Trusting In Your Intuition

This is another article of our The Story Behind series, where we go through one of our photos and uncover its story. 



There are a few known traits of a good photographer, to be more specific, of one that does not control his environment like, such as in landscape or street photography. Traits like perseverance and a good understanding of the surrounding elements. A good photographer always knows there’s rarely an easy way for a great photo, perseverance is necessary to keep returning to the same location or subject, to keep waiting for that unique opportunity. He must also know the rhythm of its surroundings, whether it’s a valley in Yosemite or a street market in India, in order to understand and anticipate the situations that might occur. All these are rational and and have a kind of scientific background, but there’s another trait that’s highly subjective, hard to explain and far more difficult to categorize: intuition, for when there’s just a feeling that something’s about to happen. Usually the combination of these traits is what some might call luck, but in fact it takes a great amount of work to be at the right place at the right time.

One occasion where these three traits to work together seamlessly was last year, during a photo trip me and Ruben did to the English national parks of Exmoor and Dartmoor. We were mostly doing nature and landscape photography and in one of those days the weather wasn’t being very helpful, something that never happens at the British Isles. The overcast sky became darker and darker throughout the afternoon and eventually we decided to call it a day. But instead of returning to the hotel and check our emails we decided to stay in the area a bit longer (intuition in action), doing what me and Ruben do so often in these trips: end the day with a drink, a moment to enjoy our victories or our failures of the day. We ended up staying there for some time, when we left and were heading for our car we noticed a very slight opening in the sky roughly where the Sun would set, it was a very long shot (intuition in action again) but we though we might have something there. Might…

There wasn’t much time left, so we drove to a place nearby where we had been earlier that day, a cliff close to Foreland Point. Suddenly, as we were walking to find the best spot, the clouds moved a away and for a few minutes a soft golden light appeared closed to the horizon. I already had a picture on my mind, but I still was looking around, paying attention to my surroundings and noticed this valley on my left, the scenery was perfect: the sheep, the farm, the colors, all you imagine the English countryside is. It was my favorite photo of the day, a day where we almost went back to the hotel. I ended up taking that photo by the cliffs I was imagining, but some photos look great in our head but don’t live up to the expectations when we click the button.


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João Almeida

I'm a traveler based in Portugal interested in all kinds of photography but more often found doing landscape and street photography.

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