Tag Archives: Photography Quotes

“In•tu•i•tion guides the photographer’s inner light” ~Cheryl Machat Dorskind

Cheryl Machat Dorskind Self PortraitIn•tu•i•tion

by Cheryl Machat Dorskind

© 2012 All Rights Reserved

In•tu•i•tion — The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning (Webster’s Dictionary). Intuition guides the photographer: Where to look, How to frame, What to see is the photographer’s internal, intuitive dialogue.

I am re-reading Britt Salvesen’s wonderful book, Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work and thinking about intuition, a conversation I began last week in  my blog series, “Friday Quote.”

Harry Callahan was self taught and known as the “regular guy.” He was also a devoted and beloved teacher. His work ethic was pronounced and laced with intuition. Britt Salvesen sums up three prerequisites for intuition: openness, freedom, and curiosity which are maintained with effort, discipline, and patience. Callahan’s intuitive love for his wife Eleanor and daughter Barbara are reflected in the renown photographic series he created of them.

Self Portrait with Nicole: Tripod, self-timer, Tri-x film, Silver Gelatin (darkroom) print, Ilford Matte fiber paper enhanced with washes of oil paint

Intuitively,  I knew this was going to be a great moment with my daughter Nicole.

Happy Mother’s Day,


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Friday Quote: Intuition – A Sixth Sense


by Cheryl Machat Dorskind

Intuition: Some call it a “sixth sense,” an “urge” a “feeling”, “knowing,” “pulling,” “drawing” us to pay attention, to create.

iphone series Roger's Beach

© 2012 Cheryl Machat Dorskind iPhone sketch: I was at the beach the other day. Walking, talking, all the while snapping sketches of views I will come back to.

Harry Callahan, one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century, was also a devoted photo instructor, chairing the photography department at Rhode Island School of Design from 1961-1973 (and continued teaching until retiring in 1977). I wish I had known him.

Harry Callahan spoke often of intuition in relation to his work. “Once we recognize a potential photograph, we begin to “see” in our mind the image that will convey the visual-emotional experience of the subject to the maximum degree—that is we visualize an image.  Our visualization starts with the subject but takes into account the characteristic of the medium itself and of the specific equipment and materials we are using.”

“I know that, for instance, if I want to photograph on the beach or something, then I’ll walk around the beach and all of a sudden I see something. And then that’s the beginning to start working on something, and then maybe I’ll photograph that and walk down farther and find something very similar, and then keep working on that sort of a little theme, whatever it might be. And then the next time I go to the beach I might say, “well I want to go back and do that.”

~Harry Callahan
The Photographer at Work

Happy Friday,

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