Salute to M. Cartier-Bresson

SCPS-150922-063In 1952, Henri Cartier-Bresson published a book entitled à la sauvette.  The English-language edition of this volume was titled The Decisive Moment. It included a portfolio of 126 of his photos from the East and the West. For his 4,500-word philosophical preface, Cartier-Bresson took his keynote text from the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment”. Cartier-Bresson, widely regarded as the father of photojournalism, applied this philosophy to his photographic style. He said: “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 image of the 19th-century Inverness Castle located on the banks of the River Ness was captured in the waning light of the day.  While sitting in a nearby cafe w/ friends just as it was setting on the distant horizon, the sun poked out from behind a heavy cloud bank sending glorious golden rays streaming across the landscape. Grabbing my camera and racing to the rivers edge this image was captured in the fleeting last light of the day!

Wandering along the banks of the River Ness on my way back to the cafe, and my travel companions, I was reminded of a quote I had once read from M. Cartier-Bresson “…creativity happens in a fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative… once you miss it, it is gone forever!”
Amen to that!

Comments are closed.