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The Decisive Moment

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cameraman
cameraman  11227 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
28 Feb 2012 - 10:02 PM

Most photographers have heard the phrase ’the decisive moment, forever linked to Henri Cartier-Bresson. We probably have our own idea as to what the ‘decisive moment’ means. The best definition I know is the moment HCB points to a frame on his contact sheet and says ”PRINT THAT ONE”. Has anyone else a favourite definition?

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LesJD
LesJD  2146 forum posts Wales
28 Feb 2012 - 10:31 PM

Not sure if I have a favorite definition of the decisive moment but when I get my pics on the pooter I seem to find plenty that confirms that I've captured the derisive moment .

Camairish
Camairish  81276 forum posts Scotland
28 Feb 2012 - 10:47 PM

Usually the moment immediately before I get round to pressing the shutter button.

Last Modified By Camairish at 28 Feb 2012 - 10:48 PM
Big Bri
Big Bri  1315590 forum posts United Kingdom
28 Feb 2012 - 11:07 PM

The point where I point at a bottle and say to the barman "That one"

JackAllTog
JackAllTog e2 Member 53629 forum postsJackAllTog vcard United Kingdom58 Constructive Critique Points
29 Feb 2012 - 9:43 AM

‘decisive moment’ - a moving subject that gets to the 'right' position/angle etc.

cameracat
cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
29 Feb 2012 - 10:22 AM

10 below zero and its 4am on a Sunday morning, Do I get up and freeze my butt on a coastal sunrise photo mission....?

1000th of a nanosecond later the decisive moment is gone, Long gone and drowned out by the sound of snoring coming from under a very warm " Duvet " ...!!!

Simples....Wink

lemmy
lemmy  71882 forum posts United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 - 11:03 AM

I think Cartier-Bresson meant that whenever you were taking a picture, there would be one moment that would sum up all the elements, when the composition would come together and the picture would seem to light up in the viewfinder - that was the decisive moment.

User_Removed
29 Feb 2012 - 11:34 AM


Quote: when I get my pics on the pooter I seem to find plenty that confirms that I've captured the derisive moment .

The derisive moment. Like that!

User_Removed
29 Feb 2012 - 11:36 AM


Quote: Usually the moment immediately before I get round to pressing the shutter button.

..or, in my case, more often the moment immediately afterwards!

joolsb
joolsb  927115 forum posts Switzerland38 Constructive Critique Points
29 Feb 2012 - 12:14 PM

I don't know about decisive moments but I've had plenty of indecisive ones.....

Or at least I think I have.... Wink

keith selmes
1 Mar 2012 - 1:19 PM

what Lemmy said - expresses the vague idea swilling around in my noggin

f8
f8  119169 forum posts England22 Constructive Critique Points
1 Mar 2012 - 7:31 PM

When the doctor says to you about a pending operation.....you have a 50/50 chance.

ade_mcfade
ade_mcfade e2 Member 1014816 forum postsade_mcfade vcard England216 Constructive Critique Points
1 Mar 2012 - 8:39 PM

isn't the decisive moment when you press "process" on your Nik Colour EFEX 4 recipe?

lemmy
lemmy  71882 forum posts United Kingdom
2 Mar 2012 - 9:37 PM

I'm sort of surprised that an explanation of his modus operandi by one of the greatest photgraphers ever isn't taken more seriously.

Maybe it's because he just used one Leica with a 50mm lens and that like, boring, dude? Wink

cameraman
cameraman  11227 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
2 Mar 2012 - 10:06 PM

I am sure that HCB took more than one shot of his subjects, printed a contact sheet and then chose from there the frame that showed 'the decisive moment'. I cannot believe that he only ever took one frame of his subjects, waiting for the one and only moment to do so. This takes nothing away from his skill in capturing a great scene.


Quote: Maybe it's because he just used one Leica with a 50mm lens and that like, boring, dude? Wink

This, of course, has nothing to do with anything said so far.

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