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Thread: Any tips for deciding the moment?

  1. #51
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Or having it already set up for the correct situation from the get go.

    When you're in those decisive situations I think that it's rare that you're afforded the luxury to switch settings. Believe me I've missed plenty of shots by not being ready at an equipment level with all of my cameras from the Canon DSLR, Micro 4/3 Mirrorless, the Sony whatevers, and even the simplistic Leica. If you aren't ready before the moment is about to occur then you'll just miss it altogether more often than not.
    ... but then, something unexpected happens, something that requires a different DOF, a faster shutter speed or exposure compensation. Often, I've been able to take a shot because I've been able to change a vital setting on the fly. Even more often, I've missed it because I couldn't.
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I think that there are two really dangerous words here: instinct and intuition.

    My Father (who was a wonderful photographer) always used to say to me "Get a grab shot, and then stop and think and get it right". What I've found to be more and more the case is that the grab shot is the best one.

    Then, last year I heard a program about 'First Stage Thinking'. The research was done at Imperial College in London and was done with the co-operation of a lot of chess grand masters - basically they wrote down their 'instinctive' 'Grab Shot' move (within the first seconds) - and then what they actually did - and evaluated which was better (when it was different). The result was startling - I can't remember the exact figure, but something like 95% of the time the 'instinctive' move was the correct one. They then went on to do brain scans and discovered that there was a huge amount more brain activity in the first few seconds than in the rest of the time available for the move.

    Of course, if you're no grand master your 'instinctive' move is going to be rubbish . . .

    Anyway, the upshot of the research was to realise that "First Stage Thinking" is not conscious, but it encompasses in extremely short time everything you know about a situation - everything you've read and everything you've seen and everything you've been taught. 'Instinct' and 'Intuition' imply some kind of magic and are thus slightly derogatory. . . . . . and Luck is not really the point either - I certainly find these days that I get many many more 'lucky' shots than I used to - my brain knows that juxtaposition of motifs has just occurred , but not my conscious brain.

    As far as the kit is concerned - of course I prefer to use a rangefinder as well, but in actual fact the only real requirement is that you know how to make it work really well, so that you don't waste precious time making (the wrong) decision and muddling up the special results of your " first stage thinking"

    Realising all this has really changed my approach to shooting almost everything - I trust myself to get it right without having to work it out, and that changes everything.

    Sorry - blather blather
    Hmm, sounds like an academic attempt to validate instinctual and intuitive reactions. Hardly "magic", both are informed by our own personal combination of attained knowledge, creative experience and emotional sensitivity (how open and connected we may be with our surroundings?).

    What none of this explains is the murky territory of "Talent". Seems some naturally have it, some gain it, some never get in touch with it.

    As example, "Prodigies" rarely have had the training, experience or apparent emotional maturity to academically explain their heightened level of ability or talent. IMO, it stands to reason that if there are Prodigies at one end of the talent scale, there exists degrees of it.

    We explain those with an artistic talent as having an "ear for music" or an "eye for drawing". When my son was 7 years old, he was introduced to music at school, and chose the flute. Once he understood the basics of how to make a sound with it, he could hear most any piece of music and play it "by ear". As he moved through life and pursued other interests, he lost that raw intuitive musical talent, (or more likely applied the creative thinking to the other pursuits).

    When shown children painting in a classroom, Picasso was asked what he thought of their efforts ... "When I was their age I could draw like Raphael. It has taken me a lifetime to learn to draw like them."

    The point is that we can become over-informed, over-taught, over-exposed to the point of polluting our own unique and intuitive take on the world around us.

    What resonates with me is your comment on "Trust". If we trust our initial instincts and intuitions, try to get in touch with them and stay aware of them as we "learn" by trial-and-error, exposure to different thinking, or academically, I believe that experience/knowledge then serves rather than leads our particular creative efforts.

    When I teach photography, I promote the notion of looking without the camera. To learn to see, to become aware of those around you more intensely, to see the light, to feel the pulse of life ... it seems to help keep the logical operation of the photographic tool in perspective a bit better.

    What I particularly like about the "Decisive Moment" approach, it that it is never ending because life's milli-moments are in constant flux ... both our's and everyone/everthing around us.

    Anyway ...

    - Marc
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    Vivek, I don't mean to be esoteric, but I think if we're deciding, we've likely missed it.
    John, We speak the same language or at least the dialect.



    Never seek to tell thy love
    Love that never told can be
    For the gentle wind does move
    Silently invisibly

    I told my love I told my love
    I told her all my heart
    Trembling cold in ghastly fears
    Ah she doth depart


    - William Blake

    There is an element of mystique. One can not be caught in the moment to capture it. I think most here have tried to express it in various ways.

    Nice stuff gents.
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    HI There Marc
    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Hmm, sounds like an academic attempt to validate instinctual and intuitive reactions. Hardly "magic", both are informed by our own personal combination of attained knowledge, creative experience and emotional sensitivity (how open and connected we may be with our surroundings?).
    Well - I heard about the research and it clarified my mind about the way I actually work (and made me realise that you really do make your own 'Luck'

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    What none of this explains is the murky territory of "Talent". Seems some naturally have it, some gain it, some never get in touch with it.
    Indeed -first of all you must define talent!


    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The point is that we can become over-informed, over-taught, over-exposed to the point of polluting our own unique and intuitive take on the world around us.
    We can - but of course this stuff never enters one's head when actually shooting . . .to be honest nothing much enters my head, I'm simply concentrating on what I'm doing.

    I actually think you've got a really good point here - when I see a line of photographers waiting for the dawn with cameras on tripods . . . . . actually, when I see pictures of them, because I'll be tucked up in bed!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    What resonates with me is your comment on "Trust". If we trust our initial instincts and intuitions, try to get in touch with them and stay aware of them as we "learn" by trial-and-error, exposure to different thinking, or academically, I believe that experience/knowledge then serves rather than leads our particular creative efforts.
    I think so -

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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    words of wisdom provided in a photoworskhop long ago (Heceta Head, Oregon, 1776)
    "you bang away and bang away, and sometimes you get one."
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Pure Skill and Anticipation!



    Olympus E-M5 Mark II + Leica/Panasonic 42.5/1.2 Nocticron
    With best regards, K-H.
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  7. #57
    Senior Member Tim's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Decisive moment is something you do during taking or making an image that you or a viewer of your image like the outcome.
    It can be planned or not and even just a "lucky" shot.

    If it evokes a feeling other than boredom its a decisive moment photo.
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Decisive moment is something you do during taking or making an image that you or a viewer of your image like the outcome.
    It can be planned or not and even just a "lucky" shot.

    If it evokes a feeling other than boredom its a decisive moment photo.
    The decisive coincidence?

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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    The decisive coincidence?
    Perhaps there is such a thing, but the intent is generally always to make a good photo, so the intent is there even if you have lucky timing. I think many of my better images are lucky timing, but I was trying at the time to get a good image.
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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim View Post
    Perhaps there is such a thing, but the intent is generally always to make a good photo, so the intent is there even if you have lucky timing. I think many of my better images are lucky timing, but I was trying at the time to get a good image.
    Most of the time I am just trying to get an image. Full stop. Whether that turns out to be appealing (to me and or the others) can not be foreseen.

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    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?


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