I'd consider myself "Holistic". It is possible to separte the "Technical" photographer from the "Trance" ... possible, but why?Originally Posted by Aggie
I view photography as I would any other ... I don't think "skill" is the right word ... "Conditioned-reflex supported, Mystically Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts" activity. That could apply to Flycasting, Target Shooting, Bowling, Origami, Gymnastics, Oil Painting, Music, Acting...
One starts by learing "basics"... the elements that are the foundation of the activity... whether it may be how tightly to grip the Fly Rod, or where the shutter release is located ... or how to select a new paint brush from the display stand in the Arts Supply Store. There is a LOT of learning, at various levels of educational efficiency, and that phase is *never* completed, only continued and advanced.
As we apply and repeat those "learned" elements we *will* internalize them ... they will become "conditioned reflexes" - we do them automatically, without conscious thought. In gymnastics it is often alled "muscle memory" ... the performing muscles seem to have a life of their own - a memory of what to do properly - of their own.
That can be *very* complex. A friend of mine was an active Captain for the Massachsetts Steamship Authority ... the operating organization for the Ferry Service between Woods Hole, Hyannis, and Martha's Vineyard - Nantucket. The most amazing part of that ferry trip came in docking. There are two massive "eyes" - they look like large metal lollipops with holes through their centers, both fore and aft on the Ferry. These fit in corresponding "sockets" at the dock.
Using whatever maneuvering devices are avalable - bow thrusters and the like - the Captain will place the eyes on that massive ship - 202 feet (55 meters?) long (50 or 60 vehicles, a couple of hundred passengers) into the dock sockets within a centimeter or two, so that attendants can *drop* anchoring rods into place. That requies "fantastic* accuracy.
I asked my friend, "How on earth do you do that?". His answer, "If I had to *think* about it, I wouldn't be able to do it."
It has been said that we are competent in what we do when we no longer have to think about doing it ... and we know we have mastered it when we no longer can remember how we learned to do it in the first place.
So... I do a lot of my photographic activity without conscious thought - there isn't TIME to think - a LOT of it; but not ALL of it... there is always something new to consider.
If "without conscious thought" translates to "Trance"... yes, I do that ... but I'm not a Zombie... I think about it, too, sometimes ... especially if I'm trying something new.