How to Capture the Decisive Moment In Photography

The decisive moment in photography is the exact time and place when the light creates a single image in your mind. It’s the exact moment when everything around you stops moving. It’s also the exact moment when everything in your composition becomes interesting and attractive.

So, what can you do to get this perfect shot?

Keep still.

You need to capture an image that is sharp, but this will be impossible if you move around. Take your camera off the tripod and look through the viewfinder to see what is happening. Keep still and think about your subject. If your subject is moving, stop it with your shutter button.

Find a different angle.

Shooting from the same viewpoint doesn’t always work. There might be nothing happening in the foreground, there might be other elements distracting the viewer. Try shooting from another angle.

Think of a creative title.

What words or phrases sum up what you saw? You might want to use a famous quote, or try creating a fresh one of your own.

Capture a candid moment.

Shooting a posed photograph can be fun, but it’s not exactly a candid moment. It’s usually planned, arranged and you need to be aware of this when you take the photo. If you are taking a picture of your child, a friend or colleague, ask them to be in a natural pose and to say something spontaneous.

Find the right spot.

When you are shooting in a public place, try to find a spot where the sun is shining, so it gets light into the room.

Stay close.

If you are a long-range shooter, such as a landscape or travel photographer, you might be used to shooting from a distance. Don’t be afraid to get closer, though. A wider angle will show more of the scene, so you need to get close. It might be easier to focus on the subject if you are in the foreground.

Use a long lens.

Long-lens photographers love having the whole scene in front of their lens, which can make the subject look small. The longer the focal length, the greater the angle. Use a 300mm or 500mm to get the scene at a wide angle.

Take a step back.

You might be able to see things in a better way when you take a step back. Take your camera off your tripod and look through the viewfinder again. Get as far back as you can, or zoom out.

Think of a unique perspective.

Try looking at your subject from a new angle. Is there something unusual happening? What would make it stand out? For example, the sun might be hitting the top of a building, or it could be snowing and your feet are the only things on the ground.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Taking lots of photos and then choosing the best ones is the best way to learn. Take lots of photos, develop and print them, then choose the ones you like best.