Todd Gustafson – Capturing the Decisive Moment

A few weeks ago, I had requested Saturday afternoon off, so I could sit in on a class that our store was hosting, taught by Todd Gustafson.  My boss didn’t give me the afternoon off, but he did say I could sit in the class and assist Todd for the duration of the class.  When to work this morning though, he says he wants me to assist the morning class too, so I should just spend the day in the classroon.  Cool.

 The first class was a free macro class with an often published photographer named David Fitzsimmons.  I’d never met him before, but he put on a good class, and the students all gave him really high praise after the class too. 

Todd Gustafson’s class started in the afternoon, and it wasn’t really a class so to speak, it was him showing us numerous slideshows of his images, telling stories surrounding them, and the importance of being able to “Capture the Decisive Moment”, and how that makes your image have “pow” factor.  He presented his slide shows in such a way that it showed how you can get started in your own back yard, then expand to nearby forest preserves, then expand to Wisconsin or Michigan, then to Florida or the southwest, and on, and on, and on, until you reach Costa Rica (check out the video below), or Africa.


Oh!  He told a story of a picture he has of a guerilla, where the guerilla was watching him prepare the shot, and when he finally snapped the shutter, the guerilla slapped it’s hand to his own forehead, and then threw his head back like he was playing dead.  How does that happen?!  Neat story I thought.  Someday I’m going on one of his guided tours, I swear it.

 (P.S.  At the store, we have the image to my left printed in about 18 x 40 or so.  This little representation just can’t do it justice, but you can get an idea of it.  This is the most amazing image I’ve ever seen.  Period!  I drool over this image.  He took this image with a D3, and a 600mm Nikkor lens, from a boat, at ISO 6400.  Shocked?  I was.  Nikon rules!!!) I’ve never seen so much of his work before, and I’m even more of a fan now that I have.  What’s really neat, is that I learned today that he’s a musician too, and he plays stuff like Louie Armstrong with is band.  *shakes head*  Wow.  Todd is such a down to earth guy, and I highly recommend checking out his webpage and this video.


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