Henri Cartier-Bresson

It is amazing what you can read on the internet. Here is the last section of the wikipedia page for Henri Cartier-Bresson, explaining his technique for capturing his amazing photography:

Heritage Camera Cartier-Bresson exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes.

He often wrapped black tape around the camera’s chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events.

No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward two and a quarter inch twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called “the velvet hand [and] the hawk’s eye.

He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as “[i]mpolite…like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand.”
AGFA Isolette 1 - Open
He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation.

Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image.

Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints. He said: “I’ve never been interested in the process of photography, never, never. Right from the beginning. For me, photography with a small camera like the Leica is an instant drawing.”
35mm Photography For Pleasure
This is following by his amazing quote that says so much:

“The simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression… In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject…”

There is no need for me to explain, carry-on nor over-emphasis the importance of Cartier-Bresson’s photography.

It is enough to read about his style and view upon his artwork to know that many of us are still playing with pin-hole cameras by comparison with Cartier-Bresson.

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