This is the third of a series of three article dedicated to the processes acting in our brain while we are taking a photo. In the first article, you can find some photos taken mainly by instinct, and in the second one, some examples of photos taken using the rational side of our brain. In this last article, let me present some images taken using the intuitive side of the brain together with the rational side.
In this article, I’m going to show to you some photos that I have taken using both the rational and the intuitive power of my brain. The right side is the creative and instinctive part of our brain, while the left side is dedicated to logical and rational processes. As for my previous two articles, the main reference book to explore this topic in more detail is “Right Brain, Left Brain Photography” by Kathryn Marx. Let’s go with some examples!
1. At first glance, the photo below of four ducks that seem to practice synchronized swimming looks like an photo taken in an instinctive way. However, it was prepared with some care. Walking along the lake, I saw some children that were throwing pieces of bread into the water for the swans and ducks. I chose the right lens, and I carefully measured the exposure, and then I waited patiently. The instinct took place later, in the “decisive moment”, when all four ducks had their heads under water. In that instant I pressed the shutter button.
2. Even in the case of this cute little dog, the idea to take a photo came in my mind instinctively, by empathy with the subject. The rational part of my brain has added an idea: Maybe this dog is thinking: “It’s raining… but this is a strange rain!” Furthermore, the choice of a narrow depth of field to blur a bad background was a rational choice.
3. As you know from my previous articles, I was always instinctively attracted by the smiles, including the smile on this parachute. At the same time, I waited until it has passed between the two umbrellas (a choice of composition thought by the rationality of the left hemisphere).
4. Beach Party at Lomography Gallery Store Milan. The “decisive moment” was caught instinctively, but the choice of the aperture according to the flash guide number (I used an old Russian LC-A which has the option to select manually the lens opening), and also the colour of Colorsplash were chosen rationally.
5. As a great admirer of the photos of Lee Friedlander, who uses light poles, obstacles and trees to divide his compositions in several parts, I rationally decided to sit down in front of this umbrella with my camera. But the instant of shoot was dictated mainly by instinct and creativity. In fact I saw on the left side some young and slender peoples, while on the right side there were more older and more fatter people. Two phases of life in the same photo!
6. I was rationally framing Villa Olmo in Como from below, when suddenly this dog has passed, pulling a retractable lead. Suddenly, my instinct suggested to me the right time to press the shutter button.
7. Here there is an instinctive association of ideas between the fish and the fisheye lens. This idea was combined with the rational choice to ask to the fisherman to don’t move the fishing rod for a moment in order to have enough time to create a balanced composition.
8. When I saw these pretty feet lifted up in the air and kissed by the sun (a wonderful symbol of freedom) and attracted by the smile of the girl (which can be seen partially under her leg), I have not taken the photo immediately, but I made a diagonal composition with the other girl’s face, to illustrate more clearly that this yoga public event took place in company of other people. Furthermore, I placed the girl’s legs on the other diagonal.
9. The movements of the Capoeira are fast and you need to photograph them instinctively. However, I was careful to ensure that their bodies do not intersect.
10. I had under my eyes this girl in jeans and bare feet! That is, a way of dressing that is 100% “casual”! Now, my instinct told me, “Wow… shoot!” This because I love to dress “casual”— simple, with no frills, and a “soap and water” way of life! But at the same time I have included into the the picture the child who runs into the water for her first swim of the year! Rationally, I wanted to represent both the prudence of the adult and the little girl (the water was still chilly, and the girl took care to not wet her jeans, while the child ran happily towards the sea without worries!).
11. Attracted again instinctively by the smile, as well as by the beauty and talent of this artist, I have chosen deliberately and rationally a right focal length (135mm) and a small aperture to focus both the artist and the expressions of the public. Instinctively, I waited for some smiling faces to get inside the circles.
So, are you an instinctive or rational photographer? Share your thoughts and insights with a comment below!