Exercise – The decisive moment


I think that Henri Carter Bresson chose this image of the little boy a decisive moment because of the facial expression of the little boy in the foreground and the children in the background. He may have seen the group of children playing or daring each other to walk past the photographer when he took this picture but it is a decisive moment as Bresson would have had to wait until the little boy had the right facial expression or walk  just to the right point when he pressed the shutter release.


I think that Bresson chose this image of the biker as a decisive moment because the bike is in just the right position so he isn’t covered by any of the railings. Bresson may have known the biker or he may have seen this biker come the same way every day if he was scouting out the location before he photographed this scene. Bresson would have had to time this shot well to get the bike in just the right spot and shooting on film would have meant he had to trust his timing skills as there were no such thing as continuous shutter and you could have easily have waster a lot of film if you kept pressing the shutter release.

HRF_1432 HRF_1451 HRF_9202

I chose to use these three pictures taken at the Frinton Lawn Tennis Club October Open day because timing is the key with tennis photography. Your aim is to take 1 picture of each stroke and time it just right to include the ball in the frame.

Image 1 shows a young tennis player hitting the ball just as the ball hits the strings of the racket, this particular shot is very hard to achieve even with timing as you cant guarantee that the player will hit the ball, if the ball will reach them over the net or how strong they will hit the ball. This is a decisive moment because I have not set this player up in a particular way (he was in the middle of a match at the time) so this all required me to focus on my timing.

Image 2 shows a young tennis player laughing at something just out of frame, this is a decisive moment because she was in the middle of the match I could not set up this kind of shot which meant that I had to act fast when I saw her out of the corner of my eye having a laugh at a particular player on the other side of the net.

Image 3 shows a group of people taking and a woman on her way to a tennis court. This is a divisive moment because I had to time the shot to keep the woman close enough to show the details of her carrying the tennis racket but not allowing her to be so close that you can’t see where she has come from and where she is going.

All three pictures were taken on manual settings and auto focus on RAW quality. As I was doing this as part of my job as club photographer I had to make sure that all my images were pin sharp and professional.

Shutter lag time is the time it takes for the camera to take a picture from pressing the shutter release too the shutter closing and opening. I didn’t really feel frustrated with this as I used a fast shutter to freeze the moment and with sports photography, tennis in particular it is all about being patient and keeping your concentration so you are ready for that perfect shot.



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