Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the phrase the decisive moment to describe the instant when the action before the lens is not simply captured by the photographer, but organized in such a way as to give it power and grace, balance and form. Decisive moments are not always the same for the athletes or fans as they are for photographers. Capturing the winning touchdown, the diver’s perfect entry into the water, the power of a skier racing in the giant slalom, can establish an imagine in sports eternity, but is not necessarily decisive moment in the photographic sense. Photographers have a responsibility to satisfy their editors and the public, who often seek only the highlights of the game. However, the finest photographers are able to fulfill this responsibility and seek to make pictures that are greater than a single defining action, pictures with aesthetic qualities that last through time.
According to Krystle Wright women have to “work harder than the men” in the male-dominated field of sports adventure photography. Brave and bold, Wright is one of the finest adventure photographers working today. Rarely does a person in her pictures upstage nature. She keeps her figures small in order to convey the scale of the landscape, as well as sense of humility and respect towards the sheer vastness and beauty of nature.
Krystle Wright (Australian, born 1987) Freefall, Michael Tomchek leaps off Castleton Tower (400ft) as fellow BASE jumpers look on, Castle Valley, Utah, 2010; printed 2016. Collection of Krystle Wright