Street Photography and Camera Setting Tips for Capturing the Decisive Moment - Guest post by Dave Surber
Intro by Skip Cohen
Working with the Luminary team has brought a whole group of incredibly talented artists and educators into my life and in turn, into yours. This new guest post from Dave Surber is loaded with great content and tips for terrific street photography, but in all honesty, it's about being prepared for the "decisive moment" no matter what you're shooting.
To see more of Dave's work take a look at his site, follow him on Twitter then Instagram and Google+.
As with all the talent in this Luminary team, you'll never be disappointed!
I LOVE SHOOTING STREET PHOTOGRAPHY- it’s one of my favorite things to do. Not only is it a great way to explore one’s surroundings, but it’s also a great way to keep the creative juices flowing.
My real appreciation for street photography began when I took a course on the history of photography. During the course we studied the French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, whom many consider to be the father of street photography. In 1952, Cartier-Bresson published a book entitled “Images à la sauvette”- the English edition of this book was entitled “The Decisive Moment”. The book consisted of 126 pictures of his street photography along with a philosophical preface outlining his photographic style. At the core of Cartier-Bresson’s beliefs was the idea of the decisive moment. In a nutshell, Cartier-Bresson believed that a street photographer only has a split-second to capture a magical moment in time. He entitled that split-second the decisive moment. For example, let’s look at one of Cartier-Bresson’s most iconic images taken in Hyères in 1932:
For Cartier-Bresson the decisive moment of this picture is the split second he had to capture the bicyclist in that exact location as it relates to the curve of the street and the shape of the railing. Upon examination you will see that the shapes and lines within this photo form a “golden ratio” composition:
Hence, through the use of the decisive moment, Cartier-Bresson was able to transform this seemingly mundane picture into a greater work of art. In order to capture this fleeting moment both Cartier-Bresson and his camera had to be completely prepared and ready at a second's notice. Which brings us to some street photography and camera setting tips for capturing the decisive moment:
1. Always bring a camera with you!
2. Go for the candid shots.
3. Be hyper aware of your surroundings.
4. Tell a story!
Make sure your camera is always ready!
While out and about, keep your camera on and your lens cap off.
While writing this blog post I found this great short film on YouTube entitled, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment”. Cartier-Bresson narrates it. So, if you want to learn more about Cartier-Bresson from the man himself, here’s your chance. Enjoy!
So there you have it, some tips and tricks to help you catch the decisive moment. I hope you’ve enjoyed the post! And please, if you have any tips and trick you’d like to share with us please do so! As always, comments and feedback are appreciated. Happy shooting!
And to all those Lumix Intagram shooters out there, don't forget to hashtag your pics with #LumixLounge to be a part the Lumix Community Gallery.
3/11/2014 03:58:39 am
WOW, YES, YES, YES !!!+
3/11/2014 07:09:12 am
Thanks for your kind comments Carlos! I'm glad you found the post inspiring. I really enjoyed the video as well. Thanks!
Great article which contains all the best advice I give to street togs, especially keep your camera on and lens cap off! However your example images are a bit, dare I say, limp. Neither of them illustrate a decisive moment so I'll suggest one of my own ;)
3/11/2014 07:18:41 am
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