13 April 2011

the decisive moment

This photo competition has me in a lather. Oh I want that X100 sooooooo bad. Help me decide.

Which of these best reflects Cartier-Bresson's concept of a photograph that is not only aesthetically great, but is timed perfectly - his 'Decisive Moment'?

girl at Cartier-Bresson exhibition, (Paris 2003)

Try It You'll Love It (street market, Kuala Lumpur 2007)
schoolgirl looking into sunglass shop (Mallorca 2010)

No. 1 was my top choice, especially since it was actually taken in a Cartier-Bresson exhibition in Paris, on real, grainy, grainy, grainy black & white film, back in the day when I processed my own. I love the way she is just completely lost in the photos. But I fear my nostalgia for that balmy spring trip just before I started in my first permanent job might by clouding my aesthetic judgement...

In no. 2 the woman behind the boy might be construed to contribute meaning & storyline, or maybe she's just a distraction in the composition? Is no 3. just too understated - am I the only one seeing the subtle interplay of a pretty schoolgirl ignoring her friend's animated conversation to gaze at luxury fashion, oblivious to the historic neighbourhood? Remember it's a competition, so the photo needs to grab attention amongst piles of others, and also stand up to longer scrutiny.

Comments please 1, 2 or 3? or back to the drawing board? Don't be kind, I want the camera more than I care about my ego.

Urg, or maybe a slightly different take on an otherwise conventional portrait (although of an exceptionally beautiful woman) illustrates the concept better? Better throw in no. 4:
Rosie 2009

See the competition, and some very good photography at http://www.ottoschulzephotographers.com


  1. First instinct. Focused, simple, and absolutely beautiful. X

  2. No 3. is the most decisive moment.