Friday, March 2, 2012

Decisive Moments

Is "The Decisive Moment" an overworked cliché, or something that can truly make or break many photographs? I believe the latter, although I don't have any truly great examples from among my own work. I also believe that a truly great D-M photographer works very hard to be in the right place at the right time - something I never do. Any photo I take that might have some magic in it that results from just capturing the right split second is always purely accidental.

In this example, the magic second comes from the birds. Just a few seconds before, it could've been even more spectacular because there was a lot more of the seagulls all hovering on an up-draft above this rustic shed. So what really happened is that I only managed to capture the last few as they were flying away. I stuck around for 15 minutes more, but the gulls did not return!

Without the gulls, this picture is still not very good - the colours stand very well on their own, but the gulls not only add decisive moment excitement, but also provide a great balance, and perfectly explain why I took such a lop-sided partial picture of the shed. Had the gulls not been there, I would have taken the picture of the building from a much different perspective, and it would have been just another boring picture of an old shed. But with the seagulls, this picture is a good example of something that I long to become truly great at.

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