Fredine, who described his approach simply and succinctly as, “putting myself in the path of opportunity.” It instantly struck me as a perfect way to describe what I consider an important aspect of my own approach: the diligent avoidance of preconceptions.

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