Site Sponsors
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 50 of 61

Thread: Any tips for deciding the moment?

  1. #1
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Exclamation Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Some have been claiming gear limits the "decisive moment". I have a huge problem finding what that moment is so that at least I can attempt to capture (and blame it on the gear when I fail ) it/them.

    Any tips on what constitute a decisive momentum will be greatly appreciated along with illustrative examples of your own.

    Many thanks in advance!
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  2. #2
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    for me the decisive moment is more the revealing moment.

    i try to make some kind of contact, like eye contact with the subject; often that will lead to an interesting expression or gesture, like a turned head, etc. that will engage the viewer




    also watch what the person is up to, try and get their concentration expressed;




    i also find if i take fewer shots, i can focus more on each one as i am composing it
    Likes 5 Member(s) liked this post

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    523
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    I'm not sure this is something that can easily be put into words, because we all have a different conception of issue (and therefore what is decisive) and so the moment will change. Also, we do not all seek a decisive moment as such, but perhaps an illustrative scene that triggers a sense of realisation (which will be equally subjective). In the latter case there may not be a decisve moment as such, but instead a series of moments, with photographer interaction and movement, that results in a frame that suits the purpose intended. I'm not sure I like the notion that there is a singular decisive moment. I wonder if it has become a rather more inflexible concept than Cartier Bresson intended.

    If you look through the bottom four projects on my personal site (Afghanistan Portfolio Thomas Stanworth) you will get an idea of how I have approached different ideas with a different conception of what is important/decisive/meaningful/effective, or conducive to cultivating a 'sense of realisation'.

    If I had to define it, it would be 'the moment at which the scene viewed through the viewfinder is best able to allow for an finished photograph that conveys the reason why you're taking the photo in the first place'. But at the end of the day, its instinctive. I feel it, rather than think it. Thinking about things when not taking photos is a good idea, but thinking too much while taking them rather bad I feel.

  4. #4
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Two gem of a reply for a vague post. Thank you both!
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  5. #5
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    I wonder if it has become a rather more inflexible concept than Cartier Bresson intended.
    I am trying to figure out what that concept is (as you allude to), especially from a guy who apparently taped up his view finder in his camera.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    I suspect I'll regret posting an answer here based on the underlying skepticism and mildly cynical language of your question ... but ... what the heck, why not?

    Contrary to other's opinion, I think "The Decisive Moment" is still a pretty broad swath to work in. HCB may be credited with inventing the photojournalistic phrase and of being a master of the moment, but he wasn't the only one. In Robert Doisneau's book "Three Seconds of Eternity" he alludes to the nature of still photography as tiny segments of time that ultimately add up to maybe 3 seconds captured at 1/500, 1/250, 1/100 of a second. In that way still work can differ from any other form of visual expression.

    IMHO and experience:

    Obviously, "Decisive Moment" indicates some sort of peak timing that defines the image captured. How one interprets that can range widely ... yet it seems that there are moments that better define a situation, human condition, or alignment of elements more powerfully than others.

    "Anticipation" is one tenant of the technique. When I teach the notion, I use a crude example to make the point: See the banana peel on the floor, see the distracted man walking toward it ... wait for it ... wait for it ... snipe the man in midair! HCB's shot of the French policeman walking in front of the gaping mouth facade of a doorway is that type of shot.

    However, while extremely important, it has been my experience that "anticipation" is only one aspect of Decisive Moment photography.

    Empirical intuitions often play a huge role in capturing just the right fleeting expression, momentary juxtaposition of elements, or unexpected turn of events. As a teacher of mine once quipped, "You have to be outwardly tuned to your surroundings and you must supremely refine that sensitivity to always be ready for the unexpected when it presents itself ... to which I add: "... presents itself in a "blink of an eye".

    It is here that honed instincts, practiced reflexes, and a tool that reacts swiftly at your command comes into play.

    Here is a cross section of work I've managed over time ... "over time" to demonstrate that it isn't just luck, because everyone gets lucky from time-to-time.

    Most are illustrating the human condition but some just took advantage of a fleeting composition, or even a briefly favorable lighting situation.

    The Decisive Moment" - fotografz

    - Marc
    Likes 3 Member(s) liked this post

  7. #7
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    It was a serious Q for those who can take it as one. Thank you for your kind and illustrative reply. Fabulous!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    523
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    LOL, I never heard that one! Wow... but I can kinda understand why a person might try this. I suppose if you have beaten the path for so long, anything to throw a curveball in there.... anything to prevent it being 'the same again' might be welcome. It reminds me of Garry Winogrand's endless efforts to wipe his mind clear of preconceptions and not think about what things 'are about' only what he saw through the viewfinder and then ultimately edited many months (or year) later.

    I think a little madness creeps in. I think that madness is something that must be courted to have an edge. Brilliance comes in the last 5% of obsession, after all

    As for the 'decisive moment', I understood it to mean something like this:

    'a moment of time, sliced out of a larger passage of time, that contains the essence of an experience or event'

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I am trying to figure out what that concept is (as you allude to), especially from a guy who apparently taped up his view finder in his camera.
    Last edited by turtle; 3rd April 2015 at 00:56.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    2,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    53

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Pardon the humor here....

    Just fire up the D4 and shoot a few hundred frames at 11fps. There's bound to be one good frame in there somewhere.

    Or just shoot 4K video at 60fps and frame grab the one that you like best!
    Brad Husick

  10. #10
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    2,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    53

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Honestly, a few years ago a buddy of mine and I tried to envision the camera of 2025. We came up with a 1 gigapixel sensor with a fixed wide angle lens (you can crop 1 gigapixel images to get "zoom") that takes a continuous stream of photos at 60fps all day long, uploading the images to a cloud server. Photography then moves from taking photos to editing photos. You go online and review all the day's footage and choose the frames that you think are worthy. Voila, photographs.

    Sounds a bit scary, but not that far-fetched eh?
    Brad Husick

  11. #11
    Workshop Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    4,043
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1253

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    begs the question of what is defining the "decisive moment." is it the moment itself, so why not just bang away and sort though the images, or is it the photographer, deciding to press the shutter
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  12. #12
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    32° 31' 37.06" N, 111° 6' 0.9" W
    Posts
    4,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Speaking strictly from a landscape point - I've had times where the light was changing by the millisecond and there I was trying to decide when to press the shutter afraid that as I did I'd miss something slightly better. I think my "decisive moment" is the act of stopping, looking out at the view and deciding whether or not to set the camera up and capture a couple frames. What I try to convey with my photography is what I felt more than what I saw at the moment, so is a "decisive moment" as well.

    We should in some cases be able to tell a story without words. Just by using image(s). It's about feeling(s). Do you want to tell an open ended story where the viewer is left with the question of "what's next" or do you want to set the stage for the complete story leaving no doubt in the viewers mind. That too can be considered a "Decisive moment".

    Shooting wildlife and nature offers another set of decisive moments. Shooting a bee hovering a petal might be better than one sitting on it. Shooting buffalo in WY I always tried to get a full face if the face was interesting otherwise I move on to another one. Waiting for 2-big bulls to go after each other and but heads or bellow steam is yet another decisive moment.

    So what's a "decisive moment" for me? Really kind of hard to say without looking at the subject matter while adding in my own person feelings at the time. It sounds lame however how does "you'll know it when you see it" sound. Even with that I'm still left with the story concept...

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Blog
    Tucson AZ
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  13. #13
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    32° 31' 37.06" N, 111° 6' 0.9" W
    Posts
    4,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    About to head out to meet w/a client and had this thought...

    Decisive Moment or Moment of Truth? Which is it?
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Blog
    Tucson AZ

  14. #14
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    I once saw an article showing a contact sheet of a news event taken at 10 FPS, and a contact sheet with one shot of the same event. The one shot version was timed perfectly, was published, and won some award ... where the 10 FPS missed the peak moment, and was never published.

    Even if we shot 60 FPS, someone has to select the "decisive moment" still image ... which sounds incredibly tedious to me.

    Machine gun or Sniper?

    - Marc
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  15. #15
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    k-hawinkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The "Land of Enchantment"
    Posts
    3,300
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Machine gun or Sniper?

    I would say that might depend on what you are shooting, either one could be the winner.
    But of course weeding out lots of shots can be a chore, hopefully to be avoided.
    With best regards, K-H.

  16. #16
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Well, I understand it completely, but only rarely can I manage it. But I'm willing to put my neck on the line here:

    Here's two examples (mundane I realise) which constitute the decisive moment - neither lasted more than a second. . . the only contribution the camera had was in failing to stop me taking the picture.


    The Dealer and her Dog


    Man's best friend

    incidentally, I don't feel that dogs are compulsory in 'decisive moment' shots

    and like Marc, I think anticipation is much more accurate than 10fps (but you do have to practice) Definitely sniper rather than machine gunner (isn't that what video is about)

    Just this guy you know
    Likes 5 Member(s) liked this post

  17. #17
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Machine gun or Sniper?

    I would say that might depend on what you are shooting, either one could be the winner.
    But of course weeding out lots of shots can be a chore, hopefully to be avoided.
    I think Marc's point is that the machine gunner actually missed the shot . . . and I remember reading an article about a prize winning sports photographer who refused to use continuous because he was sure his timing and anticipation was more accurate than 10 fps.

    Just this guy you know
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  18. #18
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    k-hawinkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The "Land of Enchantment"
    Posts
    3,300
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I think Marc's point is that the machine gunner actually missed the shot . . . and I remember reading an article about a prize winning sports photographer who refused to use continuous because he was sure his timing and anticipation was more accurate than 10 fps.
    Thanks Jono.

    I suppose Marc and you are assuming that the rapid changes in the subject are commensurate with human, namely the photographers, reaction time.
    That seems to be a good assumption when taking pictures of humans of course.

    But there are other subjects out there whose reaction time is much much faster than those of humans. What to do then?
    With best regards, K-H.

  19. #19
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    But there are other subjects out there whose reaction time is much much faster than those of humans. What to do then?
    Use a flash but those aren't associated with the "moments".

    (See also: http://gfm.aps.org/ I think there is a lot of art there.)

  20. #20
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    k-hawinkler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    The "Land of Enchantment"
    Posts
    3,300
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Use a flash but those aren't associated with the "moments".

    (See also: Gallery of Fluid Motion I think there is a lot of art there.)

    Thanks Vivek. True, one could use a flash, but that changes the character of the images.
    With best regards, K-H.

  21. #21
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    How so, K-H? You asked about the "other subjects".

    One thing I found out (and I submit to the folks out here. May be this is 101 newbie stuff) is that most people have less aversion to a camera pointed at them than myself.

  22. #22
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    It all depends on which story you think you want to tell. The phrase "Decisive Moment" has little value unless it's placed in a context. HCB's own descriptions of how he worked is a good start. Access to time, preferably a lot of it, helps also. Until a couple of years ago, before I had a day job, I could spend hours at the same location, trying to blend in, trying to figure out what the story was, trying to prepare for the shot. Then, suddenly, within a fraction of a second, the story changes and the decisive moment arrives. A second later, it's gone. But if you're prepared and relaxed and realise how unimportant you are in the grand scheme of things, you'll be able to capture it, but only then.

    GH1 with OM Zuiko 100mm f/2.8



    I honestly think that catching the decisive moment is easier when using film. There's nothing more efficient than knowing that I have limited resources to sharpen my senses and improving my patience.
    Things I sell: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/epixx?language=en
    Likes 5 Member(s) liked this post

  23. #23
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    32° 31' 37.06" N, 111° 6' 0.9" W
    Posts
    4,333
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Shoot like you only have 3-frames left. Make them count...
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
    Blog
    Tucson AZ

  24. #24
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post

    But there are other subjects out there whose reaction time is much much faster than those of humans. What to do then?
    Well, anticipate is the answer, and practice, and trust your reactions (I'm not saying I'm good at this, but I know when I'm in the 'zone' and I don't think it's very compatable with conscious thought).

    Just this guy you know

  25. #25
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    Machine gun or Sniper?

    I would say that might depend on what you are shooting, either one could be the winner.
    But of course weeding out lots of shots can be a chore, hopefully to be avoided.
    I suppose hosing off shots from a distance could work in some situations ... but if working closer in, wouldn't a camera rattling off 10FPS tip-off the subject before the "Decisive Moment" even happened?

    Usually, "Decisive Moment" type work is associated with photojournalism depicting some singular revealing human condition ... often of an unaware subject, or at least unaware before the photo was taken.

    - Marc
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  26. #26
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, I understand it completely, but only rarely can I manage it. But I'm willing to put my neck on the line here:

    Here's two examples (mundane I realise) which constitute the decisive moment - neither lasted more than a second. . . the only contribution the camera had was in failing to stop me taking the picture.


    The Dealer and her Dog


    Man's best friend

    incidentally, I don't feel that dogs are compulsory in 'decisive moment' shots

    and like Marc, I think anticipation is much more accurate than 10fps (but you do have to practice) Definitely sniper rather than machine gunner (isn't that what video is about)


    - Marc
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  27. #27
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    It all depends on which story you think you want to tell. The phrase "Decisive Moment" has little value unless it's placed in a context. HCB's own descriptions of how he worked is a good start. Access to time, preferably a lot of it, helps also. Until a couple of years ago, before I had a day job, I could spend hours at the same location, trying to blend in, trying to figure out what the story was, trying to prepare for the shot. Then, suddenly, within a fraction of a second, the story changes and the decisive moment arrives. A second later, it's gone. But if you're prepared and relaxed and realise how unimportant you are in the grand scheme of things, you'll be able to capture it, but only then.

    GH1 with OM Zuiko 100mm f/2.8



    I honestly think that catching the decisive moment is easier when using film. There's nothing more efficient than knowing that I have limited resources to sharpen my senses and improving my patience.
    I agree with the film observation. In the beginning of photography it sort of forced the discipline because the promiscuous still camera didn't even exist yet.

    We have to remember that the whole "Decisive Moment" notion came into being when even film was young, and high frame rates were the domain of movie cameras.

    The power of still photography remains the capturing of a milli-second slice of life that other wise may have not even been "seen". I think our stream of conscience mind operates more like a movie camera than a still camera ... which is what makes snatching 1/500 slice of it so magical and intriguing.

    - Marc
    Last edited by fotografz; 3rd April 2015 at 01:48.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  28. #28
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Lets leave out nano, femto and such prefixes, if we can as all we discussing are milli second moments. Also about the gear choices.

    Jorgen, What a lovely example!

  29. #29
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    begs the question of what is defining the "decisive moment." is it the moment itself, so why not just bang away and sort though the images, or is it the photographer, deciding to press the shutter
    The camera doesn't recognize irony, despair, humor, or any other human condition. It isn't a designer or artist. At best, it facilitates the logic and aesthetics of the photographer, and does their bidding in a subordinate manner.

    Which is why, IMO, the rangefinder still reigns supreme for this type of work. It offers up the least intrusion between you and the subject ... other than framing, even the visual effect of focal length is absent ... leaving what the subject is doing as the primary focus of the photographer.

    Not that "Decisive Moment" work can't be done with any camera since it isn't the camera deciding when to shoot. It just seems easier, or more natural when using a rangefinder with less visual distractions. But, to each their own.

    - Marc
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  30. #30
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Lets leave out nano, femto and such prefixes, if we can as all we discussing are milli second moments. Also about the gear choices.

    Jorgen, What a lovely example!
    "Milli" it is ...

    Not sure about the last request. Do you wish to include gear choices or leave them out?

    I mentioned my gear preference for this sort of work before I read this post.

    - Marc

  31. #31
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Of course, your first post here mentions Doisneau.

  32. #32
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Thanks, Vivek. When it comes to this kind of photography, most cameras can be used. There are however certain criteria, some of them purely psychological:

    - No shutter lag. Interestingly, I never liked to use the D300 for this kind of photography, not because it has much shutter lag, but because the shutter release feels kind of "elastic".
    - Manual focus (pre-focused) or extremely fast AF. My favourite for the latter is the Panasonic GH3/Zuiko 75mm. Very hard to beat for single shot focus. Still, I prefer manual.
    - I prefer focal lengths between 85 and 150mm, because "it gives me more time". It doesn't, of course, but having a bit of distance to the subject makes it easier to spot people etc. that might enter the scene and interact within the next few seconds and I see some of what the subject(s) see. It gives better control.
    - Although I mostly prefer to be seen before I take the photo, I don't like cameras that are noisy. The noise does attract attention, and if a second shot is needed, it often spoils the moment, even though the subject(s) know that their photo has been taken in beforehand.
    - Clothing. Dress as neutrally as possible, not the same as the locals (if in a foreign culture) but in harmony with them. You are noticed but don't stick out like a sore thumb. Most of my travel clothing is khaki or different shades of grayish green. Head wear, I mostly buy locally.
    - I mostly carry my camera in the open when I arrive, during my stay and when I leave. the size of the camera is unimportant, as long as people have time to getting used to it. I've done village photography with the GX680, and after a few hours, nobody noticed.

    I agree with Marc that rangefinders are probably ideal for this kind of work, but since I've never owned one (they tend to be expensive), I've used what I have and come to the conclusion that it's about me and my relationship with the surroundings, not about the camera. Mostly.
    Things I sell: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/epixx?language=en
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  33. #33
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Royal Oak, MI and Palm Harbor, FL
    Posts
    8,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    44

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, anticipate is the answer, and practice, and trust your reactions (I'm not saying I'm good at this, but I know when I'm in the 'zone' and I don't think it's very compatable with conscious thought).
    Jono, your last sentence is key thought IMO.

    I've always believed that heightened sensitivity and intuitions played a huge role in doing this sort of photography. It was more apparently so when using a film camera since you didn't really know what you actually got until inspecting the contact sheets later and the real still image magic revealed itself.

    - Marc
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

  34. #34
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post

    I agree with Marc that rangefinders are probably ideal for this kind of work, but since I've never owned one (they tend to be expensive), I've used what I have and come to the conclusion that it's about me and my relationship with the surroundings, not about the camera. Mostly.
    [That alludes to my cursory saying that- if all else fails, I can blame it on my gear.

    I have known a great many dudes sporting expensive shiny gear who don't even know what they are carrying since it is all wrapped up in designer cases.

    Sorry for that digression. Let us take that TLR from the bygone era to be non contentious. No lag, no noise and no RF. ]

    Wonderful image, Jorgen.

  35. #35
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Jono, your last sentence is key thought IMO.

    I've always believed that heightened sensitivity and intuitions played a huge role in doing this sort of photography. It was more apparently so when using a film camera since you didn't really know what you actually got until inspecting the contact sheets later and the real still image magic revealed itself.

    - Marc
    I can relate to this very strongly. The feeling of wellbeing while exploring a location and its people gives me a shot of "Photonalin" directly into the centre of the brain. It's the strongest drug there is, 100% virtual and highly addictive. Luckily, there's no known cure against the addiction, but the addiction in itself reduces GAS to near zero while the addict is on a high
    Things I sell: https://www.shutterstock.com/g/epixx?language=en
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  36. #36
    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Denmark, CPH
    Posts
    2,500
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    12

    Any tips for deciding the moment ?


    First of all I think an aptitude to see a telling situation when it suddenly arises, is a prerequisite.
    Some people seem to have a particularly good eye for that.

    From there the trick is either to draw and shoot quicker than a frog can eat a fly, or to be able to anticipate the situation.

    (I have already shown these few examples elsewhere on the forum).

















    .
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  37. #37
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    If I may, I think, I was more in to asking about deciding the moment rather than how to capture it.

  38. #38
    Senior Member segedi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    363
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by bradhusick View Post
    Sounds a bit scary, but not that far-fetched eh?
    Hmmm....
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw-JFzMb6r0

  39. #39
    Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    1,425
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    If I may, I think, I was more in to asking about deciding the moment rather than how to capture it.
    Zen and the Art of When.

    You don't decide the moment,
    The moment decides you.
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  40. #40
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
    Posts
    2,498
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    53

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Black Mirror - The Entire History of You

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sw3GIR70HAY
    Brad Husick

  41. #41
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    If I may, I think, I was more in to asking about deciding the moment rather than how to capture it.
    That's where "time" enters the stage. To know what or when the decisive moment is, you need to learn the history behind it, to spend time observing. There are exceptions of course, but those are mostly called "luck".

    This goes for all photography really. If you're going to take a photo of Bill Gates or Miley Cyrus, your photo will be influenced by what you know about them, at least if you're a good photographer and manage to create something that reflects your view. A photo of aunt Nellie will look different, because you relationship with aunt Nellie is different from that with Miley Cyrus.

    Even portrait photographers who specialise in a certain style and whose portraits look very similar on the surface, pose and light different subjects differently, depending on the personality and background of that subject. With exception of mass production senior portraits etc. of course. They mostly look terrible.

    So, to be able to tell a "one-click-story", you need time to observe, and when the decisive moment gets closer, you mostly feel it. Take my photo above. I had watched those kids for something like 20 minutes, drinking my water, eating my rice. They knew I was there with a camera. Westerners are easy to spot in rural Cambodian villages. As time progressed, the boys got increasingly daring, and the girls more giggly. When one of the girls looked up towards me with a telling smile, I knew that the boys had passed a threshold and that it was "clicking time", and quite right; the game was finished a few seconds later.

    Every instance is different of course, and the sequence that leads to the photo can take anything from a few seconds to many hours, but the anticipation that Jono mentioned earlier is mostly something that comes through observation. The ability to see, and the patience to wait.

  42. #42
    Senior Member f6cvalkyrie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,643
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    29

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    I think every photo in this link qualifies for "decisive moment"

    The 65 Most Perfectly Timed Military Photos You’ll Ever See | The Roosevelts

    C U,
    Rafael
    E-M1/GH2/G1 Full Spectrum & lots of lenses
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/f6cvalk...th/9226689839/

  43. #43
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by f6cvalkyrie View Post
    I think every photo in this link qualifies for "decisive moment"

    The 65 Most Perfectly Timed Military Photos You’ll Ever See | The Roosevelts

    C U,
    Rafael
    Kind of, but most of them are staged or taken by embedded photographers. It's propaganda.

  44. #44
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    jonoslack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Anglia & Cornwall (UK)
    Posts
    11,778
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Well, anticipate is the answer, and practice, and trust your reactions (I'm not saying I'm good at this, but I know when I'm in the 'zone' and I don't think it's very compatable with conscious thought).
    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Jono, your last sentence is key thought IMO.

    I've always believed that heightened sensitivity and intuitions played a huge role in doing this sort of photography. It was more apparently so when using a film camera since you didn't really know what you actually got until inspecting the contact sheets later and the real still image magic revealed itself.

    - Marc
    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    I can relate to this very strongly. The feeling of wellbeing while exploring a location and its people gives me a shot of "Photonalin" directly into the centre of the brain. It's the strongest drug there is, 100% virtual and highly addictive. Luckily, there's no known cure against the addiction, but the addiction in itself reduces GAS to near zero while the addict is on a high

    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

    Just this guy you know
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  45. #45
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,604
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    What I've found to be more and more the case is that the grab shot is the best one.
    For you, Jono.

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr
    Likes 6 Member(s) liked this post

  46. #46
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    iiiNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    My opinion (and it is just my own opinion) is that the gear CAN play a factor in capturing a decisive moment based on the comfort level of the photographer and their ability to anticipate the "decisive moment." It also is dependent on how long that moment lasts.

    Looking through and thinking about some of the shots I've taken over the last 5-10 years that I've gotten more into photography as a hobby I'e had decisive moment type shots taken with my D-Lux 4, my Panasonic G1, my Leica M9's, and my Sony FE/E/A mount cameras... Ironically I don't have many taken with my Canon Digital Rebel but that was more about my lack of comfort with it at the time rather than the capability of the camera.

    Some of the shots that have stood out for me were a homeless guy looking in my direction shot in San Francisco at Union Square taken with a G1.

    I_Shot_It_March 5 by HiredArm, on Flickr

    A group of children conversing and playing at an orphanage in Africa (but only once was paying attention to the fact I was taking a picture with the M9.)

    Prints-4 by HiredArm, on Flickr

    A bird about to fly away taken with a GF1.

    Alcatraz by HiredArm, on Flickr

    Or a hartebeest feeling comfortable enough to eat once they sensed I was of no danger to it taken with an A7R (the shutter actually didn't scare it away either.)

    Hartebeest by HiredArm, on Flickr
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com
    Likes 2 Member(s) liked this post

  47. #47
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pratamnak
    Posts
    9,344
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    2157

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Luck, instinct and intuition are mostly results of long training and hard work. Not any training and not any work though.

    As for being comfortable with the gear; yes, that's very important, and it does in no way have to be the best gear from an objective point of view. But, being able to change any vital camera setting within a fraction of a second without looking at the camera helps a lot sometimes.

  48. #48
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    iiiNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorgen Udvang View Post
    ...But, being able to change any vital camera setting within a fraction of a second without looking at the camera helps a lot sometimes.
    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.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

  49. #49
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    iiiNelson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    3,187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    For you, Jono.

    Untitled by Vivek Iyer, on Flickr
    I think it's safe to say that you captured the decisive moment with this one...
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

  50. #50
    Senior Member JohnW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    640
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Any tips for deciding the moment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    If I may, I think, I was more in to asking about deciding the moment rather than how to capture it.
    Vivek, I don't mean to be esoteric, but I think if we're deciding, we've likely missed it.

    To me the decisive moment is entirely internal -- a flash of perception, a spark of recognition. At least that's the prerequisite. Something internal, instinctual triggers and compels a photograph. It's those internal triggers that we need to watch for and respond to.

    Of course, if there's time to study and analyze and wait for a scene to develop, that's good. But the telling moment originates in that flash of perception. And that requires moving through the streets with an openness and attentiveness to what's outside, but equally so to our responses.

    Here's one of mine. Definitely a flash of perception, almost unconscious, to which I responded with one quick shot. Fortunately, I had a 25mm on my M9, so no focusing or fiddling at all.

    John

    Last edited by JohnW; 4th April 2015 at 17:22.
    web site | tumblr
    Likes 5 Member(s) liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •