Indecisive Moments

Henri Cartier-Bresson first expressed the theory of the “decisive moment.” It’s an injustice to him that I’m going to oversimplify it here, but this isn’t really about the decisive moment. It’s about indecisive ones. But first: the decisive moment.

Cartier-Bresson had this notion that in any photographed event there was a moment when the action unfolded within the frame in such a way as to express that event in the strongest possible visual way. He was not saying some moments are better than others, but recognizing that some are more visually dynamic and tell a story more clearly than other moments within the same event. While there’s no shortage of opinions about this theory, to dismiss it outright is to dismiss the notion ...

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