“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life. ” Henri Cartier-BressonWe all need role models to motivate and inspire us. In this post I want to tell about the person who have made a difference in my world in a positive way. His work teached me that the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity. I hope you will be inspired by the godfather of street photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson too.
Henri Cartier-Bresson lived from 1908 until 2004. He specialized in a photo journalistic style using 35mm cameras at a time when many of his contemporaries were using view cameras. Henri set the standard for “reportage.” He thought of photography as a way of life. For almost five decades he used a camera to document life with a camera – but he thought of the camera as a version of painting – which he studied as well.
Bresson was interested in getting to the action. He traveled the world in search of stories that mattered and was in the middle of some of the biggest stories of his time. Whether it was Africa or the liberation of France during WWII, Bresson made it his business to go places for his photographic endeavors.
He didn’t think about photography as art so much as simple expression of truth. He often spoke badly of “artists” such as Ansel Adams and preferred a journalistic style that counted more on capturing what was happening rather than making it pretty. This has set up what is now the classic division between the masters – those who considered themselves artists and those who considered themselves truth tellers. The battle rages even today.