Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The expressive moment in street photography

She suddenly realised.


Out on the streets with my camera I find that I am often hunting for something which I call "the expressive moment".

The expressive moment is not the same as HCB's decisive moment. I also do not use it in the context of the writings about the expressionists. To me it is simply the moment captured through the lens when there is a clear expression of mood, emotion and feeling which can be easily read by the viewer looking at the image.

In contrast the decisive moment can be an image which captures something which is simply visually in perfect balance and harmony but does not have a powerful inherent emotion.

I see a lot of street photography which to me looks haphazard and I can't help wondering why the shot was taken as there's nothing special about it.

The two images above capture the expressive moment for me. The emotion, feeling and mood are clear. To use another phrase: the images speak to the viewer. And that is what I value most, and seek in my photography.

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