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The Decisive Moment

Discussion in 'Exhibition Lounge' started by RovingMike, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I think that's a great idea to explore other genres.
    For me, I would say a portrait has lasting appeal when I no longer view it as a portrait, but as the person, someone real. When the artist has somehow depicted that person, who they are, what they are like and their character.
    Harder, I think with sculptures, which although 3D, have a barrier somehow, which always makes you think of it as a sculpture and not what is depicted. In fine art, I tend to low key and subtlety rather than the subject first. Depends on what you can live with, I guess.
    I guess, in summary, the lasting power of an image is perhaps a measure of how well it has resonated with the viewer. Is that a measure of success or that indefinable DM? Could be.
    Since we are the sum of art we have absorbed, loved and loathed over our lifetimes, it isn't surprising when someone else doesn't 'see' what you see. If I had to quantify it, it has to be lasting appreciation. Being in love with it, however many times you revisit the experience of looking at a piece of work.
     
    KelseyRebecca98 likes this.
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Anyone else think it's really skillful how HCB (or his printer) managed to get those railings perfectly reflected but not the buildings behind them. Some proper darkroom magic there! Dodging and burning to the max!
     
    KelseyRebecca98 and Catriona like this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I share the confusion - not ever taken taken an academic view of photography - I take pictures because I like so to do. In post #18 I wondered aloud if this [the DM] was always about street or could embrace action photography. Mike commented the cricket shot because of the timing. I asked about the blue tit #72 because this is as far from anything so far posted that I could get and was a single exposure - not part of a burst.
     
  4. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    I'd consider your tit* a considerably more decisive moment than mine anyway, but especially as it's a single shot. Mine was a burst, as far as I recall (I tend to take twos and threes as the shutter is set to burst, but if I hold it the memory card clogs up very fast).

    Adrian

    *sorry, couldn't resist. Mind like a septic tank.
     
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I haven't seen the book but, a long while ago, the Times Saturday Magazine ran a weekly feature where they would show one or more full contact sheets showing a crayoned selection - sometimes a whole frame and sometimes indicating a crop - of what was considered publishable. This was done alongside a print of the selection. It was amazing how many "duds" there were and sometimes how different the print looked from the contact. Plenty of darkroom skills there. I guess the contacts were from the Times' archive of assignments.
     
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that.
     
  7. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    In case anyone's interested, here's cropped and uncropped versions of "Derriere la Gare Saint-Lazare" - one of only two photographs he ever cropped (supposedly) - in interview, he explained, "There was a plank fence around some repairs behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station. I happened to be peeking through a gap in the fence with my camera at the moment the man jumped. The space between the planks was not entirely wide enough for my lens, which is the reason why the picture is cut off on the left.”.

    HCB - Derriere de la Grae Saint-Lazare.jpg
     
  8. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

    I think Zou that it might be more a matter of perspective? If you move the railings closer to the building they too would disappear from the water's reflections...? I think

    So what was HCB's thinking process, was it spotting an interesting composition that he wanted to snap and this guy just happened to run through? was it something that he had spotted days before and went back? was he just really quick and caught it just in time? did he see it coming?
    How does this fit into a decisive moment? Everything about this photograph is brilliant for all the reasons people have stated, but how does a DM put together all of the elements that make this such a wonderful photograph?
     
    peterba likes this.
  9. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

    Tony, your skateboarber shot is beautiful! I really love that, so much going on, so many elements in one photograph. It may or may not be a decisive moment, but wow!!
     
    EightBitTony likes this.
  10. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    It's possible, but regardless the amount of darkroom work that has been done is substantial. A bit like the McCurry stuff - fine as 'art' but is it real? Does it matter?
     
    peterba, Dan S and Catriona like this.
  11. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Well I asked this guy if he minded me taking photos of him in a skatepark. He was quite happy to show off and I was happy to take a few shots. No burst rate in those days. Not sure if this was my old old Sony or my Nikon D50 but they are what they are and I was happy at the time.

    ap thirds skateboarder 2.jpg

    ap thirds skateboarder.jpg
     
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  12. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    An interesting change from the usual styles which you see with skate/BMX/etc. 2nd is very nice, all about what you don't see rather than what you can. You may disagree on that interpretation... ;)
     
    Catriona likes this.
  13. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    No, I agree. I went for the shadow and like the pattern and composition.
    It was my Nikon D50 and prime 60mm lens. 1/800th sec f6.3
     
    Zou likes this.
  14. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

    All these photos are making me want to get down to the skate park, minus a skateboard of course. Time to get my son back on his board!
     
    Catriona likes this.
  15. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I agree, Dan. In my judgement, the reflection in the water would show the railings and the sky, but not the buildings, since the angle of incidence/reflection would need to be different (i.e. camera at a lower level) to show the buildings, in the reflection. It's only a judgement though, and not really provable without going to considerable lengths. Even then, probably only if all the elements in the photo were still in place, and unaltered. Having said that, I haven't been to Paris for quite a while... <strokes chin, and starts cooking up a cunning plan>. ;) :D
     
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  16. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    ...and IF it matters - does it matter that it matters? :D
     
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  17. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    That's the crux of the matter.
     
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  18. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

    I've never been to Paris, always said I'd like to go with Mrs Dan, but that would never work now that I've become obsessed with taking photos. She is very understanding, but there is a limit. :D
     
    peterba likes this.
  19. Dan S

    Dan S Well-Known Member

    I must confess, up until this thread I had never heard of the decisive moment. I'm going over in my head what I think it means, but am struggling to separate a DM from a shot whereby I may be sitting, poised with a camera, waiting for a potential shot to appear. (just as well I reread this before posting as the i and o on the phone are too close for comfort in a word like shot) :D
     
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  20. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    You should go, Dan. If Mrs Dan's patience with your photography start to wear thin, just tell her that you've recently got into train-spotting ;), and with that in mind, you'd like to visit la Gare Saint-Lazare. :D
     
    Dan S likes this.

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