Assignment three The (in) decisive moment


Six and eight on the theme of the ‘decisive moment’ to your tutor. Street photography is the traditional subject of the decisive moment, but it doesn’t have to be. Landscape may also have a decisive moment of weather, season or time of day. A building may have a decisive moment when human activity and light combine to present a ‘peak’ visual 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. 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, an event or a particular period of time.

.I found university a big shook to me. I am not used to communicating with words. I am used to using images and drawing to express myself, I usually live in my own little world. And don’t always notice what’s going on around me. I love making things and being creative. And I am just used to creating things, not use to explaining my creation with words. Just explaining how I created these photos can be hard for me. Sometimes I run out of words to express my creativity. And I struggle writing things down as I am dyslexia too. I have to use grammar check all the time. I find this course drawing me out of myself in a good way. I found my perfectionist strike can stop me completing things. I want to be Vincent Van Gogh of Photography but fall at the first hurdle. I sometimes forget even Van Gogh had to learn new things.

.The decisive moment in street photography is a very interesting concept to me. I personally enjoy street photography but found the concept of the decisive moment difficult to convey into images. I couldn’t decide what to photography. I research indecisive moment in photography by looking at other photographers’ work and by searching YouTube for the concept. And I came across one of my favourite street photography websites which captures the decisive moment called Copenhagen Chic. It’s about Danish everyday people cycling to work, school and play. Its website that portrays that cycling is a sustainable and healthy form of transport. And you can be fashionable and chic at the same time while riding a bike. And it regularly conveys that message by capturing the decisive moment. Whether it is women cycling in high heels with their handbags or women cycling with her child on the back of the bicycle.

The website captures the decisive moment beautiful and very well. The photographer behind the website is Mikael Colville-Andersen.

I would like to try and recreate this type of decisive moment with people, transport and bicycles on the Oxford Road in Manchester for this assignment 3. Cycling is an important part of my life and I love it. It is a great cheap form of transport and a great way to keep fit. I wanted to illustrate the different forms of transport in Manchester and people using these forms of transport at the decisive moment.I also wanted to illustrate the complex transport system in Manchester and how they interact with other forms of transport. There are dangerous points in the travel system where people with wheelchairs and mothers with prams have to get over the tramlines before the trams come. There are quite a few decisive moments that are good for photography. I can say I found this assignment challenging. You have to be so quick when photographing moving objects or you miss the shot. But I do find with a decisive moment in street photography interesting concept and fun. As those decisive moments, you want to photography slip away quickly if you’re not quick enough. But watching the world go by can be fun.

I felt a bit limited by my equipment. I wish I had a 70mm -300mm lens with DSLR Camera. My Sony A5000 only 16mm 50mm is lovely and lightweight and doesn’t hurt my neck but it didn’t zoom in enough and not very fast when you switch it on. And I felt like I miss the shot quite a lot due to not being fast enough and struggling with what shutter speed to use for the shot. I also wasn’t sure if I had to try the technique I had learned in exercises like changing shutter speed in this assignment.

I found photographing people quite scary as many people don’t like being photography.

10 images for assignment 3

Lady cycling playing with her phone for a moment with her eyes off the road
A man cycling with no hands just using hes body and legs to balance hes bicycle
A wheelchair user having to carefully ride over the tram tracks that can be quite slippy and kerb of the pavement before the trams come.
A Lady j walking having navigate the road before another car comes
A bicycle user cycling behind the new cycle path install behind the bus stop and person waiting for the bus. Its interesting as once you step of the bus you have to watch out for bicycle if you walk one way and car if you walk the other way

People crossing the road
A lady walking at the traffic lights waiting to go

Various people waiting for the tram to pass to cross the road. The trams in Manchester are quite high and intimidating. You have to be very careful as there above eyeshot and you can get run over if you’re not careful. This photo really illustrates the danger trams pose to people moving around the city centre.

A cyclist weaving in between people as he trying to navigate Manchester complex transport system

Contact Sheet

Exercise 3.3

Exercise 3.3

2. Find a good viewpoint, perhaps fairly high up (an upstairs window might do)
where you can see a wide view or panorama. Start by looking at the things
closest to you in the foreground. Then pay attention to the details in the middle
distance and, finally, the things towards the horizon. Now try and see the whole
landscape together, from the foreground to horizon (you can move your eyes).
Include the sky in your observation and try to see the whole visual field together,
all in movement (there is always some movement). When you’ve got it, raise your
camera and take a picture. Add the picture and a description of the process to
your learning log.

I went for walk around University Salford which backs on the Peel Park on the River Irwell. It has a beautiful view of the foreground horizon shot. And the university is built on a big hill and park low lying type valley. So I took some photographs.

Exercise 3.2

Start by doing your own research into some of the artists discussed above.
Then, using slow shutter speeds, the multiple exposure function, or another
technique inspired by the examples above, try to record the trace of movement
within the frame. You can be as experimental as you like. Add a selection of shots
together with relevant shooting data and a description of your process (how you
captured the shots) to your learning log.

I went for walk to Salford Docks where Media City is. I was struggling to work out a shutter speed setting on this Sony camera. As I was going out at night taking photos. Trying to get that blurry car and street light shoots. I gave up and went back to day time shoots. As settings at night to difficult for me to understand yet. I am still getting confused never too sure if l am doing it right. So went on automatically took these photos of the Salford docks. As I was upset I couldn’t work out the shots properly

I am a perfectionist and have to calm down sometimes to get photography. As I had a habit of deleting my shots if their not perfect but I’ve had to stop doing that, as it looks like I haven’t taken any photos.I just put the rubbish photos in my contact sheet instead.

Then I gave it another go and took some more shots with slower shutter speed in my flat. I worked out how to use the shutter speed on the camera by watching a few YouTube videos on shutter speed and got these shots.

I just threw plastic flowers in the air changed shutter Speed and took a photo
ISO 100 1/5 F/4
ISO 800 1/50 sec F/4 .

Exercise 3.1

Research photographers discuss in exercise 3.1 Philip Lorca DiCorcia , Szarkowski

I research first by looking for interviews with him and had a watch of them. I found out Philip Lorca DiCorcia was trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Yale University where he got a Master of Fine Art in Photography. And he’s teaches at Yale University. In this interview, Philip talks about not being comfortable at first with photographing people .l feel the same sometimes, as you never know how strangers will react to being photograph. I found out that Philip DiCorcia is a pioneer in staged real-life photography

Philp DiCorcia achieved recognition when he’s produced a series of photography called “Hustlers” (1990-92), for which he staged portraits of male prostitutes on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Being a pioneer DiCorcia pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in photography. And he did not intend to be the photographer he sort of fell into it at art school. His choice of subject to photography in the Hustler series conveys his approach to photography. To be maverick in photography to photographing people who society wouldn’t normally acknowledge or respect. He highlighted them and shown us prostitution is the oldest profession in the world whether society accepts it or not. It exists and can’t be ignored. He also help his male prostitute out by paying them to pose for picture. And I think it’s interesting that he picked male prostitute, not female ones. As most people when they hear the word prostitute think of female street prostitutes, not male prostitutes

John Szarkowsk was an American photographer, curator, historian, and critic. He completed a degree in art history from the University of Wisconsin, Madison .Then worked as a museum photographer at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, he moved to Buffalo to teach photography. He then moved to Chicago, where he worked on his photo-book The Idea of Louis Sullivan (1956).

John Szarkowsk left his mark on the genre of photography by thinking outside of the box.l found his words very inspiring in this film about him

Quote from Guardian article describes

 ” Szarkowski was innovative; as a curator, he was revolutionary. In 1967, during the so-called Summer of Love, he curated a show called New Documents at Moma. It featured the work of three relatively unknown photographers: Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, and was, in its visceral way, as out of step with the times as the urban, edgy, atonal music of the Velvet Underground. It caused a stir. Arbus’s images were transgressive in both their form and content: harsh black and white shots of so-called freaks, outsiders and misfits. Friedlander and Winogrand, in their different ways, shot on the streets of New York, producing snatched images of the city’s everyday momentum that often appeared to be casual, even random – documentary photography, but not as it was then known or understood.”

( Sean O’Hagan , First published on Tue 20 Jul 2010 15.48 BST )


Using fast shutter speeds, try to isolate a frozen moment of time in a moving subject.
Depending on the available light you may have to select a high ISO to avoid visible
blur in the photograph. Try to find the beauty in a fragment of time that fascinated
John Szarkowski. Add a selection of shots, together with relevant shooting data and
a description of your process (how you captured the images), to your learning log.

F3.5 Exposure 1/160 sec ISO 6400
I went out at night to Salford University and took some photos in the rain.I change the shutter speed to freeze the water as I jumped in the puddles

I enjoyed doing these photos but honestly, I have no idea if I did it right. I just change the shutter speed and tried to freeze the water in the middle air. I went out at night to Salford University and took some photos in the rain

Feedback Assignment 2

I need to be more organised and focus more and worry less .And research more.I have downloaded the reading list for this course and will get them from University of Manchester

Photography 1:
Expressing your Vision
Reading and resources
BADGER, G. (2007) The Genius of Photography: How photography has changed our lives. London:
Quadrille Publishing Limited.
BULL, S. (2009) Photography. Abingdon: Routledge
BRIGHT, S. (2011) Art Photography Now. London: Thames and Hudson.
CLARK, G. (1997) The Photograph. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
COTTON, C. (2004) The Photograph as Contemporary Art. London: Thames & Hudson.
BERGER, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin Books.
CAMPANY, David (ed.) (2003) Art and Photography. London: Phaidon Press
CURANA, N. & FOX A. (2012) Behind the Image: Research in Photography. Lausanne: AVA.
JEFFREY, I. & KOZLOFF, M. (2009) How to Read a Photograph: Understanding, Interpreting and
Enjoying the Great Photographers, London: Thames & Hudson
LANGFORD, M. et al (2010) Langford’s Basic Photography (9 th ed.) Oxford: Focal Press.