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« Perfect Lighting Is A Distraction | Main | Where The Fairies Are »

Beyond the Decisive Moment


Moss - from the series Where the Fairies Are

A photograph captures a moment in time. It would seem to follow that a photographer would want to create images that depict a special moment, where the viewer can savor the nuances of that slice of time. Photojournalists are inspired by the "decisive moments" captured by Henri Cariter-Bresson. Landscape photographers retell the story of Ansel Adams capturing quickly passing light for his most popular image, Moonrise, Hernandes. Think of the artist waiting for just the right expression in a face, or seeking that magic sunrise hour on the side of a mountain.

There's a problem with this approach. The camera may be capturing a fleeting arrangement of light, but I don't want to draw your attention to a specific moment. I want the story. I want your mind to fill in what happened the days, months or years that could have led up to the image. And, when your eyes turn away I want you to know that the story continues.

We know this already, don't we? For the climax to be effective, we need the context of what happened before and how events may resolve after. Well, what if I don't want my photograph to even show the climax? What if I just want to give you a sense of the journey?

Step into the journey. The moments will come. I don't need to show a special moment to you, because they're there all along.

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