Decisive Moments

When to press the shutter. I heard someone describe how all the great golfers could imagine -- or pre-imagine -- their swing and the ball finding its mark. This approach does not work for me. Too many variables. 

Instead, I try to live in the moment. I heard a studio photographer describe himself as an "experiential" photographer. That comes as close as anything to describing my process.I can't define how/when I choose to click, but I know it when it happens.

I am guided by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who said, "Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever."

I am also guided by the words of a fellow toy camera practitioner who goes by Tread (www.gotreadgo.com) who wrote, "Are you into 'decisive moment' photography? You are a studied observer of your surroundings and live quickly."

He must have been watching me as I took this photograph of a youngster playing in a waterfall in downtown Chicago. I look his way, raised my camera by instinct as he turned toward me, and decisively pressed the shutter. I call these my money shots, to coin a porn term. The young man's father was not pleased by my picture taking. I walked away, thinking ... Oop!

Falling Water