Henri Cartier-Bresson Born in 1908 to a French family in the textile business, Cartier-Bresson broke away early, enamored of the emphasis on personal intuition and the anti-institutional revolt of the emerging movement of surrealism. He studied his first love of painting with several teachers, and at the age of twenty-two went to Africa where he hunted by the light of an acetylene lamp strapped to his head. Two years later, in 1932, Cartier-Bresson began a three-year period of photographing in Europe and Mexico.

Working with a Leica, a small, quiet 35 mm rangefinder camera whose use has since become almost a Magnum trademark, Cartier-Bresson photographed the street, calling his work, "the organic coordination of elements seen by the eye."

In 1948 he became one of the founders of Magnum a now world famous photo agency.

"In photography there is a new kind of plasticity," Cartier-Bresson wrote in 1952, "product of the instantaneous lines made by movements of the subject. We work in unison with movement as though it were a presentiment of the way in which life itself unfolds. But inside movement there is one moment at which the elements in motion are in balance. Photography must seize upon this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it."

Bresson coined the term "Decisive moment" to describe what he was attempting to capture with his camera. It has since become a mantra to photographers the world over.

These days Bresson devotes his time mainly to his first love painting, but is known to now and again take on a portrait assignment.

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