Photography Is A Search For Identity

Glenn Guy, the Travel Photography Guru, during a midnight cruise on Jökulsárlón Lagoon, Iceland.

As photographers our frustration lies in transferring what we see, from our three dimensional world, into the bounds of a two dimensional photograph. 

For the artist photographer the challenge goes ones step further: to record how we feel about what we see within the bounds of the photographic frame.

The Nature Of The Creative Life

Experience and enhanced technical skills, which come over time, will minimize the gap. But the gap will never completely close or be completely resolved.

That is the nature of the creative life, and it’s also the nature of the Human Condition.

I doubt that we ever truly understand.

Glenn Guy, the Travel Photography Guru, with a metal photographer figurine purchased in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The True Value of Creativity For the Artist

But by tapping into our creativity we can at least glimpse the sublime nature within all things. And photography allows us to both record and share that wonderful experience.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
— Michelangelo

I believe we touch the divine through the art we produce. In doing so we share in the great creative process and the purpose of the universe.

We are integrated into our universe and, through the creative process, we become the maker.

This is the true value of process. Not the fact that you know or can do stuff, but because of the shift in consciousness that occurs by immersing yourself, in an open and contemplative way, in the act of what you are doing.

Glenn Guy, the Travel Photography Guru, pictured high above the spectacular Paradise Harbour in Antarctica.

Embrace A Simple Approach To How You Make Photos

Going forward I think it’s important to balance the logical and intuitive sides of our mind.

It’s fine to strive for answers, but I think it’s also important to accept that, in some case, they may be unattainable.

Be content with your inability to understand the what and how, and pay more attention to the why.

Photography, as art, works best by asking questions.
— Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru

Put simply knowledge and experience are two separate sides of the same coin. They complement each and, when in balance, lead to wisdom.

But living in the moment is all about surrendering to experience without the need to overly analyze or critique it.

Try to be open to what’s going on around you and simply experience the wonder and the beauty of the moment.

Where action is required, be guided by your intuition and allow you knowledge to support you on auto pilot. That’s the best way to make photos.

Beware of the weight of all that camera gear, both physically and psychologically. A great guitarist really isn’t thinking about the guitar they’re playing, they’re concentrating on the music they’re creating.

Simplicity of concept and the realization of that simplicity in the composition of your photos will help resolve your response to the world around you.

Glenn Guy, Pangong Tso, India

About to Travel


Your Life And The Art You Make

Millions of people make photographs. But the fact that you are here, with me, sets you aside from the snap shooter.

For you photography can be so much more than just a hobby. Photography can be a way of life, and I don't necessarily mean a business, if you choose to make it so.

It’s said that "you are what you eat". Well, as an artist, the photographs you create are a mirror of who you are: an individual, meaning seeking and creative soul.

We grow through our experiences. Try to remove the process of making photos from the notion of simply recording reality.

Photography allows us to both document and interpret our experiences.

In many ways your life’s journey is not so much about where you go, what you see and the relationships you form along the way.

Life is all about how you response to stimuli and what actions your response guides you to.

What Do Photos Reveal To Us?

Imagine a beautiful sunrise. Your eyes observes the event, the brain processes and records that image, and the mind makes sense (i.e., perceives) of it.

In photography the lens focuses the image and the sensor records it. The variety of technical and compositional choices you make enable you to determine the relative truth in what you see.

Likewise, the way you process that image on the desktop allows you to better express the way you perceive that particular reality.

Once the image leaves your desktop it’s then up to the viewer to make sense of it, according to their own knowledge and experiences and their own world view.

While we can guide their response, beauty and judgement lies in the eye of the beholder.

Photography, as art, is ultimately a search for identity.
— Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru
  • The Identity of the subject or scene depicted

  • The identity of the maker, the artist photographer

  • The identity of the viewer (i.e., each individual member of your audience)

This three way dialogue means that subject, photographer and viewer are married together in the collaborative process of photography.


Glenn Guy, author and primary content producer at the Travel Photography Guru website and blog, photographed in 2000 at a portrait photography studio in Lhasa, Tibet.


The Artist's Journey And The Photos You Make

Photography encourages us to look more closely and think more carefully about the world around us.

I think it's important to remember that the more closely you look the more you'll see. And the more you see the more you'll learn about the world around you, about others and, ultimately, about yourself.

Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru