lyric essence: there are no maybes

Henri Cartier-Bresson is recognized as one of the great masters of photography. Armed with only a Leica, he strove to capture the fleeting reality of what he called, “the decisive moment.” He employed neither gimmicks of craft nor tricks of composition. Lincoln Kirstein wrote, ” he is not making art, but taking life.” He always remained true to the French classical tradition, with its stress on simplicity, clarity and economy of means.

---I enjoy the atmosphere that is present in cafes and taking photos of the interiors and sometimes of the people visiting. I have included the photo of the couple kissing as this is a wonderful moment in time and great timing by Cartier-Bresson. He pressed the button right on time, with the dog looking at the couple. You cannot ask or wait for these moments, they are a gift. The content of the photo is love. The form is again an example of good framing, not showing the man’s whole left leg and the woman’s chair makes the photo more interesting. The dog looking up at the kissing couple also adds greatly to the atmosphere of the scene.--- Read More:

Like Stendhal and Saint-Simon, both among his favorite authors, he focused on the lyric essence of history rather than on the tragic or comic. Cartier-Bresson is French too, in his respect for reality. Like Cezanne painting for the twentieth time his beloved Mont Sainte-Victoire, like Proust recalling the taste of a madelaine dipped in tea many years before to recreate a long-vanished world, this photographer concentrated on the particulars of a scene to transform a passing fragment of existence into enduring art. As a realist, he cares little about children, old people, events in the abstract, but cares intensely about this little girl, this old man, this event…. at this moment.

---To any photographer or artist, a soul searching vision is the life line. Consider Ansel Adams versus Henri Cartier-Bresson, both masters with hugely different, equally creative KGLPhoto - Alley At Nightvisions. One was a large format nature photographer and technical guru, the other a Leica street photographer and painter. One was deliberate in approach to the nth degree, the other hoped to encounter the split-second Decisive Moment. One took hours to set up a shot, the other achieved success in fractions of seconds. One spent endless time in the darkroom; the other viewed a simple camera as his only tool, spending no time in darkrooms. Both are legends. Both produced magic. Both approaches are valid. However different these two approaches might seem, they share features such as: the images present a multi faceted, relevant and unique experience that reflects the artist’s creative vision and flawless execution.--- Read More:

“I enjoy shooting a picture. Being present. It’s a way of saying Yes! yes! yes! It’s like the last three words of Joyce’s Ulysses. It’s yes, yes, yes. And there are no maybes…. It’s a tremendous enjoyment to say, Yes! Even if it’s something you hate. Yes! it’s an affirmation.”

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Of the innumerable candids he snapped over his career, probably none better convey his joyous sense of the mystery of human existence and of the unique worth of individual humans than do those of couples: youth and old age, fumbling and graceful, sad and celebratory, intimate and distant. Each image not only fixes forever a “precise and transitory instant,” but glows with the zest of its creator.

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“To photograph
is to
one’s breath,
when all
fleeting reality.”

---“One has to tiptoe lightly and steal up to one’s quarry; you don’t swish the water when you are fishing.” ~Cartier-Bresson--- Read More:

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