Friday, March 8, 2013

Oh Snap!

Linking with Kat from over at the Kat Eye Studio for my next lesson on intuition.  Right/write on!

Would it be bragging to say I often rely on intuition?  I hope not.  It's not meant that way.  Maybe everyone does, and I'm in with the "in crowd".  

Setting up shots leaves me emotionally flat.  I built a lightbox in January and have yet to feel excitement or sense of achievement with the few images I've turned out.  Even when I'm out and about shooting, I shoot things where I find them.  I don't move or change or place or alter.  Like golf, I make my shot from where it lies.  No foot wedge for me.  If you don't play golf, you can disregard that analogy.

Two Flags
Two Flags

Here's a favorite Cuba shot.  My eye caught the 2 flags on the dashboard.  That's what made me shoot.  It was a one and done; that's all there was time for.  Only later did I see the cool reflection.  I like the "friendly" wave seemingly saying a relationship, a starting place is wanted between the US and Cuba.  I don't know if that opinion is common, and I don't do politics, but that was the spirit of the group I photographed last July.  They were reaching out and they were well received.

I chose to process this to look aged.  The busy alleyway, the old car, led my imagination to the revolution in 1959-how with most revolutions and coupes, people pour into the streets and there's mayhem.

Foggy Morn
Foggy Morn

I am admittedly not well versed at tapping into my feelings.   Transferring a feeling, if I'm even aware of it, into words or something descriptive, is a challenge.  Figuring out specifically where I feel or what I feel, aside from something hugely obvious, I usually can't do.

Pulling the shade to find a foggy morning last October, I headed to the beach.  Fog creates awesome atmosphere shots.  I remember an urgency to pull over and shoot here....I didn't make it to the beach.  The contrast of bright leaves against the dreary gray-that was the impetus.  I don't know where I felt that, maybe in my foot as it stomped on the brakes and my finger as I flipped on the flashing warning lights.

I do that a lot.  A lot.  I bet I wear out brake pads faster than most.

Song of the Season 171/365
Song of the Season 171/365

Skateboard Shadows BW 80/365
Skateboard Shadows BW 80/365

It happens when I'm walking too.  These boys were coming toward me.  I turned around, made a quick adjustment to my metering, faced them again for timing, and turned around and snapped as they passed.  One and done again.  I'm happy with the result.

Is it instinct, intuition, dumb luck, a gift from God?  Is there something in my head telling me "this is it"?  While in Cuba I had very few chances to think about composing images-or to take my time exploring multiple angles.  It was turn, "yes", snap, and hope for the best.  I was amazed how many images were successful for me.




Something I began doing about a year and a half ago I think is helpful.  When I am driving, looking out a window, or somewhere without my camera and I see one of those instantaneous photo ops, I say "snap", or "click" out loud.  I am recognizing something that I believe would make a good photo, and by saying "snap," I'm consciously acknowledging it.  People sometimes practice the piano by playing a soundless song on a desk or table-moving fingers across imaginary keys.  Mentally rehearsing the song-thinking it-I believe this is similar to what I'm doing with my invisible shutter.

Corner of York and Brown
Corner of York and Brown

I like those spontaneous fast moving flashes of "take it" that pop into my brain.

Light Just Right 22/365
Light Just Right 22/365

But having intuition at a slow and thoughtful pace is a gift and treasure too.  The eye catches it-and brain knows. It is nice to have a few moments to think and move around after that message.  Funny thing.  Often times, the first image I take is the best of the bunch.  Guess trusting those intuitive instinctive hunches serves me well.

Looking forward to further realizing what my intuition is telling me.  Great topic to explore.


Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

I vote for foggy morning for colors and contrast, skateboard for shadows. Awesome job!

Leanne Barnett said...

These images are great, love your intuition. I also find that my first photo is the best.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Your intuition is spot on. The foggy morning one is excellent, but then they all are :)

Carol Blackburn said...

I have but 3 words for you, "you go girl!"

seabluelee said...

Wow, wow, wow! I love your intuition. Your quick-snap judgements. Your quick-snap photographs. Maybe there's a bit of luck, of being in the right place at the right time (with the right light!) but you are the one who recognizes that, who stops and takes advantage of it.
I love that skateboarder shot! And the boys playing ball in the street. And those gorgeous transparent flowers. Keep doing what you're doing. It works.

Cathy H. said...

You sound like you're definitely in tune with your intuition! These are all fantastic! Beautiful moments of life that you've made stand still! I think I'll go out and try your "snap" technique!

TheChieftess said...

Love that first shot!!! And love the vintage processing!!! All are very good...

Brenda said...

I am such a huge fan of your Cuba collection - your ability to capture moments - moments that define the people and the culture - was quite amazing. I really am in awe. And I do like your mental "snap/click" technique - I recognize shots as well but I think actually saying "snap" adds a mental click that recognizes that you are in photographer mode. Love your intuition images - your brake-and-stop gut feelings - I'm glad you listened.

Kathryn said...

I like where your intuition takes you, I rely on intuition too.

gina said...

I find the "turn and snap" photos are really hard to do well, so you definitely have a talent there. I love your skateboarders and the Cuban boys -- great action shots! Your comment about mentally taking photos made me smile, because I do it too. Great post on this topic, Susan!

Deborah Tisch said...

Listening to your intuition, practicing that "snap"...all of it is working very, very well for you! Your examples here really tell me that you know how to listen to It and act. Beautiful foggy morn image...

Laloofah said...

Fun to see more of your Cuba photos! That first one is a real winner. I think instinct and powers of observation are really key to getting wonderful photos, and you have both - along with all your impressive (and growing) technical know-how and skills.

I also really enjoyed the taxi and kids playing soccer, and that "Light Just Right" is stunning!