Just Plain Love: Henri Cartier-Bresson

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“As a photographer, to be famous is dangerous.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

If you are a photographer, either professional or aspiring, changes are you know the name and the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson. If somehow the name is unfamiliar to you, here’s the short version: Cartier-Bresson is credited with being the father of modern photojournalism and street photography (what he called “life reportage”). His photographic ideology centered around what he called “the decisive moment.” Capturing these moments became the core of Cartier-Bresson’s process, saying “Photography is simultaneously and instantaneously the recognition of a fact and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that express and signify that fact.” Put simply, anticipate when and where something interesting will happen, and be there with your camera. Easier said than done, yet for Cartier-Bresson it became second nature. Ironically, late in his life, Cartier-Bresson abandoned photography and instead took up drawing. “For me drawing is…,” Cartier-Bresson says, “the tiniest piece of graffiti has meaning. In a drawing, you know when it’s enough, when to stop.” Director¬†Raphael O’Byrne interviewed Cartier-Bresson in 2001 for his wonderful documentary, called “Just Plain Love.” In the film, Cartier-Bresson talks about his love for photography as well as his creative process. “It’s all the same,” he says “we look, we transcribe.” It’s a fascinating look at one of the most iconic photographers of all time and definitely worth a watch.

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[via Imaging Resource]

 

BOOKS: Henri Cartier-Bresson

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