on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The More Things Change

Tough Love on Visual Literacy and Proactive Creativity

Guy Tal

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



When subject matter is forced to fit into preconceived patterns, there can be no freshness of vision. Following rules of composition can only lead to a tedious repetition of pictorial clichés. ~Edward Weston

This is the best time in history to be a photographer. It is a statement I have seen repeated often, in one choice of words or another, in the past decade or so, almost always referring to advances in photographic and social technology, leading to a conclusion that, to some, may be an uncomfortable truth, which is this: this is the best time to be a photographer because it requires less effort than ever before to make a competent photograph; and to have it seen, most often for just a brief moment, by a large number of people.

Certainly, acknowledging the ease of making photographs, even very beautiful and popular photographs, seems less romantic than waxing poetic about such things as photography being a creative outlet, a means of celebrating “nature,” or a medium rooted in the “art of seeing.”
Certainly, acknowledging the ease of making photographs, even very beautiful and popular photographs, seems less romantic than waxing poetic about such things as photography being a creative outlet, a means of celebrating “nature,” or a medium rooted in the “art of seeing.” But, whether romantic or not, I believe that it is important for anyone who wishes to elevate their relationship with the photographic medium to a point where practising photography has the power to profoundly elevate the very living experience, to unburden his or her mind of banalities and misconceptions.



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