You may have had the unfortunate experience of coming upon an interesting scene only to discover that your camera is not in your bag. Or you realize that your cell phone is back at home. Or there is no film in your camera. There are any number of scenarios, but the conclusion is that you missed the moment: you missed the shot. This has happened to me numerous times and I always vow to never let it happen again.
Capturing the moment has been one of the key aspects of photography from the very beginning. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the term “the decisive moment” in 1952. He said, “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.” There has been much debate as to whether one moment is more decisive than another, nonetheless, if there is a moment we are after it is important to be prepared for it.
Photo tip: Be as ready as you can–batteries charged, space on the memory card, film in the camera, etc. When you are anticipating a good moment try to position yourself so that what is in background will be unobtrusive. And be patient–it can happen when you least expect it.