Looking through some scans I had made of old transparencies, I found this one, which I took in Britain a very long time ago. The quality is not very good; the image is not sharp and the grain is clearly visible. But it has other qualities – it was taken in the exact fraction of a second when the wicket was hit and so shows a decisive moment of the game.
In the very British sport of cricket, a bowler tries to put down the wicket, three stumps standing in the ground and two bails, little wooden pieces placed on top of the stumps, by bowling a ball towards it. A batsman tries to prevent the wicket from falling down by hitting the ball with a bat. I managed to catch the very moment when the batsman missed the ball, which hit the wicket. You can se the little bail flying in the air above the stumps. When the wicket falls, the batsman is out and is replaced by the next member of his team.
It was of course pure luck that I managed to take the photo at the exact moment. But then many good images are the result of plain coincidence. So this was a decisive moment not only in that game but also in my image. Photo enthusiasts of course relate the expression to the famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, the master of candid photography or, as it is also called, street photography.