Cartier-Bresson RIP

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Poco

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3536724.stm

Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the world's most important photographers, died at the age of 95 on Monday, news agencies reported on Wednesday.
Friends said the photographer, who became known for his ground-breaking street photography, died in the southern town of l'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

He was buried in a private ceremony in the town, reports said.

The publicity-shy photographer was a founding member of the Magnum picture agency in 1947.

Regarded as one of the pioneers of photojournalism, his pictures now hang in art galleries around the world.

Friend and fellow photographer, Lord Snowdon, paid tribute to him on Wednesday.

"He was brilliant, I will miss him very much," he told BBC News 24.

"I don't think he'd like his work to be called art, he would like to be remembered as an anonymous figure. His books record moments that can't be captured again."

Born in 1908 in Chanteloup, near Paris, Cartier-Bresson initially studied art before taking to photography in the 1930s.

He helped transform what had been regarded as little more than a gentlemanly hobby into a bona fide profession.

He also coined the phrase "decisive moment" in photography, referring to the split second of timing that helped transform a picture into an iconic image.

He called it "the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression".

He was a student of Surrealist art before becoming interested in photography. In 1931 he moved to Africa, where he lived as a hunter for a year.

On his return to Paris he revolutionised street photography with his images taken with the Leica rangefinder, the first 35mm camera.

He worked across Europe, but in 1940 was imprisoned by the Germans after the occupation of France. He escaped three years later and witnessed the liberation of Paris.

In 1947 he set up the Magnum agency with two other ground-breaking photojournalists, Robert Capa and David Seymour.

The agency forged a name for hard-hitting news photography. Cartier-Bresson covered Mao Tse-Tung's victory in China and the death of peace activist Mahatma Gandhi in India.

Celebrities who sat for him included artist Henri Matisse, singer Edith Piaf and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
 

clogz

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He certainly was a great master of photography.
 

Jim Chinn

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HCB was truly one of the greatest. Very few photographers are recognized by the general public for their work but he is one of them. And his influence on the medium can easily be measured by the number of other greats who list him as one of their biggest influences.

Thanks Henri for sharing your heart, passion and skill.
 

geraldatwork

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He has inspired my work more than any other photographer.
 

glbeas

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He lived to 95, the world got a bonus of him! He's earned his rest, let us not lament his passing but celebrate his life! He did wonderful things for all of us, brought new ideas to life and changed the world in his own fashion. I for one am grateful for all he did and all that he inspired.
 
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Poco

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I think that's the right way to look at it, Gary. Still it's always sad when any great man dies. Even if his most productive years are past, a continuity to that greatness is broken.

Oops, make that man/woman, his/her etc...
 

roy

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I love looking at his photographs - great humour.
 

doughowk

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Just re-read his "The Decisive Moment" essay ( in Photographers on Photography ). Couple of quotes I like:
To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.
And,
During the process of enlarging, it is essential to re-create the values and mood of the time the picture was taken; or even to modify the print so as to bring it into line with the intentions of the photographer at the moment he shot it. It is necessary also to re-establish the balance which the eye is continually establishing between light and shadow. And it is for these reasons that the final act of creating in photography takes place in the darkroom.
 

jd callow

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doughowk said:
Just re-read his "The Decisive Moment" essay ( in Photographers on Photography ). Couple of quotes I like: ...the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression

His ability to capture the moment, no small task, with such great composition, not a small task by itself, is/was what made him inspiring to me. That and the fact he had such a *great* attitude.
 

TPPhotog

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We have lost another icon of our art, but he and his work will live on in print and his influences on many of us. A very sad day and may he rest in peace!
 

John McCallum

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To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.
This quote defines how I think of him. A man who could capture the real essence of humanity that was so important to him.

and from Erwitt to Salgado. ..... any person that can influence so many photographers to be a great as these, is surely extraordinary.
 

Foto Ludens

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It's sad thing indeed. There is much to be learned form Henri Cartier Bresson's work...


It reminds me of another great french photographer, Dead Link Removed (Fatumbi is an afro-Brasilian name he took up in Brazil).

Both men took photographs of life as they saw it, and both did it largely for their own purposes. Both used one camera their whole lives (Bresson a leica, Verger a Rolleiflex) and none were limited by it. Both photographed in the same period (from the 30's on), and in their way redefined photography (though Bresson is much more recognized than Verger). Both set standarts that few photographers meet.

Both passed away, largely inactive in photography throughout their late years.

Lot's to think about
 
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