Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Henri Cartier-Bresson - poetry is the essence of everything


In a film made in 1972 by ICP NYC Henri Cartier-Bresson talks about the pleasures of photography. It's a warm kiss, a psychoanalyst's couch, a machine gun. Poetry is the essence... like a Chekhov story, there is a whole world in it.

For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to give a “meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.
To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. To take a photograph 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‚ head, one‚ eye, and one‚ heart on the same axis. 

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment. you can see the film HERE. It's well worth the 18 minutes and 29 seconds. A reminder of what great image making is all about.  

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