As long as I can remember I've looked at the effect of light falling on objects, landscape, in fact anything. Seeing my first Rhembrandt original painting had a startling effect on me in that I wanted to create light as he does. My abilities with a pencil and paint brushes at school were dreadful so I turned to a camera to capture the light and mananged to produce some pretty awful negatives. The next step was to learn technique to enable me to put the light I saw on to the paper, so I set about teaching myself.
I'm driven by the vision but cannot describe it as a trance like state, I think Michael's description of "heightened attention" sums it up although I do consider technique. As I'm working to set up the photograph and use the light I'm also thinking of the best techniques to help me express the feelings of the moment. We all work in a very personal way to achieve the result we are after.