Assignment 3.


1. Prints
Submit a set of between six and eight high-quality photographic prints on the theme of the ‘decisive moment’.

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.

2. Assignment notes
Submit assignment notes of between 500 and 1,000 words with your series.

Introduce your subject and describe your ‘process’ – your way of working. Then briefly state how you think each image relates to the concept of the decisive moment.

This will be a personal response as there are no right or wrong answers in a visual arts course.

You’ll find it useful to explore the photographers and works referenced in Project 3, if you haven’t already done so.

Don’t forget to use Harvard referencing.
Post your prints, no larger than A4, to your tutor together with your assignment notes.
Check your work against the assessment criteria for this course before you send it to your tutor.

Make some notes in your learning log about how well you believe your work meets each criterion.
Your tutor may take a while to get back to you so carry on with the course while you’re waiting.


For this assignment I stayed in and around various parks in London observing the various bonds made between both humans and animals.

The making of friends, the forming of relationships is perhaps the most decisive moment of our lives.
Nothing has as profound an impact on us as social creatures as a friend or partner, be they human or pet.



Making a plan.

Shoulder to shoulder.

Ice cream.

Chin rubs.

Chat in the park.

Recording success.

New friends.

Humour, you either get it or you don’t.

A helping hand.

A good joke.


Contact sheet.



The research for this assignment  has already been covered in exercises 3+.


This assignment took me longer to form my thoughts than I would have imagined, see my reflection notes below for how I did this and why I chose the images I did.



I thought long and hard over this assignment and it took a lot longer to complete than I first thought it would, due partly to a financial crisis that struck which required me to sell all of my photographic equipment.

Fortunately I came into some money and bought new stuff which took some time to get used to.

At first I was thinking the decisive moment was recording a climactic moment, such as a goal in a football match; but soon thought deeper on the subject.

Let’s take a quote from Swarkowski.

“The decisive moment is not a dramatic climax but a visual one: the
result is not a story but a picture”.
(Swarkowski, 2007, p.5)…….

He is wrong! it can be both and more, such as human relationships and interactions.

Another quote from the OCA text-book.

“You know it’s funny. You come to someplace new, and everything
looks just the same”.
(Eddie in Stranger Than Paradise, Dir. Jim Jarmusch, 1984)…..

I think this is also wrong, characters are often similar but the scenery is never the same.

It came to me one afternoon that the making of friends, the forming of relationships is perhaps the most decisive moment of our lives.
Nothing has as profound an impact on us as social creatures as a friend or partner, be they human or pet.
I hope I’ve shown just some of the facets of friendship.

Friends help you out, make you laugh or just keep you company and much more.

These photo’s were taken at parks or on the way to parks in my neighbourhood.

They were spontaneous, not planned; I went out over a period of weeks to get good photo’s that fit my theme.

After all you can’t plan decisive moments, they just happen.

The tourists that are lost, looking at their smart phone for directions was taken from a foot bridge; I decided to leave the image uncropped as I felt the space around them helped to convey the feeling of being lost in a strange place.

The Police women and their mounts standing shoulder to shoulder I think  is a sign of their support for one another, their resolve if you will.

The children eating Ice cream together is a  perfect example of a bonding situation and a decisive moment of peace for the adult.

The others were all chosen for their expressions.

Have I succeeded in what was set for me to do ?

I think so but we’ll see if my tutor agree’s.


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.


This exercise sounds easy in concept but in practice it’s a little more difficult.
Most of these difficulties were self-imposed as I always try to find something a little different from the mainstream.
Armed with my new camera and tripod I went out over a period of many weeks seeking some good movement shots.
I tried slowing the shutter and allowing the subject to move through the frame.
I tried panning, a technique I will have to work on a lot more.
I also tried to keep my ISO as close to 100 as I could.
The OCA student guide says not to use Auto ISO so I tend to forget the setting as I’m going along.











For this exercise I looked at photographers such as Robert Capa, Robert Frank and the one I really liked was the OCA student with Parkinson’s disease.

I agree with Gerry Badger regarding Francesca woodman’s work, you only have to look at it to know she was a troubled soul; dark and troubling images that probably reflected her feelings of despair.


Motion can be either implied such as an object caught still even though it must be moving such as a plane in flight or shown as in a moving bus at night. As this exercise called for movement within the frame I chose the latter as it’s more obvious to the viewer and that’s what I wanted to show.


I tried in part to imitate some of the Photographers mentioned. The bicycle rider was taken as the sun went down on the King’s road and the Bus was taken near Fulham Broadway station. The first was handheld and shaky with the long exposure, I added tilt so as to differentiate it from my fellow student and the second was tripod mounted, the girl in the poster had a haunting effect on me so I decided to wait until a bus went past. The others where standard longer exposures to catch motion, I’m particularly fond of the landing geese and the fountain that looks like a firework display.