Decisive moment -- image thread

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Jock Elliott, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I've poked around a little bit, and I can find no image thread dedicated to "the decisive moment." It's a phrase coined, I believe, by Henri Cartier-Bresson (HCB), and often refers to street or documentary photography, but it could occur in any photographic genre. It's a flickering, ephemeral moment when all the elements align just so, and an instant later, it's gone. Two of HCB's shots that crystallize the decisive moment are the person jumping over the puddle and the bicyclist zipping by the staircase.

    And it doesn't have to be a photograph of a person. It could be any fluid, changing situation. Of course, one could argue that any time you freeze a moment in a dynamic scene with a still photograph, you have created a decisive moment.

    Nevertheless I'm willing to bet that the folks who participate here at know a decisive moment when they see one, and further that everyone here has captured his or her own decisive moments.

    I'll start the ball rolling with my own decisive moment, captured just a few days a go. I get up early and see the sun rise most mornings. On this particular morning, there was a spectacular cloud formation to the south, and I stepped outside with my FZ200 to capture it. I took a few shots and was about to go in when a handful of Canada geese went tearing by overhead. The second shot I took of them captured my Canadian friends just as they were silhouetted against a patch of clear sky. It was pure luck and, in my view, a decisive moment.


    So what's your decisive moment, and what's the story behind it?

    Cheers, Jock

    Note to administrators: I couldn't figure out where to post this; feel free to move it wherever is appropriate.
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  2. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    Never noticed the geese, but it did strike me almost instantly that the cloud formation looks like a man running away while looking over his shoulder.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    I didn't notice that before, but now that you have pointed it out, I see it!

    Cheers, Jock
  4. Yeats

    Yeats All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Orpheus... :frown:
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  5. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    I saw the geese straight away, however the human figure defeated me for some time, then I began to see something, but I see more of an animal snout and a paw for the right "hand", or is my imagination running away with me :redface:?

    • Like Like x 1
  6. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Probably not really a decisive moment, rather more of an unexpected capture, the spray from a breaking wave masking a photograph taken from the end of Mount Batten Pier


    Perhaps this motor cyclist qualifies a little more since that was waited for


    I can't seem to get away from water in my photographs :smile:

    • Like Like x 4
  7. Petach

    Petach Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2011
    UK, Essex
    Peter Tachauer
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  8. BruPri

    BruPri Top Veteran

    May 11, 2011
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Bruce J. Pritchard
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  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    This is an oldie, posted before. Out of all the photos that I've taken over the years, this was the most "decisive." However, it was just one photo out of the two dozens I took of the bushman's victims on that particular day. It was planned, and not a spontaneous occurrence that I just happened to capture with my hawk eyes and cat-like reflexes -- not! This photo turned out to be the best one due to the expression of the victims' faces. And it helps that the photo was actually in focus (not always easy with the M9). On a side note, I've seen various bushmen each time I've wondered at the Fisherman's Wharf over the last 4-5 years. It is one of the most creative ways of panhandling. And yes, I did tip this particular bushman as he provided me with countless moments of laughter.

    Bushman strikes again! by Armanius, on Flickr
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  10. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris Leskovsek
    • Like Like x 6
  11. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    That is hysterical! Every person's posture tells a story.

    Cheers, Jock
  12. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
  13. Boid

    Boid All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Indian Indians

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  14. christilou

    christilou Legend

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    The Giggle

    I searched and found this one. I'd been taking some pictures of Rosie and her friend's baby Charlie when along came Little B to liven up the proceedings :)

    • Like Like x 1
  15. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    Love it! You only have to worry about the ear licking when it comes out the other side . . .

    Cheers, Jock
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  16. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
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  17. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    "And for my next trick, I will make this entire slice of cake disappear . . .," said the handsome magician in the hairy black and white tux.

    Cheers, Jock