Instinctive Shooting

This is probably the toughest thing I've had to do in photography: to let go of my analytical, linear brain and to learn to shoot on instinct alone.

I had to learn to trust my subconscious to see things and time the shutter release. It's interesting how many times my images contained elements that made the shot, that later I do not recall having seen at the time. It happens too frequently to be mere happenstance. My subconscious is aware of more than my visual brain can manage at one time.

When out on the street I do my best to drain the brain and just look, anticipate, focus on the subject and let instinct guide the shutter release. Here's an image where I didn't follow my own advice. I saw this woman approaching along a boardwalk, head down, looking at her phone. Initially I wanted to get her picture, then I started thinking, "I have enough images of people with phones. This will get boring, blah, blah, blah". No sooner were these thoughts through my brain when I noticed her phone was perfectly reflected in her glasses. By the time that realization was transferred to my shutter release finger, the moment was gone.

So now I don't second guess myself. I just shoot, for I can always delete later.

Woman reading her phone and sunglasses