Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri
Cartier-Bresson
1908
2004

French Photographer, Artist, considered father of modern photojournalism

Author Quotes

Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we're working, we must be conscious of what we're doing. Sometimes we have the feeling that we've taken a great photo, and yet we continue to unfold. We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.

The photographer cannot be a passive spectator; he can be really lucid only if he is caught up in the event.

To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.

You are asking me what makes a good picture. For me, it is the harmony between subject and form that leads each one of those elements to its maximum of expression and vigor.

Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.

The picture is good or not from the moment it was caught in the camera.

To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a physical and intellectual joy.

You just have to live and life will give you pictures.

Shooting with a Leica is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyst's couch.

The simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression... In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotif.

To take photographs means to recognize -- simultaneously and within a fraction of a second -- both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis.

Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.

Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important.

Success depends on one's general culture, on one's set of values, one's clarity of mind and vivacity. The thing to be most feared is the artificially contrived, the contrary to life.

The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and [Edward] Weston are photographing rocks!

We are faced with two moments of selection and thus of possible regret: the first and more serious when actuality is there, staring us in the viewfinder; and the second when all the shots have been developed and printed and we have to reject the less effective ones. It is then ? too late ? that we see exactly where we have failed. When we are at work, a moment?s hesitation or physical separation from the event robs us of some detail; all too often we have let our eye wander, we have lost our concentration; that is enough.

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one's own originality. It's a way of life.

Taking photographs is a means of understanding which cannot be separated from other means of visual expression. It is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one`s own originality. It is a way of life.

The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks! ?circa 1930's

We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.

Photography is an immediate action; drawing a meditation For me photography is to place head heart and eye along the same line of sight. It is a way of life.

Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see.

There are only coincidences.

We must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we?re working, we must be conscious of what we?re doing.

Author Picture
First Name
Henri
Last Name
Cartier-Bresson
Birth Date
1908
Death Date
2004
Bio

French Photographer, Artist, considered father of modern photojournalism