It's All about Time

There are always two perspectives of time in photography:

  1. The time when an event happens.
  2. The time at which a photographer releases the shutter.

Good Photography comes from about the right time, but you also need the precise cut that enhances the floating moment.

The more time you hustle around with your equipment the less time you have to observe and make the picture.

Photography is the act of "fixing" time, not of "expressing" the world. The camera is an inadequate tool for extracting a vision of the world or of beauty
— Daido Moriyama


It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.
— Elliott Erwitt


Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still
— Dorothea Lange


Fossils work almost the same way as photography: as a record of history. The accumulation of time and history becomes a negative of the image. And this negative comes off, and the fossil is the positive side. This is the same as the action of photography. So, that’s why I am very curious about the artistic stage of imprinting the memories of the time record. A fossil is made over four hundred fifty million years; it takes that much time. But photography, it’s instant. So, to me, photography functions as a fossilization of time.
— Hiroshi Sugimoto


Photography is about a single point of a moment. It’s like stopping time. As everything gets condensed in that forced instant. But if you keep creating these points, they form a line which reflects your life.
— Nobuyoshi Araki


Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode - from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage - the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected.
— Ralph Gibson


“There is nothing in this world that does not have
a decisive moment”
— Cardinal de Retz

In prephase to "The Decisive Moment" book Cartier-Bresson cites this quate bt 17th century Cardinal de Retz.

"Everything it's a fracture of the second. It's to be present, sensitive and receptive..."
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

Despite that Bresson often repeated Photographing, for me, is instant drawing in a 1957 interview with the Washington Post, he stated:

"Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative… Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever."
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

Speed and instinct were at the heart of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s brilliance as a photographer. And never did he combine the two better than on the day in 1932 when he pointed his Leica camera through a fence behind Paris’ Saint-Lazare train station — TIME

Although it's not my favourite of Cartier-Bresson’s photographs, it has become quintessential example of the "Decisive Moment". The moment, where all the visual elements of the photo came together in resonance with each other, in that "rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning."
The main thing I want to notice is: the visual gap between the man's shoe and the puddle implies action, process and direction rather than finality. The moment right before it's completion, which merges subjective and objective worlds creating to us the ambiguity. As Cartier-Bresson said "it questions and decides simultaneously."


“Timing in photography is almost everything. You have to pay attention to where the light comes from, you have to pay attention to your background.”
– Fred Herzog


“Time… It’s all about time. You need lots of it. If you can afford this most cherished commodity, then you will be well on your way. Apart from that, good shoes, a degree of empathy, optimism and lots of spare batteries.”
— Matt Stuart


"Give it all you’ve got for at least five years and then decide if you’ve got what it takes. Too many great talents give up at the very beginning; the great black hole looming after the comfortable academy or university years is the number one killer of future talent."
— Carl De Keyzer


"I believe photography – like many other things one does in life – is the exact expression of who you are at a given moment.
Every time you compose and release the shutter, you give voice to your thoughts and opinions of the world around you.
...I would recommend working to become a more developed and informed individual, a more knowledgeable and engaged citizen. This will translate into a deeper more complex understanding of the world around you, and ultimately into richer and more meaningful photography."
— Paolo Pellegrin



I believe that compressed information in my mind on this topic looks like this:
You have to be in the right place, at the right time, and release the shutter in the precise fraction of the second in order to make a fossil of the fleeting moment where all elements perfectly resonate forming the structure that reveals the meaning.

And this post's main photograph, which is one of The Most Influential Images of All Time, Invasion of Prague, 1969 © Josef Koudelka - TIME 100photos with its evidence of the ticking time proves that the TIME is the one of the most important assets of LIFE.

P.S. Be in Touch and with the Time this article would become bigger 😉

It's All about Time
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