Chasing Moments – An Assignment on Nat Geo

Nat Geo Assignment: Chasing Moments - Kristian Bertel
Motherhood in India submitted to ‘Chasing Moments’ on National Geographic.


See the National Geographic photo assignments that Kristian Bertel has participated in – Read the story about his photographs here…

Kristian Bertel has contributed to the National Geographic Your Shot community with an assignment called ‘Chasing Moments‘. For this assignment curated by Ami Vitale, a National Geographic photographer is interested in seeing our chased moments in photography. When you get out of your comfort zone, waiting for that great image can mean physical discomfort like sitting in freezing temperatures or getting eating alive by mosquitoes. It can also mean emotional discomfort as you step into the shoes of others and gain a deeper understanding of a multitude of narratives.

Nat Geo may provide images from the assignment to the sponsor of this assignment which is Nikon, for use on it’s website, social media platforms, and other outlets to promote and publicize the assignment.

Chasing the photographic moment
Chasing moments is actually a topic that can create empathy. And empathy is the wellspring of creativity. Chasing moments also means exploring, whether that be visiting the same place at different times of day, or simply looking at a scene from every angle. It’s all about seeing things from a different perspective. So we should turn around, get some fresh perspective. Sometimes, that amazing image is just in front of us.

As Ami is saying it: ”- Every good shot captures a unique moment in time to tell a story. Sometimes you have to chase those moments, and sometimes you have to wait a while. The one thing that matters is timing. That fraction of a second is the difference between a great storytelling moment and an average image. Timing requires patience. You learn to watch and wait and shoot and develop a sense of timing”, she says.


”Chasing moments is really about the art of observation. In photography, “chasing” means paying attention — mentally slowing down and being able to anticipate when that decisive moment will appear. If you see the moment through your lens, it means you probably missed it. Your shutter needs to be up when all the elements come together to make a truly great storytelling image”


Decisive moment in photography
As a photographer, you will sooner or later bump into the phrase the decisive moment. The decisive moment is a concept made popular by the street photographer and photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson. The decisive moment refers to capturing an event that is ephemeral and spontaneous, where the image represents the essence of the event itself. Bresson made a great impact on photography, in part, due to his ability to capture such moments.

”The time between observing, composing, and shooting must occur with foresight and instinct, or as he said that 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”


Knowing and intuition as a photographer
Bresson highlights two important skills that a competent photographer needs: knowing and intuiting. Knowing requires conscious attention and it is intentional. Intuition is immediate and does not require conscious reasoning. Conscious awareness occurs alongside unconscious processing. Both are required to release the shutter at the right place and time to capture the decisive moment. Street photography, also sometimes called candid photography, is photography conducted for art or enquiry that features unmediated chance encounters and random incidents within public places. Although there is a difference between street and candid photography it is usually subtle with most street photography being candid in nature but not all candid photography being classifiable as street photography. Street photography does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment.

Though people usually feature directly, street photography might be absent of people and can be of an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human character in facsimile or aesthetic. He focused on the actions of people in time and place and was responsible in the 1950s for the idea of taking a picture at what he termed the Decisive moment, when form and content, vision and composition merged into a transcendent whole.

About the submitted photograph
Mothering is the social practice of nurturing and caring for dependent children. It is a dynamic process of social interactions and relationships. Mothering is typically associated with women since it is typically women who mother their children. However, not all women mother, and mothering as nurturing and caring work is not inevitable the exclusive domain of women. Mothering as a female role is a social construction that is highly influenced by gender belief systems. The roles associated with motherhood are variable across time and culture. The social roles associated with motherhood are variable across time, culture and social class.

”- Historically, the role of women was confined to some extent to being a mother and wife, with women being expected to dedicate most of their energy to these roles, and to spend most of their time taking care of the home. In many cultures such as India, women received significant help in performing these tasks from older female relatives, such as mothers in law or their own mothers. With my photograph of a mother in New Delhi, that has a moment of intimacy, where there is a population of around 23 million and the city population is around 13 million”, the photographer Kristian Bertel says.


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    Tags:   #india   #travel   #portraits