It fascinates me that this theory is still relevant today, many years after Bresson made his discoveries with his camera whist the medium of 35mm cameras was still fresh. As well as being a classic rule of thumb for street photographers like Bresson, we can also translate this way of seeing to many other genres today...wedding photography, family in home photo journalistic sessions and even the photographs we take on family holidays. Here I will talk about a few decisive moments I caught, or nearly caught in some cases, although what constitutes such a moment is still fairly subjective according to the viewer so I am always interested to hear your thoughts too.
I used to call some types of moment I like to photograph 'in between moments'. Further scrutiny makes me realize that these type of images were all taken at moments that were not particularly significant in any way other than the picture had come together. They are often moments directly before or after what everyone else present at the scene thinks of as the defining moment... as photographers we must be ready to click the shutter when everything comes together for us to say what we are trying to say. Perhaps our subjects are caught for a moment unguarded; it might be a moment of contemplation, humor, chaos, pensive thought or sheer joy that you want to capture. The fundamental aspect that is integral to a decisive moment is that all the elements have come together within the camera frame, presenting the photographer with an opportunity to make a picture that works as a two dimensional image. It is partly down to luck, and partly down to keen observation- a one chance only gift from the universe offered up to the photographer who seeks to find it. In the first of three parts, I will talk about some of my own decisive moment images.
Photo journalism at home with families