Assignment 3 The Decisive Moment

Assignment 3 The Decisive Moment

The event I recorded was the Leyton Point to Point. Although I had already thought about what I wanted to achieve, Henri Cartier-Bresson’s concept of being invisible was on my mind. I want to capture moments that were only there for a short while, by observing the surroundings and capturing the exact moment something happened, relying a little on gut instinct.

I arrived early and walked around the course, noting places that I would be able to shoot the images I had thought about. The weather was variable, cloudy then sunny, so I could not assume the setting for the camera.  I stood away from other photographers as I didn’t want the same shots as they took. I tried to be there but not be seen and to see the unseen.

see excerise – What matters is to look

f/7.1   1/600   ISO100   300mm

#1 Anticipation

As I sat having lunch a trailer arrived containing beagals. They were over excited and barking. As their owner walked away, theirs eyes followed him and they quietened down. This was the moment I took this shot.


f/7.1   1/400   ISO100  300mm

#2 Release the hounds

After the 3rd race, I decided to move to the paddock area, as I was packing away, I heard a horn blow and turned to see that the dogs had been released. The hounds were herded by 4 riders so as quickly as I could I grabbed my camera took a few shots as they passed me and finally took this shot.  The dogs all moved off as one as they reacted to the riders call. The children’s excited faces, the lady calling the man who is busy running away from the dogs, are unseen till I decided to look at the people and see their reaction to the hounds.


f/7.1   1/250   ISO100   155mm

#3 And they’re off

All the other photographers where clicking away as the group set off, getting a picture from the front. I decided that I would get one from the back as they sped away.  What I got and they didn’t was the spectators almost leaning into the track. The mass of bodies mingled in a blur each side,  looking expectantly at the approaching riders and without knowing it, straight into my camera.


f/7.1  1/640   ISO100   45mm

#4 Jumping the Fence

I had already decided that I would catch a horse jumping the fence, I chose this shot, because there was a older lady and gent, their expressions were expectant and their eyes/body language moved along with the horse and rider. The gent had been looking at his race card, while the lady was holding a pen. Its the unseen things that give credence to this photograph.


f/7.1  1/250   ISO100   55mm

#5 The home run

I wanted to capture the horse off the ground, just as   Eadweard Muybridge had done to win a bet, but thats not the exciting part. The lady, carrying a handbag and running along with the horse,  is seen in a later photograph.  I put the continuous shutter setting on and caught the moment


f/7.1  1/1125  ISO100   18mm

#6 Winners and losers

After the race, the winners were stood at the bookies stand, all smiles, collecting their winnings, while the losers, put their tickets in their pockets or just held onto them. In this image, the old man with the walking stick is not really the subject, but he does add some aesthetics to the shot. Looking closely at the faces of most of the people in the shot, there is dismay, disappointment, and one chap looks looked like he was going to cry.  This is were I tried to look further into the scene than just the obvious, (ie the old man in the centre.) The people in the shot are oblivious to the fact that I am standing there with a camera.


f/7.1  1/200   ISO100  42mm

#7 The winners paddock

As I shot the rider jumping of the winning horse in the winners paddock, (the moment I wanted to capture), I had lady luck on my side as I noticed the lady from image #5 coming into the frame, still running with a big smile on her face. This was an added bonus to the shot.


f/71   1/125  ISO100   25mm

#8 The cooling off

The loss of interest in the winning horse, can be seen in the body language of the people in the distance, their minds on the next race and who they will bet on.  The winning horse being cooled, still has veins pumping away, just skin deep and can almost be seen pulsating.


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