THE DECISIVE MOMENT
"The decisive moment is a concept made popular by the street photographer, photojournalist, and Magnum co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson. The decisive moment refers to capturing an event that is ephemeral and spontaneous, where the image represents the essence of the event itself."
Any photographer who has ambitions of greatness will always search visually for a spontaneous moment that will captivate the viewer. These special pictures are few and far between because it takes several skills to come together simultaneously to make that image great. You need the ability to tell a story, frame an image in an artistic way, aswell as excellent timing and speed. A bucket load of patience is also required to capture that really special picture moment that will thrill the people that see it !
One of my all time favourite photographs that demonstrate the 'Decisive Moment' in it's truest form is titled "Camps Bay Jump". This wonderful picture was taken by me many years ago in Cape Town, South Africa. This stunning city that is surrounded by mountains and turquoise seas is a paradise for photographers and film makers. Artists and creatives are spoilt for choice here as the city and surrounding areas are so beautiful and scenic.
One particular day i was enjoying an early evening walk along Camps Bay which is a wonderful place to watch the sunset and is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike. The stunning mountains behind Camps Bay are called the 'Twelve Apostles'. They were bathed in the gorgeous golden light from the sun as it was low in the sky which really did look like a good photo opportunity for me. My original aim for the picture was to take a general landscape image showing the mountains and the sky but while i had the camera up to my face out of the corner of my eye i noticed this girl wearing a biright red skirt running along the concrete pathway next to the sea. I instnctively knew that if i waited for the girl to jump off the pathway i would then have a super photograph. I zoomed out a little to include the water and the turquoise boulder that the girl was leaping onto. I also quickly lowered the shutterspeed so that there would be some movement blur during her jump.
I took the photo using a film camera and had to wait 2 or 3 weeks before i could get the film processed. When i finally studied the contact sheet i was delighted with this shot of the young girl jumping. I was impressed with my timing and quick reaction to the unexpected situation. As you can see in the close up above the girl has been captured in mid air aswell as having some blur to add some movement to the image. Overall the picture works on several levels.......The huge size of the 'Twelve Apostle' mountains show a creative contrast to the dimunitive size of the girl in the red skirt. Also the orange light from the setting sun shows the mountain range in the best possible way revealing their beautiful texture and shape.
Before i wrote this latest post i was struggling to find some inpiration when this old image popped into my thoughts. This probably happened because i had booked a flight to Cape Town several days before. I have not been there for some time but after receiving an invitation to a friend's 50th Birthday party i decided it was the perfect opportunity to return to this beautiful place !
This unique picture is available to buy as a limited edition C Type Print from my Travel Gallery.