Discoveries: Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Harry N. Abrams, Nov 1, 2008 - Photography - 159 pages

Born in 1908 in France, Henri Cartier-Bresson is considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. Early on he adopted the versatile 35mm format and helped develop the popular “street photography” style, influencing generations of photographers that followed. In his own words, he expressed that “the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. . . . It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.”


In 1947 Cartier-Bresson founded Magnum Photos with four other photographers. August 22 will be the 100th anniversary of his birth.

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After taking up photography I wanted to view photography from another photographers point of view. This book seemed from the moment I viewed its covers to be the perfect one to achieve that goal. And yes it was. I am both inspired and interested in art in general and after reading this book I discovered that Henri Cartier Bresson was a person who has more or less experienced all areas of art except for sculpture. Who knows perhaps he did at some point during his life participate in sculpture as an art however it is not revealed in this particular publication. He was a remarkable photographer who has influenced the field of photography in a very special and unique way and I'm sure that his dream will live on for many years to come.
After reading the first few pages I knew that I was going to be in for a really interesting read to put it lightly.The book is full of many great photographs and some interviews from the man himself. It gives you a perspective that is understandable, easy to read and interesting. It has taught me things I did not know previously and I'm sure the next time that I pickup my camera it will be a better shot than before studying and reading this book. HCB shares with us information which should not be taken for granted or used inappropriately.


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About the author (2008)

Clément Chéroux is a photographic historian and curator of the photographic collection at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has worked on many exhibitions as well publications on photography.

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