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"I went to Marseille. A small allowance enabled me to get along, and I worked with enjoyment. I had just discovered the Leica. It became the extension of my eye, and I have never been separated from it since I found it. I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung-up and ready to pounce, determined to "trap" life - to preserve life in the act of living. Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of
unrolling itself before my eyes."
Henri Cartier Bresson
I love this quote. Thanks for sharing.
That quote must date back a few years, as C.-B. was known as a Leica user. Maybe he hadn't even dsicovered the 'decisive moment' yet. Wonder what he called that in French???
The quote is actually from "The Decisive Moment" (1952), but he's talking about discovering the Leica when he returned to France from Africa in the 1930s.
I believe the book was called "Images à la sauvette" in French.
It's interesting that, although C.-B. became so famous for his "decisive moment", he was personally averse to being photographed, worrying that it would blow his 'cover'. A while back he tried to stop the publication of a small book of candid photos taken of him.
The Pictures in the book referred to above were taken by his "good" friend David Douglas Duncan. To my knowledge they have not spoken since the publication.
C-B was the perfect "street Photographer". He is average height, average weight, average looking in every way. the type that goes everywhere virtually unnoticed. He is hardly noticable in photos taken at annual meetings of the Magnum photographers. I doubt if many, or even any, of those who found themselves in his photographs remember him taking the picture or even being there.
I've been thinking about C-B's "Desicive moment" over the weekend in relation to members of this group. Does anyone have a decisive experience or situation behind the camera that made them feel really connected ? I will post a new thread inviting anyones input to this question later today. Ofcourse anyone compelled to start one now would certainly be good for the rest of us I think. Meanwhile I'm late for work.
Just now I can't remember that decisive moment... and probably if it was such a special moment it would be instantly remembered... so maybe I haven't found it... yet...
anyway, we have a C-B photographic exhibition here in BCN this weeks ! So I'll try to take a look... for all I've heard/read/seen about, it's worth to visit
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