by Susan Burnstine
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Instinct is a homemade camera project by photographer Susan Burnstine. Susan says of the project:
I have always felt a close kinship to animals in my waking life and in dreams. As a child, I was fascinated by the Native American belief that upon birth an animal's spirit enters into that person in order to keep each person strong and wise as well as to excel in matters of attributes given to that animal. I'm not sure I grasped the concept entirely at that young age, but I’m certain the belief took root deep in my unconscious, as animals have had a profound impact in my dreams and in my life.
With this series I wanted to find a way to portray these types of dream-like visions, but entirely in-camera, rather than with post-processing manipulations. To achieve this, I created twenty hand-made cameras and lenses that are frequently unpredictable. Learning to overcome their extensive limitations has required me to rely on instinct and intuition—the same tools key for attempting to interpret dreams.