Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Developing Your Photographic 6th Sense

We humans all have something we call a 6th Sense. Actually, what we have in terms of a 6th Sense are other senses (or abilities) all bunched together in something collectively called a 6th Sense. This 6th sense is not a specific sense like the other five, you know, sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Instead, the term 6th Sense can refer to many different things; different additional senses as it were. Some people think of our 6th sense as being comprised of instincts and intuition. Others think of it as ESP, clairvoyance, and more of that ilk.

As photographers, we often use something akin to a 6th Sense, at least partially, to tell us when to snap the shutter. We also call on another sense, sight, to tell us when the shutter should be snapped. But seeing the right moment to snap a photo isn't always enough, especially when shooting models or other people subjects. With people photography, we often call on our 6th Sense to help us decide when those "decisive moments" are either about to take place or are taking place.

Since shutter clicks are often measured in such small fractions of a second, and the windows of opportunity to snap a photo at those "decisive moments" are generally fleeting, there's not a lot of thinking time between the moment your eyes tell you to snap a photo and your brain instructs your finger to depress the shutter. That's why I believe some sort of 6th Sense is sometimes involved. This photographic 6th Sense gives photographers a barely conscious heads-up to when those decisive moments are about to occur, reducing the number of missed opportunities to capture the best moments. I should mention I'm not trying to sell you on some mystical mumbo-jumbo to enhance your photography. The photographic 6th Sense I'm referring to has nothing to do with supernatural abilities like ESP or clairvoyance. It's all about instincts and intuition, which are things that can be enhanced and learned. In other words, we learn, subconsciously, to instinctively and/or intuitively know when to snap the image.

How do you learn how to develop or enhance your photographic 6th Sense? Through practice and repetition. The more you practice photography, especially people photography, the more your photographic 6th Sense becomes an integral part of your work. Practice helps to sharpen and finely hone your photographic 6th Sense.  The more you shoot models or other people, the more your instincts and intuitive abilities will direct you to know precisely when to click the shutter in order to greatly increase your changes of capturing those magic moments. The obvious results? Better photos which resonate in more powerful ways with viewers.

The pretty girl at the top is Alexa.(Click to enlarge.)

1 comment:

Rick said...

Also use your sixth sense to gauge your models mood. These walking mannequins can change their mood in a split second.