Our Favorite Reader Photos from "The Decisive Moment" Assignment


The Kiss
William Carson took this photo in Central Park this summer while sitting on one of the park’s many benches. “The bride and groom, who were having their wedding photos taken, sat down and started talking with the men,” Carson writes. “This kiss certainly got their attention!” Carson noted that he was not the official wedding photographer. He shot the image with a Nikon D800 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with the focal length at 70mm, 1/180 sec at f/6.7, and ISO 800.
© William Carson

For this month’s assignment, we asked you to post images that exemplified what famed French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson called “the decisive moment,” i.e., real-life subject matter that’s captured neither too early, nor too late, but at the peak of emotion and expression. We got some beautiful moments from Shutterbug readers, including everything from a breathtaking goal line flip during a football game to a poignant kiss between a bride and groom with several unexpected onlookers sharing the couple’s “decisive moment.” Here are our 10 favorite examples of decisive moments from Shutterbug readers.

Flanders Flip
Here’s the background on this stunning split-second shot. “During a contest between Sam Houston State University and Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston running back Tim Flanders flips into the end zone by a would-be tackler,” photographer David Barfield writes. “Flanders landed briefly on his feet, maintaining control of the football, for a Bearkat touchdown.” Barfield shot it with a Nikon D700 and a Sigma 120-300mm f/4 lens at 1/1600 sec, ISO 4000 with the focal length at 220mm.
© David Barfield

The Plaza, Chichicastenango, Guatemala
Photographer Dick Simon submitted no text to go with this mysterious black-and-white image, which speaks for itself.
© Dick Simon

Morning Walk
Tristen Yeak used a Nikon D5300 and an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II to capture this gorgeous morning shot. “Mornings at the MacRitchie Reservoir Trail in Singapore will treat you to amazing sights as rays of sunlight dance through the leaves and trees,” Yeak writes. The image was shot at a focal length of 36mm, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/30 sec.
© Tristen Yeak

Trumpet Man: Hitting The Note
Antonio Salazar used a Canon EOS 7D with a 24-105mm f/4L lens at f/11, 1/100 sec, and ISO 1000 to capture this musician jamming so hard that his sunglasses have fallen off his face.
© Antonio Salazar

The Agony Of Defeat
“This is a photo of my son’s ‘decisive moment’ as he makes an attempt at running to third base,” photographer Jeff Stephens writes. “The picture tells the story as to the outcome.” Stephens shot the image with a Nikon D300 and a Nikkor 28-300mm zoom lens at 300mm, 1/2000 sec, f/5.6, and ISO 500.
© Jeff Stephen

Occupy Austin
David Bowden captured this black-and-white image at the Occupy Austin rally in downtown Austin, Texas. It was captured with a Nikon D700 and a Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 lens at ISO 200.
© David Bowden

The Girl In The Red Shoes
The girl’s red shoes in Nathan Dean’s image match the red walls in a Buddhist temple in China where it was shot. Dean used a Nikon D700 and a Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens at 68mm, 1/125 sec at f/16.
© Nathan Dean

Lederhosen At The Train Station
Axel Breutigam shot this comical black-and-white image with a Leica M (Typ 240) digital rangefinder and a Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH lens at f/8, 1/125 sec.
© Axel Breutigam

Chairs & Stairs
“Setting up for a wedding at one of the major hotels in downtown San Francisco, these movers turned their work into a competition (as young men often do),” photographer Art David recalls. “The goal was to see how many chairs they could carry up the stairs on each trip. At this exact moment, the bend of the young man’s body and the arc of the chairs, like a tree limb weighed down by ice and snow, create a tenuous balance within the straight, hard lines of the concrete building and steps.” David shot the image with a Nikon D7000 and a Tamron 18-270mm lens at 20mm, f/4, 1/350 sec, and ISO 400.
© Art David

Picture This! – Our Next Assignment
Wildlife and Nature

Wildlife and nature photography seem to be favorites of our readers so we expect a lot of amazing images for our next assignment. But before you decide to submit every photo you’ve ever shot of a bird or flower, take some time sorting through your wildlife and nature images to pick out something truly special. Not only are we looking for the subjects to be in focus, we’d like to see wildlife and nature photos that offer a fresh and interesting perspective or tell some sort of a story. This should be a very competitive assignment, so give us wildlife and nature images that truly stand out.

Neck To Neck
This image of giraffes at the San Diego Zoo is more about good timing than anything else. I shot this from a moving tourist train at the zoo with a Canon EOS-1D Mark II N and an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens at f/10, 1/800 sec, and ISO 320. I saw the two giraffes approaching each other and kept my lens aimed at the spot where I expected them to cross. When they hit their mark I simply pressed the shutter at the right moment, and that was it.
© Dan Havlik

How To Submit Online
1. Go to www.shutterbug.com and register. Scroll down the page and on the right side you will see a box for entering your username and your password. If you have already registered and/or submitted images for the Galleries you can skip this step. Respond to the activation e-mail. Registration is free. You will use your username and password whenever you visit or, with some systems, it will automatically load for you when you visit www.shutterbug.com.

2. Check the assignment and closing dates in the magazine. When the magazine is printed we will create an appropriate gallery for your images. The limit is two images per assignment.

3. Select and prepare your images. We only accept files at a maximum 5MB size, JPEG format. Save the JPEG at a quality level of 10 or higher. Note that file size in your image folder directory will determine upload size, not the “opened” file size, as JPEG compresses at 1:4 at higher quality ratings. If your images do not load it probably means you have exceeded the file size or have not used JPEG format.

4. Click on the Galleries tab on the homepage. In the Category section use the drop-down menu to select the Picture This! assignment. Note that images are simultaneously loaded into the assignment category as well as your own personal gallery. When the Picture This! assignment deadline date has lapsed the assignment gallery will be removed, but your images will still reside in your own gallery.

5. In the Description box add title, camera, lens, exposure information, and your full name. Also add any other comments or anecdotes you think relevant. We reserve the right to edit comments as needed.

6. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page. This uploads the image.

7. You retain copyright on the image.

8. We will choose the images after close of the due date.

9. Please feel free to comment on images submitted by other readers.

Please Note: If the photograph includes a minor or a recognizable individual or group you are guaranteeing that you have a signed model release form, and especially a parental or guardian release form for minors. You should keep a copy of that release in your files. Scan that release and keep it handy. If an image is chosen for publication, failure to provide a form when requested will eliminate the image from consideration. You can find release forms at http://asmp.org/tutorials/model-release-minor-child.html and other resources on the Internet. By uploading images you attest that the model release form is valid, that any depiction of a person is with their consent, that you have a model release form available on request, and that all images you submit have been made by you.

Deadline For Submission: April 15, 2015.
Images will appear in our July 2015 issue.

Our next topic: Gorgeous Landscapes
Deadline: May 1, 2015
Publication Date: August 2015

Please Note: By submitting you agree to give us the right to show the image(s) on the web and for publication. You give us publication rights in the magazine and on the website(s) of Source Interlink Media.

Want to see images selected for past picture this! Assignments? Go to www.shutterbug.com and click on picture this! In the “more articles…” box on the homepage.

If you have any questions or problems e-mail us at editorial@shutterbug.com with Picture This! in the subject line.