Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of photojournalisms important historic figures. Famous for amongst others as being a co-founder and part of the ‘Magnum’ picture agency, he is worth looking into if you are interested in this kind of photography. Sadly though he is no longer with us.
I have come to appreciate more and more those photographers who have gone before, as my own career has progressed. Certainly more so than when I studied photography’s history as a youngster.
And there is one bit of sound advice not only for those who will be lucky enough to get their first serious camera this Christmas, but also the seasoned shooter, as a reminder of a key aspect to successful picture taking. That comes from the most famous comment associated with Cartier-Bresson that of the ‘decisive moment’. In practical terms the right time to trip the shutter and capture the shot.
With digital capture I have noticed that many people simply take far too many shots. This slows down viewing and editing, then the transfer time to a computers hardrive for storage. And the reality is that most have lots and lots of images that will probably do no more than clog up storage space. Never to be seen printed, or output to a web site.
This problem will just grow and grow if you approach photography by ‘hosing’ the subject down hoping to get lucky.
On my courses I give a bit ofadvice around this, but good photography is most often about ‘less being more’. I try to capture fewer shots but of a better quality.
And no matter your subject – from landscapes when the light is right – to people shots. The decisive moment is what we all are after.
Main Image: I dont like to shoot rapid back-to-back images just hoping to nail that lucky shot. Instead with camera to the eye, I try to capture ‘the moment’. As time passes you just get better and better at this, and Im flattered that many clients have complimented me on the timing of many shots. Having a good viewfinder image, comfortable and stable camera/lens combination is important for this kind of approach.
© John Clements. Nikon D3 > 24/70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor > SB-900 > Nikon Capture NX Software..