(Photo set will appear under the text.)
In the past century, the wellknown French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson introduced the term “le moment décisif”, which literally means the decisive moment. Capturing the momentum, freezing the moment, has always been quite challenging in photography. Choosing the background and waiting for a person, a tramway or a bird passing by and capturing the action at the right moment. That’s a strategy that photographers sometimes do use.
For years as a street photographer, I have tried to capture this moment really often. But I noticed that I needed some exercise. The coronavirus lockdowns gave me the opportunity to choose my decor and to wait until my subject passed by. To challenge myself, I opted for capturing the decisive moment in special light circumstances. I decided to do this as a final project for my photography studies at CVO Brussels during the first semester of 2021.
With my 50 mm lens, I roamed through the streets of Brussels, my hometown for years. Occasionally I went to other towns to give my creativity a boost: Antwerp, Liège, Mons, Leuven, Ostend… Normally these towns can be somewhat hectic, but Covid-19 transformed them into laidback towns, creating the ideal circumstance for waiting to capture a decisive moment.
Sometimes the sunlight and the shadows gave me inspiration and other times just the background. At those moments I waited. By times I got my decisive moment immediately, but often not. Regularly, I needed at least ten minutes, or even one hour – to capture my momentum. On occasions I even had to come back.
The result is a set of 29 street images – made in Belgian towns. Repeatedly, you encounter photos with almost recognizable persons. Their face masks, headgear or silhouette guarantee their anonymity. In times of Covid-19, I preferred to avoid a potential conflict between a random photographed person in the streets and the photographer. Most of us had already enough challenges to face in our lives during the pandemic.
You may also notice that the momentums in the images are different. Sometimes the right person is at the right place, sometimes the silhouette is partly visible. That is just an attempt to capture a “moment décisif”, but more than welcome in this series, because this is a search process.
Enjoy the virtual exhibition!