Project: Mordernist Practice

Exercise: The Decisive Moment

First, look at the two Cartier-Bresson images and try to identify why the photographer might have considered each one a decisive moment.  This is a difficult thing to attempt but have a go.

Second, go out and photograph and event or location and look for and include the decisive moment.  Produce a contact set of three scenes and analyse your reasons for selecting the image that has the decisive moment.  Your scenes should all include at least one person.

Finally, after completing the exercises does the term shutter lag mean anything more to you?

Rue Moffetard, Henri Cartier-Bresson, `1954

Rue Moffetard, Henri Cartier-Bresson, `1954

This image would have caught Cartier-Bresson’s eye because of the look on the boys face and the tilt of his head.  He’s probably aware that someone is watching him, although he appears to be looking at someone other than the photographer.  This awareness of something happening is also visible in the girls face, just behind the boy’s shoulder, although whether or not Cartier-Bresson was aware of this isn’t clear.


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