Henri Cartier

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Henri Cartier-Bresson is considered the creator of what we consider modern photojournalism, and so he interested me as a subject to study to better myself. His images opened the door for, what he called, “street photography” to become the norm. Or, more specifically, capturing things in their natural element, candidly, which is the basis for so much of photojournalism today. Bresson used the camera as an extension of his eye, saying "I suddenly understood that a photograph could fix eternity in an instant." He wanted to freeze scenes as they actually were, moving, transforming from one fleeting state into the next. “I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung up and ready to pounce, ready to ‘trap’ life.” The compositional elements present in his photos are simple and strong, turning potentially ordinary images into striking, deliberate set pieces, in which an unsuspecting city populous became the actors. He very deliberately, and obviously in some cases, chose his location, and waited until the action in the place transitioned or culminated into the perfect moment. His sharp eye and ability to choose interesting environments shines through in all of his photos, and his patience in capturing the perfect moment is unparalleled. This, among many things, would I like to emulate from Bresson, and to eventually learn for myself: the ability to be patient with my shots, wait for the moment, and capture it exactly as I saw it. Bresson realized that people who were aware that they were being photographed acted oddly formal and unnatural, and so he went through great pains to remain incognito, adopting the tiny Leica camera with only a 50 mm lens and painting all of the reflective parts black to remain inconspicuous in a crowd. This helped him capture life as he saw it, and convey a more real message. The urge to interact with a scene, whether to change it for the benefit of my images, or simply to avoid the social awkwardness of simply staring at people as they...
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