In clear reference to Henri Carter-Bresson’s famously quoted, “the decisive moment” (taken from his 1952 book, “Images à la Sauvette”, whose English edition was entitled “The Decisive Moment”), this exercise is about just that. Cartier-Bresson believed, “Il n’y a rien dans ce monde qui n’ait un moment decisif” (“There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment”, a quote often attributed to him but in fact borrowed from The 17th Century Cardinal de Retz). He sought to apply this philosophy to his photography.
In this exercise I need to take a small series of photographs in which I am looking for a particular point in time when my eye and shutter have worked in unison to produce the desired final result. From that small series I needed to pick the image which best represents what I was trying to achieve. The results are below with my reasoning for the final selection.
During this festival I could see that the devotee had many of his family and friends watching and supporting him (as is usual during these events). What I was trying to capture was the moment when they were all looking at him at the same time. As you can see I took a few attempts at this and either I had the focus wrong on they were looking in different directions. Finally I caught it right and they are all looking the same way and all engaged with the action before them. The aim of taking the photograph through the steel rods was to try and impose on the viewer the crowded, ecstatic, supportive and slightly bewildering nature of the occasion as the devotee dances his way to his destination.