Do you ever feel your subconscious mind drives some of your image captures? Do you sometimes take an image not really quite sure why you are taking it but driven by …intuition?

Take today’s image. Two weeks ago on probably the only day this month that might be called ‘typical’ of March – dry, fleeting glimpses of sun, and with the temperature nudging double figures in Celsius – we went to our local National Trust gardens for a walk. Along with a good café, there is a craft shop selling a range of NT branded item and ‘arts and crafts’ goods. Parked in the corridor outside the shop was some shelving on which sat a variety of items to tempt one inside. Amongst them were a couple of oversized balls (5inches of so in diameter) of what at first glance looked like woven wool. Wrong! On closer inspection they were far too heavy for wool. My wife got there before me: ‘It’s a Door Stop’, she said. That explained the loop extending from the ball: a ‘handle’ to grab it by.


Something inside me said ‘Take it’. I readjusted its position, turning it round to hide the price tag, clearing a space on the shelf so that it was isolated. And I ‘Took’ it. It just looked ‘interesting’ in a vague sort of way.

Back home I loaded the day’s images and started processing. Always a voyage of discovery and experimentation, and as is so often the case I worked with no pre-decided end point in mind. And slowly the image evolved. And the further I developed the processing, the more I liked what I saw. And finally I realized why I had taken that image.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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21 Responses to Intuition

  1. rigmover says:

    I think it’s called a ‘Monkey’s Fist’ used on the end of a rope to throw from boat to jetty of other way, cool shot.

  2. Len says:

    Love the details that you have captured where the threads can really be seen Andy. Intuition and feeling are something I trust in although, like you, I am not sure why.

  3. athyfoto says:

    Well I think a doorstop would be a good, stylish use for one of these. I saw a program once, back in the mists of time, where a chap was making these things and they were being sold and used on canal barges, usually over the pointy bit at the front. How’s that for top notch nautical terminology 🙂

    As a member of an island race I really should know what the pointy bit and the blunt bit are called.

    Anyway it looks a really interesting subject for making an image of. As for your first question I too find myself just drawn to something without knowing what I’m going to do with it. Other times I spend so much time looking at a scene and manage to talk myself out of shooting it. I think I usually feel I’ve had a better day shooting when I have gone by instinct. There is always one, or if I’m lucky two surprises during post production.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks – I had a good laugh at that! The pointy end is I believe the ‘Bows’ or the ‘Prow’. That is the sum total of my nautical terminology! One of the big advantages of the digital era is that every time you take a picture you don’t hear the cash register clock up another 20-50p spent. I find I work on impulse best – shoot first, then think, and maybe take a few more depending on what a considered ‘think’ makes of the scene in front of me. Often that first impression is the key shot – It’s what attracted me initially.

  4. I like it too Andy. Love the simplicity of it and the wonderful details.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Edith. Yes, this is in essence such a simple image, but it is the one I most like from that afternoon’s trip. If my wife hadn’t stopped to go in the shop for the umpteenth time I would most likely have walked straight past it. She has her uses!

  5. Love the contrasting lines here, and nearly-monochromatic quality. Great shot, Andy.

  6. Great photo, I really like it.

  7. This is a good reminder for all of us to trust our “better shoot that!” feelings.

  8. Very nice shot, Andy. The detail is spot on.
    I often take photos on instinct so I know exactly what you mean. 🙂 Well done, man.

  9. oneowner says:

    You have good instincts in photography. We shoot based purely on a visual level and it doesn’t matter what the subject is. Even if we don’t know what the subject is. It’s actually a beautiful piece of handiwork, no matter what its intended use.

  10. Like some of the others who have commented, I also usually shoot by instinct – I just wish that my instinct was as finely honed as yours Andy 😉

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks Paul. My photography has changed a lot in the last four years, largely because I very rarely leave the house without a camera. I suspect you and I have very much the same eye for images in the great outdoors. Purely as a result of seldom being without a camera I believe that I now have a sharper awareness of my surroundings in places where previously I would never have looked deliberately for images. I think instinctive photography or having a ‘seeing eye’ is something we can all cultivate but it requires practice. We keep on learning: that’s what makes photography such an absorbing interest.

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