The Decisive Moment

Image courtesy of Thomas Lim captured with the A7S and FE 35F28 ZA

The famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1954 described the visual climax to a scene which the photographer captures as being the ‘decisive moment’.

The moment when the photographer chooses to release the shutter may be influenced by the visual climax to the action and the moment when the moving forms create the most pleasing design. In the flux of movement a photographer can sometimes intuitively feel when the changing forms and patterns achieve balance, clarity and order, and when the image becomes for an instant a picture.

To capture decisive moments the photographer needs to be focused on, or receptive to, what is happening rather than the camera equipment they are holding. Just like driving a car it is possible to operate a camera without looking at the controls. The photographer must spend time with any piece of equipment so that they are able to operate it intuitively. When watching an event unfold the photographer can increase their chances of capturing the decisive moment by presetting the focus and exposure.

Thomas Lim Photography

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