Assignment 3

‘The (In)decisive Moment’


Create a set of between six and ten finished images on the theme of the decisive moment. You may choose to create imagery that supports the tradition of the ‘decisive moment’ or you may choose to question or invert the concept by presenting a series of ‘indecisive’ moments. Your aim isn’t to tell a story, but in order to work naturally as a series there should be a linking theme, whether it’s a location, event or particular period of time.

Include a written introduction to your work of between 500 and 1000 words outlining your initial ideas and subsequent development. You’ll need to contextualise your response with photographers that you’ve looked at, and don’t forget to reference the reading that you’ve done.



Initial Response

It took me five minutes to process the brief and what I need to do. I can either choose to shoot a decisive moment or an indecisive moment but I am struggling to think of what subjects/places or people I can shoot. As I progress through the degree, the challenges set seem more challenging, as expected, and I enjoy trying to use my abilities to create a moment, either indecisive or decisive. I think this assignment will be an experiment, whether it works, or it doesn’t work as intended, we shall see in the results, whether the moment, is decisive or not. I am going to try and think, slightly more out of the box on this occasion. It should be a fun shoot in which will have meaning. If I choose to go for a decisive moment, I have to make sure it fits the criteria of ‘decisive’ and that it is worth it. If I try and go for the opposite, I need a moment that I can clarify as ‘indecisive’ but still has to be relevant to the assignment, not something totally random, and call it ‘indecisive’.


Initial Ideas


I would usually do a mind map for my initial ideas, and then develop them in a shoot plan, but in this brief, it specifically tells you to write between 500-1000 words on my initial ideas and my development of ideas.


My initial ideas start with trying to decide whether to choose a ‘decisive’ moment to shoot, or the opposite, an ‘indecisive’ moment. Either one I choose, will be a challenge to me and will pose certain points that I will need to overcome to produce a good shoot. I feel with the current research from Project 3, Part 3, the decisive moment, is a stronger path, and one that I would prefer to experiment with, over an indecisive moment.  Firstly, a subject, or situation, or whatever I will focus my camera on needs to be at least partially thought through before developing my ideas. At first, I thought about tattoos, but then quickly decided against it, because it didn’t really come under the definition of ‘decisive’. It is a moment in your life, that you choose to get one that is decisive when it is happening. But not after they are done, it is not decisive. Once that idea was dismissed, I thought about action sports. Great idea, right? In sports there is always decisive moments, from scoring, to winning, to loosing, pretty much everything is decisive. Luckily, I am going to a football match next weekend in the premier league, but I don’t think that they will let me take my camera into the stadium, so therefore, that could quickly be ruled out.  Other sports include skateboarding came to mind. When making huge jumps, and tricks, it is very hard to land, and you have to be talented in order to perform these stunts. Now the question is it decisive, and my answer is that it is, because they are either going to land their trick and move on, and continue, or they will crash, and fail. It is in that moment of time, whether, they land or not, that determines a decisive moment. This is one of the subjects I feel more strongly about that will be a better choice, than someone walking, or leaping, something a bit more of a challenge to shoot, and harder to focus on. Faster movement, and tougher outcome to whether they will land, or crash and burn. The same goes for any extreme sports like that, whether it is BMX, or scooters, or horses, or mixed martial arts. There are moments, where you will either exceed or fail, and that is the decisive moment. You will either succeed and do something that cannot ever be copied, exactually the same twice, to perfection, or you fail, which is also can be decisive.




I feel that it would be beneficial for me on this shoot, to take images of either someone skating, or the football if I can, as I feel these two can be primary examples of the decisive moment and show it in its true form, and not just as a stylistic cliché, by sticking someone walking in a middle of a photo and calling it a ‘decisive moment’.

I will be using Project 3, Part 3 as a basis to start my work on, and all the research that went into that part of the course. The artists looked at in that part of my work, such as Henri Cartier-Bresson are hugely influential, moving forward, as are the artist I am going to research for this specific assignment. All will be present in my head when taking on the shoot.


Mind Map

Please click the link that will open a document that will present some key points I need to keep in mind when on my shoot.

Mind Map

Artist Annotation

Please click the link for a brief analysis of an image from one of the artists I have researched.

Robin Pailler

Shoot Plan

Depending on whether the football stadium let me, I will be shooting the football. In the game there is always decisive moments, to win or to lose, and I feel it would be an interesting shoot, and the crowd’s reaction. Although, if that doesn’t go to plan, then I will be shooting, skateboarding, or BMXing. Depending on the location I choose, I will be at a skatepark and I will be shooting tricks. Whether or not they land them is a different story, but I feel this shows the decisive moment, because they may land, or may miss it completely. It should be an interesting shoot. Hopefully I can capture something of significance when I am there. I will be using various camera settings to see what works best for me.

Contact Sheet

To view my contact sheet, please click the link. Warning: it is huge!

Contact Sheet 



Image 1


Image 2


Image 3


Image 4


Image 5


Image 6


Image 7


Image 8



Please click the link to view my annotations. Scroll to the bottom to read.


Aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed

Image 1 –

Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 640
Shutter Speed: 1/1600

Image 2 –

Aperture: 5.0
ISO: 200
Shutter Speed: 1/800

Image 3 –

Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 320
Shutter Speed: 1/500

Image 4 –

Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 400
Shutter Speed:1/16000

Image 5 –

Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 160
Shutter Speed:1/500

Image 6 –

Aperture: 5.0
ISO: 500
Shutter Speed: 1/2000

Image 7 –

Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 250
Shutter Speed: 1/800

Image 8 –

Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 640
Shutter Speed: 1/2000



This assignment has been thoroughly enjoyable. At first, I wasn’t sure how I would capture ‘the decisive moment’ but with lots of preparation and my chosen subject bound to give me a moment, I am glad that I chose to do the skatepark. The people I worked with were very helpful and created numerous moments that were decisive. Although I knew the moment was coming, I didn’t know how it was going to look, what was going to happen, if they were going to land it or not and there was excitement and thrill every time I watched them do big tricks.

I feel that me as a photographer was also classified as a ‘decisive moment’ in what I was doing as I had to be there in the right place, and the right time to manage to capture these shots in the present of them. I had to make decisions too, like the riders, that would either work, or not work in order to complete all of the elements to make this unique piece of work. I had to be in the right place, at the right angle, at the right time, and to also anticipate what was going to roughly unfold in order to quickly prepare myself for what was about to come. I tried my hardest to be part of that ‘decisive moment’ and to be the producer of such a thing. The photographer, me, in this instance is a large proportion of the moment and a moment in itself of capturing the event. 


Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

I demonstrated technical skills by using fast shutter and small aperture to ensure my images get the desired effect. Visually I selected the images that had the best relation to ‘the decisive moment’ and the ones really captured in the middle of the moment, with the most height or dramatic trick. I had to observe them and the way in which they rode the park. I used this to my advantage so I could guess what ramp they were going to go up next so therefore I would place my camera in that general direction.


Quality of Outcome

As always, the quality of outcome within my images and the rest of my planning leading up to the shoot, I feel, is evident in my work by showing that I understand the brief and the expectations and therefore my planning has helped push my abilities when it has come to my shoot. I comminuted my ideas and used my research as a basis for my shoot and my previous research from part 3. To help spur me on and to create a piece of work unique and worthy of ‘the decisive moment’.


Demonstration of Creativity

I tried to explore my creativity more within this assignment than previously because my tutor advised me to be more artistic within my work and not to go for the most straight forward thing. I feel that in this situation the most straight forward thing would have been to focus my work in a city center and to capture everyday decisive moments. With the skatepark shoot, I knew this was going to be more of a challenge because of the pace of the subject. I wanted to prove that I could capture images that I knew were hard to capture and more of a challenge. And the skatepark being a more of a challenge to capture that decisive moment and the right time. I felt this was an experiment to get the right camera settings, and framing and to comply with the brief.




My research within the assignment was well thought through and detailed. I chose 5 photographers who I thought could influence me and my shoot and help me towards it. I chose skate photographers as that was the subject I was aiming for. I used my research as a basis to kick my assignment off, with doing a mind map, a shoot plan and a paragraph about the development of my shoot as all planning towards the shoot. I feel my reflection was present within my annotation which looks at the shoot as a whole and assesses the images relevantly. This reflection also specifies my thoughts and feelings on the assignment and how I feel it went.



Overall, I think that I have done a very good shoot in terms of ‘the decisive moment’ and my planning and execution was good, showing my capability’s within sports photography in relation to a challenging brief.



For my feedback of assignment 3, I feel that the feedback was very helpful and I could clearly see where I needed to improve my work. Sometimes without thinking in depth you do not really think about where to position yourself, and my tutor mentioned where I could have been better positioned to enhance my work. I was so caught up in trying to capture decisive moments, that I did not really think this through. Which if I was to ever reconsider this shoot, is definitely an aspect I would implement. 
I used a small aperture throughout, although I could not figure why the background was still very much in focus and part of the image when I just wanted to capture the moment. My last image, which has now changed, I feel did not sit with the series as well as the replacement as he was not on his skateboard or bike, where on the others they are doing tricks, and this made it less decisive.
I didn’t really think about me as the photographer being the decisive moment capturing them but them as the subject as decisive. My tutor explained to me how taking the photograph is decisive, which is an angle I didn’t look at. 
Again, I am reminded that I need to be less descriptive, and analyse more, which is a fair point which has been stated before, but once I get talking, I want to talk about what I see and to try and tell the viewer that, forgetting they can see it too, or their own interpretation. Whereas I need to analyse the good and the bad of the image into being self-reflective, giving myself the opportunity to become a better photographer, learning from this. When assessing I need to be more in control of explaining myself instead of saying ‘ this is evident’ I need examples to back this up. Overall, I feel the shoot worked, but the writing aspect of my work needs a little tweaking so I am in line with my photography. 


© Lewis.Gibson.Photography.2019

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