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Ryan (2019) - Abstract

The aim of this research is to contribute to our theoretical and experiential understanding of the exercise of multi-variate, short time-slice photographic judgement.   This research is grounded in both the ontology and the psychology of nonconscious (intuitive) cognition and its orthogonal interaction with conscious thought at the moment of capture or assessment of a photographic image.  My principal mode of empirical investigation uses a cross-sectional, correlational design employing a testing instrument, the Intuitive Mastery Photography Test (the IMP Test) originally developed to support Ryan (2017).   The tests were conducted upon a mixed sample of 106 amateur and professional photographers, twenty of whom also participated in an unstructured intraspective interview.  The testing and interviews establish: (i) that ten constructs satisfactorily enclose the concept of expertise for this sample of photographers in this domain, (ii) that partitioning on the basis of inter alia gender, photographic qualification and genre produce significant differences in the engagement and conjugation of the ten constructs in the intuitive moment of capture or assessment and (iii) that ‘style’ or ‘voice’ can be explained as an emergent property derived from the complexities of the exercise of expert, intuitive, photographic judgement.  I conclude that, notwithstanding the sample size, there are grounds for strong confidence that the testing is of high external validity as a tool for individual analysis and modest confidence that it is also valid for the partitioned sub-groups.

Ryan, R.J., (2019)  Intuition, expertise and judgement in the capture and assessment of photographic images.  PhD Thesis, University of Gloucestershire, UK

On the basis of this research I was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in November 2020