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The Decisive Moment, juried by Sam Abell

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In 1952 the 'decisive moment' entered the language of photography with the publication of the classic book of black and white images by Henri-Cartier Bresson. With his pictures and words Bresson presented his philosophy of photography: 

"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression."

'The decisive moment' became the name for an entire school of documentary photography, one that profoundly influenced--and continues to influence--generations of photographers. I am one of those photographers.

Why? Because the phrase succinctly describes our highest aspirations. We believe there is both truth and beauty in the image that eloquently--decisively--captures life's fleeting moments.  

In her diary Virginia Woolf also wrote about moments. She saw in them a spiritual importance and forcefully wanted them to be emotionally and artistically realized. She wanted moments to 'stay' and lamented that, "No one ever says that enough." But photographers, I believe, say it every time they skillfully make a thoughtful, heartfelt photograph.'

This juried photography exhibition is a call to all those photographers who have taken one of photography's true tests: "The straight rendering of life's moments."

— Sam Abell

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