Chapter 10: Capturing Candid Moments


A good candid image captures a spontaneous natural moment. It represents a small slice of time, and tells a story about real people's lives. Candid images are not contrived or posed. They catch fleeting moments of beauty without an emphasis on perfect photographic technique or getting the subject to perform perfectly for the camera.

Can a picture really say a thousand words? Even the greatest candid image can't capture the whole story about anything, because a story is something that unfolds over time. Nevertheless, during almost any event, there comes a single decisive moment when many elements of the story align themselves at the same time and place. A photograph that encompasses all of these colliding factors can convey pretty much all there is to know about what was happening at that moment, though maybe not in a thousand words. Pictures don't speak to us in words at all; good candid images speak in the language of emotion.

Seeing Candid Moments

A truly beautiful candid moment such as the one shown in Figure 10-1 is one of the most elusive shots you may ever try to capture with your camera. When shots like these happen in real life they're such fleeting moments that the average person may not even notice them. You may see something happening — an expression, a gesture — and think about how great it would look frozen in an image, but by ...

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