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Mastering the Art of Photography

Lesson 25 of 39

The Decisive Moment

Chris Weston

Mastering the Art of Photography

Chris Weston

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Lesson Info

25. The Decisive Moment
Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the phrase “The decisive moment”. In this lesson, Chris talks through one of his most successful wildlife images to explain what makes a “decisive moment”.

Lessons

Class Trailer
1 Class Introduction - Three Steps To Creative Photography 03:48 2 Firing The Creative Mind - Part 1: The Camera Points Both Ways 03:10 3 Firing The Creative Mind - Part 2: Letting Go Of Judgement 06:53 4 Firing The Creative Mind - Part 3: Detaching From Outcomes 04:12 5 Practicing Mindfulness In Photography 02:43 6 Finding The Visual Narrative 02:39 7 Behind-the-scenes: Naples 07:52 8 Seeing Beneath The Surface Of Things 02:30

Lesson Info

The Decisive Moment

One of the great gifts of photography, I think, is his ability to observe suspending time and record for posterity, character full moments in life that normally passed by unnoticed and are lost in the giant vault of undescended history. Sally Gardner is one of the most influential collections of photographs of all time. Shot in 18 78 by the British photographer Edward My Bridge, the collection was created using a then revolutionary technique called instantaneous photography, which essentially was the photographic world's first ever motor drive to cut a long an interesting story short. One of the images proved conclusively that a horse, when galloping at one point, has all four hooves off the ground and that this occurred when the legs were gathered beneath the body and not extended, as had been depicted in paintings for centuries. In terms of human knowledge, it could be said it captured the decisive moment. Except it didn't. The decisive moment is a phrase attributed to the iconic Fre...

nch photographer and founder of modern photojournalism, Henri Cartier Bresson. His disposition went beyond the simplicity of timing to the exact moment the peak of action happening in front of the camera corresponded with the optimum composition in the frame. It's an important distinction. Essentially, what Cartier Bresson was saying was, the decisive moment isn't necessarily the best moment or the rarest one or the one hardest to capture. It's the one best represented in the camera. In other words, as a photographer, as well as paying close attention to the best moment, you also have to be mindful of where in the frame you position that moment, this image is a perfect example of a decisive moment. Now, pretty much any time of a tiger running in snow is the best moment. But this image goes beyond the singular dimension of action. The tiger is perfectly positioned center frame to draw your attention and hold it. The implied diagonal adds visual energy. Its gaze is staring you straight in the eye, creating tension between subject and viewer. And the eye level perspective adds to that tension. And finally the extended pores suspended just above the snow, creating separation between object and ground, which adds a sense of movement. So we have an iconic subject, compelling action, compositional integrity, dynamic perspective and separation, all coming together in one cohesive frame. The decisive moment All in all, what I'm saying here is photography isn't just looking at events and pressing the shutter release indiscriminately at the same time. Your eyes are observing the moment your mind must be assessing nuances of composition and design is multitasking at the speed of a computer, and it's not easy. But then, if it was, everyone would be doing it. After all, everyone owns a camera, right?

Class Description

AFTER THIS CLASS YOU’LL BE ABLE TO:

  • See images with a creative eye.
  • Capture artistic photographs of the most popular subjects.
  • Choose the right lens and camera settings for the image you want to create.
  • Recognize and capture the “decisive moment”.
  • Add visual mood and emotion to your photographs.
  • Develop your own unique photographic style.
  • Find what inspires you and apply that inspiration to your image-making.
  • Fine-tune color, tone, and visual presence with easy-to-learn Adobe Lightroom adjustments.

ABOUT CHRIS' CLASS:

Once you’ve mastered basic camera craft and photo-technique, what is the next step in advancing your photographic skillset? In this in-depth course, award-winner Chris Weston shares an approach to photography that has creativity at its heart, and reveals the secrets and professional techniques that will get you creating photographs that ‘sing’.

Taking you on a step-by-step journey, from vision to print, Chris shows you how to: tap into your natural creative instincts; ‘see’ much-photographed and everyday subjects with a unique vision; set a creative intention and get the camera to capture it authentically; and, with a few simple techniques, process superb print-ready photographs. Through ‘in-the-field’ examples and inspirational case studies, he reveals the nuances of composition that can make or break a photograph, and describes the creative tools that turn snapshots into stunning photographs good enough to adorn any wall.

Delivered in an easy-to-follow, down-to-earth style, using ‘real-life’ examples and ‘live’ tuition, this course builds on the practicalities of camera technique to equip you with the creativity and vision to see, capture and process compelling photographs time after time, whatever your camera or level of experience.

WHO THIS CLASS IS FOR:

  • Beginners who want to create better photographs.
  • Intermediate photographers who want to refine their image-making and be more creative.
  • All photographers looking for inspiration and creativity.
  • Outdoor photographers interested in travel, landscape/cityscape, nature, sport, and wildlife photography.

Reviews

Glenda
 

I loved this course - in particular the latter part of it in which he demonstrated how post processing lets you really tell the story of the image. Another fabulous course. Thanks Chris & thanks Creative Live.

Abdullah Alahmari
 

Thanks a lot to mr. Chris Weston This course is great and It is a 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 course for me. Beside the other course ( mastering photographic composition and visual storytelling) both courses are Complementing to each other and highly recommended.

Charles Ewing
 

Fantastic course. Great photographer, teacher and storyteller!