Is there a decisive moment?

Started Jul 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
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krugman Contributing Member • Posts: 957
Is there a decisive moment?

Cartier-Bresson thought so and coined the phrase.
I think there is but I think the photographer causes it.

As a result, shot-to-shot speed, and autofocusing speed are widely misunderstood.

In photographing a sports event, like a swimming meet or a soccer match, shot-to-shot speed and AF speed are essential.

But in ordinary photography of people, they are not essential unless the photographer makes them so. In ordinary urban and social situations, people simply do not change their facial expressions or their posture quickly, unless the photographer makes them self-conscious by raising the camera to his eye and using the viewfinder like a rifle sight, "shooting " the picture. " This bugs the subject of the photo and causes the subect to react. Hence SLRs need almost instantaneous response from the camera when the shutter button is depressed.

The problem is even worse if the camera is held out in front in the "dirty diaper" or "defuse the bomb" mode as the photographer lookes at the LCD. It is hard to imagine a more obtrusive way of photographing people.

People who shoot (note the verb) at waist level don't alarm the subject or make the subject self-conscious, hence no sudden change of expression or rapid change of posture. Vivian Maier's work is an example.

With the G1x or any other camera with an articulated LCD or even with a flip LCD one has much more time to compose and take a photograph of a person without worrying about missing "the decisive moment," because when the subect is comfortable, there is no decisive moment.

Anyway, this is my opinion based on my experience. Your experience may be different.

Pentax K-r
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