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Monthly Masters DiscussionMonthly Masters' Discussion: June 2017 - Cartier-Bresson and The Decisive Moment

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St3v3M
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Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion: Cartier-Bresson and The Decisive Moment - Share Your Thoughts

Post by St3v3M » Sun Jul 30, 2017 6:18 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:...
I have much reading to do. Thanks Matt

So much to learn, so much fun doing it! And I love the pout! S-
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:00 am

St3v3M wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:...
I have much reading to do. Thanks Matt

So much to learn, so much fun doing it! And I love the pout! S-


Thanks Steve. Yes, a lifetime left of learning. Matt
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Post by minniev » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:20 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:Minnie, Thank you for this. The resources are splendid. I will benefit from them

The image chills me, partly as a result of current photos of children fleeing violence; it has echoes of the young girl on fire from napalm in Vietnam. And that raises a question of how objective we can be when looking at a photo.

Also, there is a halo of some sort around her, also suggesting an attempt to focus attention. The lighting just doesn't seem right on her; I can't be more specific that that. And there is a softness, a watercolor quality, to parts of the image that puzzles me.

And it looks like something of a stock photo from a travel brochure, if the child could be PSed out.

Just so you can give these comments the right weight, I didn't like any of John Donne's poems the first time I read them, notUnhappy granddaughter (1 of 1).jpg knowing who he was. Then his reputation and others' comments made me read again.

Here's a photo from yesterday, not necessarily a dm, but a significant pause in the afternoon. My wife thought it was time to go home while our granddaughter wanted to stay. She pretended to pout to see whether pouting would work. It didn't ; it doesn't.

I have much reading to do. Thanks Matt


Thanks, Matt, for chiming in and for sharing a "moment" indeed. This series is always about us (definitely including me) thinking and learning, a never-ending story that hopefully will continue to unfold for all of us, no mater our age or experience. It took me almost two years of doing these monthly posts to tangle with Cartier Bresson, both because he was somewhat intimidating and because I didn't quite get it.

The young girl in Viet Nam was a Decisive Moment too, though of a different sort. It is interesting to look at the two in conjunction, a powerful contrast in what is the same and what is different.

Watch tomorrow for a new one going up!
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Post by St3v3M » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:48 pm

minniev wrote:Watch tomorrow for a new one going up!

Always exciting! S-
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Post by Matt Quinn » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:14 pm

minniev wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:Minnie, Thank you for this. The resources are splendid. I will benefit from them

The image chills me, partly as a result of current photos of children fleeing violence; it has echoes of the young girl on fire from napalm in Vietnam. And that raises a question of how objective we can be when looking at a photo.

Also, there is a halo of some sort around her, also suggesting an attempt to focus attention. The lighting just doesn't seem right on her; I can't be more specific that that. And there is a softness, a watercolor quality, to parts of the image that puzzles me.

And it looks like something of a stock photo from a travel brochure, if the child could be PSed out.

Just so you can give these comments the right weight, I didn't like any of John Donne's poems the first time I read them, notUnhappy granddaughter (1 of 1).jpg knowing who he was. Then his reputation and others' comments made me read again.

Here's a photo from yesterday, not necessarily a dm, but a significant pause in the afternoon. My wife thought it was time to go home while our granddaughter wanted to stay. She pretended to pout to see whether pouting would work. It didn't ; it doesn't.

I have much reading to do. Thanks Matt


Thanks, Matt, for chiming in and for sharing a "moment" indeed. This series is always about us (definitely including me) thinking and learning, a never-ending story that hopefully will continue to unfold for all of us, no mater our age or experience. It took me almost two years of doing these monthly posts to tangle with Cartier Bresson, both because he was somewhat intimidating and because I didn't quite get it.

The young girl in Viet Nam was a Decisive Moment too, though of a different sort. It is interesting to look at the two in conjunction, a powerful contrast in what is the same and what is different.

Watch tomorrow for a new one going up!



Can't wait, Minnie. Matt
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Post by St3v3M » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:33 am

"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by St3v3M » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:56 pm

"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:38 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:Minnie, Thank you for this. The resources are splendid. I will benefit from them

The image chills me, partly as a result of current photos of children fleeing violence; it has echoes of the young girl on fire from napalm in Vietnam. And that raises a question of how objective we can be when looking at a photo.

Also, there is a halo of some sort around her, also suggesting an attempt to focus attention. The lighting just doesn't seem right on her; I can't be more specific that that. And there is a softness, a watercolor quality, to parts of the image that puzzles me.

And it looks like something of a stock photo from a travel brochure, if the child could be PSed out.

Just so you can give these comments the right weight, I didn't like any of John Donne's poems the first time I read them, not knowing who he was. Then his reputation and others' comments made me read again.

Here's a photo from yesterday, not necessarily a dm, but a significant pause in the afternoon. My wife thought it was time to go home while our granddaughter wanted to stay. She pretended to pout to see whether pouting would work. It didn't ; it doesn't.

I have much reading to do. Thanks Matt

Somehow I missed these later posts. Steve posted a link today which bumped the thread back to the top. Matt, your wonderful shot of Unhappy granddaughter (1 of 1).jpg is a treasure, and in my opinion absolutely a moment décisif! All the "english" in this picture, Grandma standing quietly, reasonably, completely non-threateningly, while granddaughter is clearly taking a literal sit-down-I'm-on-strike-not-budging-until-my-demand-are-met stance. Well, sitting stance. Eye contact. The story is right there needing no caption.

I was surprised that you found Cartier-Bresson's picture chilling. It could have something to do with the posted example. I found what I think is a better one, larger and brighter: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6c/8d/14 ... fc843f.jpg

Here I see no haloing, no obvious print manipulation at all. H C-B did not print his own stuff. He disliked the darkroom, but he did generally insist that printers print his pictures with what are called "verification borders," where the enlarger mask was cut out so that the entire negative could be printed with the black border of the edge of the film showing. In the picture I found you can clearly see scraps of verification border top, bottom, and left. I don't see the watercolor softness you do, but in the version I found the lighting looks normal on the child. In the original example it looks as if she is casting a shadow on the wall behind her but in this version it is clear she is not. Whoever made this print was a master. If s/he had to "dodge up" the child it is not visible, and as a longtime master B&W printer myself if anything were there to spot I would spot it.

I've always seen that picture as just a young girl racing up the stairs. I've never felt the slightest tension or threat, and I very well know the picture you mentioned, Nick Ut's Pulitzer Prize winner of 1972. I get no sense of that here. The youngster is in a tearing hurry, but kids that age (9 or 10) tend to go everywhere in a tearing hurry, just full of energy and overflowing joie de vivre. The story here is murkier than your picture so we can happily make up our own, but she is going somewhere, grígora, for some reason. My take on it has always been that she is going to somewhere rather than from something.

A very big challenge trying to properly view and understand masterworks on line is the great range of quality of scans, from good to meh to plain bad. Then there is the challenge of differences in monitors, less of a problem with black and white but still, how well calibrated, how's the brightness and contrast, which we all know is critical for black and white...
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:50 pm

Chuck,
've always seen that picture as just a young girl racing up the stairs. I've never felt the slightest tension or threat, and I very well know the picture you mentioned, Nick Ut's Pulitzer Prize winner of 1972. I get no sense of that here. The youngster is in a tearing hurry, but kids that age (9 or 10) tend to go everywhere in a tearing hurry, just full of energy and overflowing joie de vivre. The story here is murkier than your picture so we can happily make up our own, but she is going somewhere, grígora, for some reason. My take on it has always been that she is going to somewhere rather than from something.

I prefer the photo you linked for me. It reminded me of one I took of our granddaughter doing just what you described, going upstairs in a tearing hurry.
Michaela on stairs (1 of 1).jpg
She even raced out of her slippers, one of which sits on the step. How she didn't break a leg is the mystery of childhood. And she was going to something, not from, as you suggested in the C-B photo. Thanks for your posting the link. Matt
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Post by St3v3M » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:22 am

7 Tips for Capturing the Decisive Moment in Street Photography

"There is probably no other term as often cited as “The Decisive Moment” in Street Photography. Yet there is no real agreement what a decisive moment defines.

The street is normally a very chaotic place. People are walking in every direction and there isn’t much “sense” when putting everything together. The decisive moment is different. Suddenly every single detail that is captured in the photograph has a meaning. Subjects that are normally not connected are in a relation to each other, they don’t know it, but the picture clearly shows it."
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

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