I'm with you.. right up to the "devoid of thought" part. (even though some might argue that describes me at any given moment)
When I press the shutter, my mind inhabits the scene I have composed, exploring and asking questions. While that may sound like a lot of hooey, it simply means that I try to be aware of what my negative and print will show, what it will conceal, what it will suggest, etc. When I take a photograph without this awareness, it invariably shows in the resulting print, whether the shutter was well pressed or not.