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R.I.P. Henri Cartier-Bresson

Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare by Henri Cartier-Bresson

We studied him in Art Studies-Photography as Art and that concept of his, "the decisive moment," really stayed with me.

Cartier-Bresson disdained artificial settings and said photographers should shoot accurately and quickly, seeking "the decisive moment" when the ultimate significance of a given situation is laid bare. He shot with a Leica, the quietest of cameras, working only with black and white film, and notably, without a flash. Limelight, he said, was a sure way to destroy a subject.

To make the camera as unobtrusive as the human eye, he went so far as to tape over its silvery parts in black and would keep it hidden under a handkerchief until the critical moment. The aim was always to capture something of his subject's inner essence -- to pinpoint "a relationship between the eye and the heart."

Full story in Salon. I didn't even know the guy was still alive. He would've turned 96 this August 22, good man.

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1 Responses to “”

  1. Blogger indi 

    same here. i thought he was already dead when we took him up in photog class some time back.

    here's a last salute, then to the lolo h c-b.

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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