Decisive Moments

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Pond, Headcorn, England © Stewart Weir 2013

Eckhart Tolle says “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

I place myself into situations waiting for serendipity to show herself. I believe the idea of “the decisive moment” as quoted by Henri Cartier Bresson is the perfect description of the notion of living in the ‘now’ and not in the past or future. It is to be at one with the split second of appreciation and understanding of time and the place where you stand, eyes fixed and soul working on a conscious level rather than buried in a ton of fears and worry from the past and present.

To truly create requires meditation. Going back a few years I shot weddings. The first few were a bit nerve wracking but by my 10th wedding I had no fear and knew what needed to be done before I had to do it. I soon felt like a monkey with a camera and there was no challenge but the money was good. After 200 weddings I left the scene never to return. Some genres of photography require nothing more than good technical knowledge and a set of remembered poses and compositions and going through the motions. Other genres require fearlessness and the understanding that you may die. Photography is a profession and hobby of extremes and in turn the perfect release for those who find it easier to communicate visually. For those who have an inner calling whatever that is the more they shoot what they don’t truly feel the more their creativity will rust from the outside in. It’s a disease of the soul for a creative person to rust and dry, eventually to die having not put into their hands an image that satisfies the internal creative need for their expression of their true higher self.

What we see is nothing more than a reflection of the moment we are in at the time the shutter is pressed.

There is no real solution to the condition. Some are lucky. Their lives are balanced and they produce great works. But for some its a condition of creative feast and famine, internal drama and war. The creatives block caused by internal self harming but learning Eckharte Tolle’s reasoning shines a way for me at least… well most of the time anyway.

The image above was shot early morning in late Autumn. The air was still but the birds were up. I remember the moment perfectly. The ground was wet and I was very tired but had pushed myself to get up before anyone else. I was attracted to the reflection and the symmetry at first but today I realised something. The reflection from the water is my shadow self and the dark places that we all have to reconcile whether we like it or not. This is an image created by living in the ‘now’.

The image below is an example of using the Decisive Moment .. “Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever”. (Henri Cartier Bresson). The phrase was taken from a quote by the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, who stated, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”

To me there is living in the moment and there is also the decisive moment when all elements of a moving scene (as opposed to a still scene) comes together and reaches a climax of perfection. This is one of the major challenges of capturing images that resonate with the viewer.

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Placa De Joan Amades, Barcelona © Stewart Weir 2009

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Words and images other than those quoted by others © Stewart Weir 2014

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