Sea Blue Lens

That Sixth Sense


I’m still busy Finding My Eye over here. Next lesson: recognizing intuition. I’m finding this a hard assignment, which is odd, since I think of myself as an intuitive photographer. I seldom go out to take photographs with a goal in mind, but just meander along until something “speaks” to me and I think, “Yes! Try to catch that!”

But is that really intuition? When I take my eyes from the glorious color of the autumn foliage and look down at my feet at exactly the right moment to notice this:

leaf loopLeaf Loop

. . . is that intuition or just a lucky chance? I still remember my excitement when I spotted it. Perhaps it was my intuition that told me it was a good subject for me. Perhaps a different photographer’s intuition would have told him to just keep walking.

I sometimes wonder whether what appears to be a “sixth sense” is simply the result of paying attention to information received, perhaps subliminally, by the usual five senses. A bit of barely-glimpsed motion or color that causes me to look in a certain direction, or a whisper of sound or scent that makes me turn around. But perhaps it’s intuition that tells me to pay attention to that hint of sensory stimulation.

When something tells me a subject would probably make a good photograph, is it intuition or just experience? In fact, Psychology Today’s website has this to say about intuition:

We think of intuition as a magical phenomenon—but hunches are formed out of our past experiences and knowledge.

My past experiences and knowledge tell me to continue seeking out places where the subjects that tug at my heart are likely to be found. My intuition nudges me to keep walking, just a little farther, just around one more bend, and look right over there. . . .

IMG_4797So glad I came this way!

11 thoughts on “That Sixth Sense

  1. Beautifully written and I love these images! I have to agree that this exercise is a bit of a challenge for me, too.

  2. What a cutie! Is that the bird version of Zorro? 🙂

  3. Awesome Lee! Great exploration of the topic. I think of intuition as just that – a shortcut to a decision/reaction based on information without the distraction of thinking to get in the way. All our past experience comes in together with our current desires and leads us. The issue is that we don’t always hear our intuition – we can easily override the little signals that come to us. As you notice the things around you to photograph, you are following your intuition!

  4. Lee – I like your thoughts on intuition – that we put ourselves in places and situations which past experiences tell us will yield subjects that speak to us. I do think it is something individual in all of us – that causes us to “see” something that others would pass right by. I love your intuitive image examples – simply beautiful. That leaf curl is stunning.

  5. It might be by chance, but you still have to SEE it, and you surely did, and it’s beautiful!

  6. Love your thoughts on intuition! You’ve captured some beautiful images because you followed that little gut feeling of looking down or going a little further! That little leaf curl is simply gorgeous! I would have been as thrilled as you to see it!

  7. I find myself wondering similar things, and this is a thought-provoking post. the leaf curl is a superb photo, and notice – I agree with Lisa – you saw it. Not everyone would see that but you did and it’s marvelous that you shared. happy week to you Lee.

  8. Excellent reflection. I do think intuition is a combination of experience, practice (which trains your eye) and a bit of good luck. The trick is making the most of what stirs your heart 🙂

  9. I’m afraid I may have stepped right on that leaf on my way to a rusty nail or graffiti wall. It was with you I figured out I needed that contrast of nature and man-made to call me. You seem to find that contrast in nature-the curled stem against the flatness of the leaf. Yah. I definitely would have squashed that one.
    Great snag on the yellow, high in banana (no not banana) fir tree. Maybe I’m wishing I was near a banana tree. I think you have nailed it on your intuitive nature. Love that info too. I suppose it would be nice to think of intuition as some sort of magical gift, but mainly it’s all about us. And that’s kind of magical too.

  10. Lovely essay on intuition, Lee! I think you are so right — our experience guides us in looking for that special connection. I don’t think I would have noticed the leaf loop either….isn’t it great that we all see a bit differently and so can learn from each other.

  11. Oh, I’m so glad you came this way! Those two images are perfect. And, I love what you wrote about intuition – experience gets us part way there…intuition brings it home.

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