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
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
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."
he became one of the founders of Magnum a now world famous photo agency.
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
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.
some of the info in this node
was obtained at