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The Decisive Moment


cameraman 11 227 1 England
28 Feb 2012 10:02PM
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 2 152 Wales
28 Feb 2012 10:31PM
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 9 1.3k Scotland
28 Feb 2012 10:47PM
Usually the moment immediately before I get round to pressing the shutter button.
Big Bri 13 15.7k United Kingdom
28 Feb 2012 11:07PM
The point where I point at a bottle and say to the barman "That one"
JackAllTog e2
5 4.0k 58 United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 9:43AM
‘decisive moment’ - a moving subject that gets to the 'right' position/angle etc.
cameracat 11 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
29 Feb 2012 10:22AM
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 7 2.0k United Kingdom
29 Feb 2012 11:03AM
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 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
29 Feb 2012 11:34AM

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 5 4.6k 1 Scotland
29 Feb 2012 11:36AM

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 10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
29 Feb 2012 12:14PM
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 11 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2012 1:19PM
what Lemmy said - expresses the vague idea swilling around in my noggin
f8 11 9.2k 22 England
1 Mar 2012 7:31PM
When the doctor says to you about a pending operation.....you have a 50/50 chance.
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
1 Mar 2012 8:39PM
isn't the decisive moment when you press "process" on your Nik Colour EFEX 4 recipe?
lemmy 7 2.0k United Kingdom
2 Mar 2012 9:37PM
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 11 227 1 England
2 Mar 2012 10:06PM
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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