A Few Thoughts About Photography.........

Photography Intuition

06/03/2023
Learn to trust your intuition and to not simply follow the crowd.
I have just watched an interesting documentary, “InnSaei: The Power in Intuition”. The documentary suggests that the world is changing faster than ever before and new ways of thinking are required. Burn out, distraction and violence are becoming increasingly more of an integral part of our culture, media and entertainment and we are becoming seriously disconnected from the natural world. The documentary explores some of the issues surrounding how this affecting the way we live our lives.
For me, the documentary got me thinking about certain aspects of my photography. In particular, I find when teaching photography it is easy to explain and demonstrate composition, exposure, tonal values etc. But it is much more difficult to explain how and why I choose which subjects to photograph and the way I choose to photograph those subjects in the way I do. I really struggle to explain how I “see” tonal values and relationships in the real world and how these can be replicated in my final image. Watching this documentary took me a long way towards understanding why this might be. I now feel that a lot of my photography is simply down to intuition, that feeling in your gut when you instinctively know that something you are doing is right or wrong.
More precisely, it involves “learned responses that are not the outcomes of deliberate processes”. Sadly I feel that many of today's amateur photographers are more likely to follow the “deliberate processes” route in their photography. This is probably mainly due to the why in which we learn. For many this is through social media, which unfortunately often tends to be awash with articles and blogs which are nothing more that a regurgitation of commercial marketing hype whose aim in not to help us develop our skills but to sell cameras and promote materialistic consumption.
Overthinking camera controls, thinking about how a new camera will help your photography or wondering about how many “likes” your image will generate are all distractions. Spending your time looking at your camera rather than engaging with your subject is a distraction. Learning from others is always good but simply trying to replicate what others have done can again be a distraction, stopping you from actually understanding how they achieved what they did and thus potentially developing your own personal style and producing images that raise above the mere average.
Whilst we can have endless conversations about technical excellence in photography, the simple truth might be if it looks right, it is right. Likewise, if it feels right, it is right. Learn to trust your intuition and to not simply follow the crowd.

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