22 May 2011

Henri Cartièr-Bresson

Susan Brannon

"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life."

Henri Cartièr-Bresson was considered the father of modern photojournalism. He used the 35mm format, and mastered candid photography. He helped develop street photography or
“real life reportage”. His style of photography influenced photographers from then on.

He was born in France on August 22, 1908 and died on August 3, 2004 at 95.
He started out as a painter, then later experimented with photography His work was influenced by the Surrealist movement in the 1920s and he started hanging out with the surrealists in France and felt to crush tradition and photograph things as they really are.

After a trip to Africa and studying literature in the UK, he returned to France in the early 1930s.
He is quoted as saying “The only thing which completely was an amazement to me and brought me to photography was the work of Munkacsi. When I saw the photograph of Munkacsi of the black kids running in a wave, I couldnt believe such a thing could be caught with the camera. I said damn it, I took my camera and went out into the street”

It was then that he stopped painting and took up photography seriously. He purchased the Leica camera with a 50mm lens that was his camera for many years. This is what made the Leica so famous for street photographers!

For a great link to Cartier's images click on Magnum Photos 
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