The Decisive Moment

December 28, 2010

I’m sure we all experience this. I keep putting it off. Making one excuse after another. Somehow blogging always comes second to last on the massive list of things to do. Go to the post office. Write that card. Find the ribbon. Get a haircut.  Photoshoots. Projects. The list just goes on and on. For those of you that are friends with me on facebook or follow me on twitter, you may have caught up on some of whats been happening. In any case, I got through most of the holiday season, and just getting back to the blog now, hoping to catch the rest of you all up on some of the things i’ve been doing.

First is a project that begins with the premise that everything that happens in our lives can be documented with a camera phone. Our phones now hold the shooting and storage capacities of many market comparable point and shoot digital cameras. We carry them with us everywhere. We take pictures of funny moments, our pets, our friends, our bikes, our windowsill flowerpots. There are even apps for turning our photos into vintage relic copies- Hipstamatic for the Iphone or Vignette for the Droid, creating modern day digital versions of Polaroid, Toy camera, and Fisheye style photos just to name a few. The argument that has emerged is the same argument that occurred when DVD players started replacing VHS machines, when CDs and then Ipods replaced tapes and records, when the Kindle and the Nook came out with its digital book reader. Camera-phones will not replace the need for actual cameras, for real live “old fashioned” 35mm film or true to form Polaroid cameras ( which despite the original shut down of the film, there has occurred a resurrection ) due to the draw towards nostalgia and the need for the thrill of creating images based on the burning of light onto silver. Just like records and real books, film cameras will not likely go out of style anytime soon ( have you been to Williamsburg or South Philly lately?? )

The lure of shooting with my camera phone, images that I could likely shoot with a real camera came to me as convenience at first, and then an anthropological exploration of sorts that allowed me to look at the world around me and capture it quickly and discreetly. I began making images whilest out and about. Coming home from work. Going to a friends house in Brooklyn. Walking to the train. For me, there is no longer a line between the eye that looks at the world through the lens of a camera and the eye that looks at the world. I entitled the project, “on the fly” after a term used on the cooking line in restaurant kitchens for food that needs to be cooked and sent out as quickly as possible. These images occurred and were captured quickly, hence the similarity of the title. Later, coincidently I learned that I was doing exactly as Henri Cartier-Bresson had predicted. He said that there is “nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment”. His technique, and the title of one book following was Images à la Sauvette, which translated roughly means “images on the run” or “images on the fly”. I had not known I was following in his footsteps while working on this project. These images were not pre-planned. They were not known. They happened by themselves. I was only there to see that they were happening.

on the fly


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2 Responses to “The Decisive Moment”

  1. leandra Says:

    wow. these are awesome shots. i’m excited that there’s actually been such a focus on developing camera phones so they have the amazing clarity they do now. can’t wait to see pictures in a few years.


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