Monday, December 1, 2008

December Photo Assignment Topic Announced: The Decisive Moment

Sean Donnelly, winner of November's photo assignment, has chosen December's photo assignment topic.


(C) Image by Henri Cartier-Bresson

"There was a plank fence around some repairs behind the Gare Saint-Lazare train station. I happened to be peeking through a gap in the fence with my camera at the moment the man jumped." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 - August 3, 2004) was a French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism, an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography. He helped develop the "street photography" style that has influenced generations of photographers that followed. Cartier-Bresson is now synonymous with the term "the decisive moment" -- "There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment."

"Photography is not like painting," Cartier-Bresson told the Washington Post in 1957. "There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative," he said. "Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever."[3]

Sean, who takes photography classes at the Denver Darkroom, struggled with capturing this assignment given by instructor Nick Reti, so he's curious to see what others can come up with. Reti described the assignment as: "The defining moment or passing time. Time can be shown in many ways in a photograph, a person can define time, a group of people, the seasons, time of day. In this assignment challenge yourself to define a moment or passing of time. Rusted fences, seasonal references, peeling paint. Take a photo that defines a specific moment or passing of time."

So there you go. Those explanations should be more than a enough to get you started. Just follow these guidelines please:

The rules:
1) The image must be taken between NOW and Dec. 28. The goal of the monthly topic is to get us out there shooting new subject matters on a regular basis. Interpret the topic as you wish, as long as the window is the main subject. Submit a photo related to the topic to my email at

Please have EXIF intact. Photos not taken during the time frame will not be included.

Please send photos no larger than 1MB and add a watermark if you see fit.



Chris Osborne said...

When you say window you mean a window in time and not a window like on a house, right?

Sheba Wheeler said...

Hi Chris, actually the window assignment was last month. This month, the topic is THE DECISIVE MOMENT. I hope you enter a photo!

gcmandrake said...

Henri Cartier-Bresson is my favorite photographer. I grew up pouring over his book, "The Decisive Moment," which my father owned. This should be an interesting assignment. Perhaps I should switch back to my twin lens reflex?

Sheba Wheeler said...

I think it is a great topic too! Have fun with it.

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