An Analysis of the Decisive Moment Structure in the Works of Combatant-photographers of the Imposed War

Document Type : Research Article


1 Instructor of Photography Learning Group, Faculty of Art, Semnan University, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Textile Design Group, Faculty of Art, Semnan University, Iran.


Problem statement: The decisive moment theory by Cartier-Bresson is a perceptive intuition from Budism school. According to Bresson’s theory, a photographer needs to engage himself in the event and put himself at the center of it. Subsequently, all structure pulses take that shape and by finding that moment, the photographer has found the decisive moment.
Research objectives: The goal of this paper is to see how Bresson’s theory of the decisive moment is reflected in the works of three combatant-photographers of the Iraq-Iran war.
Research method: This research uses a descriptive-analytical method and the documents are collected by library research as well as field interviews with an emphasis on the decisive moment theory. These interviews have been conducted with three prominent and expert photographers as eyewitnesses of the events of the imposed war (Jang-e Tahmili), Ali Fereydouni, Saeed Sadeghi and Mehrzad Arshadi. The selection of the individuals in question was based on self-education. The selected individuals, in terms of need and necessity, undertook the photography of the space of the front line and the war and in this paper, they are referred to as combatant-photographer.
Conclusion: The present study seeks to address how the effect of decisive moment theory has been manifested in the works of combatant-photographers of the imposed war. The results of this paper indicated that photographic intuition, subconscious mind, mental perceptions, observing and timing, have been the central components of the theory. These components have led to self-learning and photographic discovery and intuition in the works of the above-mentioned combatant-photographers in a way that the theory can be observed and analyzed in their works.


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