Posted by: facetothewind | April 29, 2014

Waiting for the Decisive Moment

As a child growing up with a film camera in my hands, long before the digitals were dreamed-of, I admired the masters of black and white photography in the pages of Life magazine. Henri Cartier-Bresson was among the most admired by my young eyes. I wasn’t able to quite place what it was that I admired about his work so much as a child but now I know. And later I would embody many of the very practices he talks about in this video. I don’t fantasize that my work is anywhere near the level of this genius, but I do practice what he preaches.

In this video, he speaks about just slowing down, taking the time to observe and wait for the right elements to line up or appear; not overshooting your subject. As a kid shooting film and developing my own pictures in the darkroom myself, each snap represented a chunk out of my allowance and lawn mowing money. So I learned by virtue of parsimony to keep my shooting to a minimum. And even today when it’s essentially free to shoot as much as you want without incurring extra expenses, I find myself observing more and shooting less — emptying my mind and sitting like a cat. I will never achieve the acclaim Bresson did, but I probably enjoy the process as much as he did. Watch the film…


And here are a few of my shots that are Cartier-Bresson like. (Click to enlarge.)

David Gilmore photography Arthur Tress

Portrait of legendary photographer Arthur Tress in his home. Cambria, CA. 2011.

David GIlmore photography Myanmar 1

Shot in Hsipaw, Myanmar (Burma), 2012.

David Gilmore photography White Sands

Ning climbing White Sands, NM dunes. 2011.

David Gilmore photography Myanmar

Ngapali Beach, Myanmar. 2012.

David Gilmore photography Tucson

Barrio Viejo, Tucson, Arizona. 2012.

Black sands beach. Big Island, Hawaii 2006.

Black sands beach. Big Island, Hawaii 2006.



  1. Thanks for nice photos, many of which I remember seeing previously and still beautiful. Love, D.

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