|Summer Mow - Tehachapi, California|
There was a window of just a few seconds to capture this image.
Cardinal de Retz said, and Henri Cartier-Bresson repeated, "There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment." Cartier-Bresson was the master of the "decisive moment," capturing amazing photographs by opening the shutter at just the instant that the scene in front of him was at its climax.
That quote has been applied almost exclusively to street photography, but read it again. It says that everything in the whole world has a decisive moment.
|Roadway - Caliente, California|
This photograph would not have had the same impact without the trailer proclaiming ROADWAY and without the car approaching the bridge.
Moving objects, especially, have decisive moments. There is an instant where the photograph is much stronger, and it is the photographers goal to find that instant. Often that decisive moment is fleeting, and sometimes it has come and gone before you realized it was even there.
|Soaked - Morro Bay, California|
I was able to capture this because I foresaw the guy getting just a little too brave with the crashing waves.
Capturing the "decisive moment" takes practice. When someone captures it, it is not by accident. The photographer purposely places himself in a position to be in the right place at the right time, as well as anticipates the results.
|Ball Defying Gravity - Hesperia, California|
Timing was absolutely critical for this image.
"Your first 10,000 photographs," Cartier-Bresson further explained, "are your worst."
|Sisters - Surprise, Arizona|
The decisive moment was gone only a couple seconds after this was captured.
In conclusion, the decisive moment is what all photographers should be seeking with their cameras all of the time. Finding it and especially capturing it is not easy, but with practice it can be done.
|Wrong Way Alley - San Diego, California|