I think one of the reasons we go out to shoot is the feeling we get when we're totally tuned into our subject matter. Experiencing it with more than just our eyes, we tap into things on a different level than what we perceive day-to-day with our normal level of consciousness. That sense of looking, watching, waiting, feeling, and knowing the right time to push down the shutter button- I think that experience is one of the bigger rewards of what we do. For me, it's like meditation with a lens.
One of the better descriptions of tapping into the 'photographic now' that I've read was in last week's Guest Blog Wednesdays on Scott Kelby's Photoshop Insider, this time written by Laurie Excell, DLWS Instructor and NAPP's Gear Desk authority:
"Adrenalin courses through my veins as the image in my mind comes into sharp focus. I depress the shutter and begin clicking continuously as each wave crashes against the rocks, the spray is ghostlike in the tumultuous storm. The wind and rain pummels me, nearly knocking me to the ground with its sheer force. I feel more alive than at any other time, knowing that I am capturing the power of the storm, imprinting an image forever on my memory."
Take the time to read her entire post because she touches on another idea that I think is very important- the ability to think about how you're going to get from what you see in your viewfinder to the 'finished' image, even before you take the picture. And by finished, I mean the image that represents what you felt like you saw and experienced at the time you took the shot. While I stand by the idea of getting as much of it right in the camera as possible, your tools in the digital darkroom can really help you reach your final vision. I think this is where it can be really rewarding to bring your mind's eye and the camera lens together, to help share with the world your experience, of what moved you to take the picture in the first place.
You can read her entire post here.