My Decisive Moment

“There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”

17th century Cardinal de Retz

“To photography is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

I walk down a street or I sit in Starbucks sipping tea contemplating the world. An image presence it’s self. The luck of the draw in perfect form and composition. In that moment my camera captures that decisive moment and an instant in time is forever frozen. In that instance what was a fraction of time where all the elements come together has become art.

What was it? Was it planned? Did I suddenly bring everything together in that sudden juxtaposition of elements? Was it luck? Even in the studio you can never quite repeat that exact moment where you repeat over and over that same set up of light and shadow elements. Hoping for the comfort of repetition as your image repeats. It becomes a singular captured moment that in the real world is suddenly gone, except for an image in a box.

Since picking up a camera and becoming a photographer. I now view the world very differently from that time before I became a photographer as I look for that decisive moment. Even when I don’t have a camera in my hand. I look at the world around me in terms of image as I try to freeze time. Looking for that flash when the world is for an instant captured and then moves on.

Our lives are very much like that. We are filed with our own decisive moments that one second that freeze us then move on. These moments shape our lives as well as influence how we see ourselves and the world around us.

I am an introvert as well as dealing with depression. I have never really felt part of the world having placed an invisible wall between myself. Those few people whom I have let in have had a great impact on how I see myself and where I fit in. Some have had a positive effect while others, not so much. Those that have had positive effect on me, while not breaking me out of my shell. With them I have felt part of something other than just myself. Two of them are unfortunately no longer part of my life and I find I miss them very much. However they’ve helped me in very positive ways that are still with me. Much like a captured image of a decisive moment that speaks to you.

So my advice to you even if you aren’t a photographer. Look for your own decisive moment and enjoy that sudden flash in time.

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