Letter From the President: The Decisive Moment

Photography remains the root technology of cinematography, and one of the best tools for teaching cinematography.​​

(Photo by Michael M. Pessah, ASC)

This June 2021 issue celebrates “still” photography. Cinematographers call photos “stills” for the obvious reason: to distinguish them from images that move at 24 frames per second. Of course, before there was cinematography — but not much before — there was photography. (As reported in this issue, many successful cinematography careers grew out of successful photography careers.) Photography remains the root technology of cinematography, and one of the best tools for teaching cinematography; making one frame perfect is good practice for making 24-per-second images perfect. The master, Henri Cartier-Bresson, has called that single-frame perfection the Decisive Moment, and the photo on this page by our own master, Charlie Lieberman, ASC, demonstrates a decisive moment of its own. Mr. Lieberman waited for the animate (people and clouds) to align with the inanimate (the lighthouse). Enjoy looking at our June issue!

Stephen Lighthill    
President, ASC




Get the details on our June issue here.

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