Tuesday, July 23, 2013

To shoot a mouse (The Decisive Moment)

I shot a mouse. We've been plagued by mice, lately. Actually, ever since our cat was more or less compelled to move after the arrival of our dog a few years ago, the mice have returned to claim this house at night. Our dog is useless as a mousecatcher. To illustrate her worthlessness as a mouse-repellant: I've seen a mouse go into her feedingbowl and steal six kibbles of dryfood while she was sleeping 3 feet away. She didn't even flinch an eye.
These mice are more brazen by the week and I decided to shoot them. At night, using my camera. I made a timelapse of a mousetrap and grabbed the best frame. The mouse never did take the food. She was an inch away from death.
The great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the famous photo-expression 'The Decisive Moment' to characterize a great picture. I guess he meant there is only one moment in photography that captures the essence of a scene. If you're a fraction of a second too late or too early, you missed it.

That quote was made for this still. The Decisive Moment takes on an extra, existential meaning here. To bite or not to bite. A choice between life and death. The Ultimate Decisive Moment.