It was the father of photojournalism Henri Cartier-Bresson who coined the term “decisive moment” and described it as “the moment the photographer is creative.” It is that fraction of a second where the photographer tells his story in a single shot. It may not always be freeze-framed, gravity-defying images of people hurling, jumping or wheezing through the air (think of frenetic sports action) though they certainly are decisive snaps. It may be ordinary street scenes or special family events (your kid blowing candles on his birthday cake) or like the picture below, a festival performer who momentarily looked at me (all the others did not). A split second later he was back doing the choreographed routine with the other performers. It is the moment which, if you missed it, you might never have the chance to capture again. The secret? Oh there’s no secret, its still the common “patience, practice and persistence” approach. Some say its all a matter of luck. Well, if you are not prepared to capture the decisive moment that flashed right before your eyes, then better luck next time. If there’s a second time.
Capturing the decisive moment