Ruth Bernhard said “the moment of exposure is the culmination of the rejection of all other possibilities”. Cartier Bresson called it the “decisive moment”. Either way, to capture that perfect moment, apparently you (a) need to be in the right place at the right time, (b) have your camera with you, and (c) have luck on your side…..
Just how much luck do you need? Is there anything that you can do to influence luck? Although I have lost count of the number of times I have seen a terrific image and didn’t have my camera with me, there are other times when I try to pre-visualize a scene unfolding before me in the hope that a perfect moment will occur. More often than not nothing extraordinary happens, but every once in a while it does and the lucky part is being ready to capture it.
These two shots certainly fall into the category of pre-visualizing an event occurring and having a little luck on my side to capture them. Both are of my daughter. The first was taken at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. We decided to take her there after she told us she wanted to be an astronaut – she wanted to go into space one day to get the ballon that her baby sister had recently lost. I had a feeling she would climb onto to the handrail to take a closer look at the mural and I just hoped that if she did she would look up at the astronaut – to create a sense of dreaminess. The second was taken just recently when we were at the airport preparing to fly off on our annual vacation to Europe. We have flown several times with our daughters and each time we go to the airport our eldest climbs up onto this particular window that looks out across the runway. Sure enough she did it again on this most recent trip and I was ready with my camera. I took several shots of her looking out of the window – I wanted to capture her silhouette in a neutral pose.
I like to think that although luck was on my side when I tripped the shutter to capture each of these images, I was ready to capture the lucky (decisive) moment.