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There is a fascinating article in the April 2007 issue of Smithsonian Magazine about French photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1947 he was labeled the “photographer of the decisive moment.” The article states that, “since 1952 and the publication of his book of photographs, The Decisive Moment, his name has conjured up unerring vision and hair-trigger timing.” He became famous for being able to time and capture the perfect photograph.

In the 1980’s, his wife, Martine Franck discovered a scrapbook of photos that showed that Cartier-Bresson did not just point and decisively shoot. The article states, “He found promising settings, lay in wait and took many shots, both vertical and horizontal. So his decisiveness lie in his famously ruthless selection of a single shot from each campaign.”

The scrapbook of photographs reveals a stage between his shooting and publishing the decisive moment photo. He shot and printed multiple images of the same subjects. He then choose one…the one that captured the decisive moment.

The process of living as followers of Jesus Christ is something like that… we are essentially the subject of multiple shots throughout every day of our lives. And, hopefully there will be those occasional shots that may be described as decisive moments in which we are captured modeling the life and character of Jesus Christ.

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