|On A Brighter Day - Tehachapi, California|
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.
As the day changes, as the weather changes, as the season changes, and as the environment changes, the subject also changes. Within that there are decisive moments when the subject is at its dramatic pinnacle. Even stationary objects have decisive moments.
|Barn In Black & White - Tehachapi, California|
Subjects that are moving can make capturing that great instant difficult. You have to be at the right place at the right time, completely ready and actively searching in order to capture the decisive moment. Having photographic vision is essential.
Non-moving objects also have decisive moments. These moments are often linked to changing light and changing conditions. It is the photographer's job to be at these places at the right time to capture the decisive moment. Being at the right place at the right time is the photographer's challenge.
|Copy Machine - Mojave, California|
"Your first 10,000 photographs," Cartier-Bresson further explained, "are your worst."
|The Sound of Silence - Mojave, California|
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.