The Decisive Moment-My Thoughts


le moment décisif’  (the decisive moment).

The term ‘the decisive moment’ to me simply indicates the correct instant that a forming candid image becomes the image. As Cartier-Bresson says ‘It’s luck, It’s always luck’.

But the luck is not in waiting for the moment (that may never happen) but to be lucky enough to have your camera ready whenever a moment happens or, to anticipate a moment, whether it be a figure walking into the frame or a shadow that balances the elements in exactly the right way to form perfect composition or geometry.

Waiting around in the same spot for hours, however to find that perfect composition of elements may not be spontaneous enough to really call it a ‘decisive moment’. Being decisive means acting quickly, making the right choice in an instant.

In the analysis by Zouhair Ghazzal, he says the decisive moment ‘becomes clichéd’ but, like every art form, there will always be imitations. I also think the over analysis of Zouhair and Colin Pantall in critiquing photographer Paul Grahams ‘Present’ tramples the idea that there was ever an almost ‘magical’ element that was instinctive to a natural photographer.

Personally, I think the decisive moment still exists, can be used and is relatively simple. It is the over use of analysis and a desperation to achieve it of some photographers that almost ruins a beautiful part of the capturing of images rendering it ‘cliched’




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