I tend to think photography has 2 forms: an active form when you’re looking for and pre-visualizing photos, and a passive form, when you’re not looking for anything but finding them anyway.
Active photography is a hunt, a mission. It’s a form that can be turned on and off by an act of will.
Passive photography is the part photographers can’t turn off. It’s a willingness to find or, perhaps, be found by new and beautiful things. This form sometimes finds us without our cameras because this form didn’t begin with intent.
This image is a result of passive photography. I caught a glimpse of this scene in my peripheral view as I was walking toward Main Street and it stopped me. I love the torches of Adventureland at twilight. Fortunately, I had my camera. I think it was my second amazing sunset at Disneyland without a camera that taught me to bring it along, regardless.
Photographers really just can’t help themselves. It’s why we tend to be late. It’s why we can tell you we’ll go somewhere just to have “fun” but end up taking pictures the whole time. It’s why we forget to eat or sleep sometimes, at least until the light isn’t good… or our batteries die.