Cartier-Bresson at work

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by c_wyatt, May 22, 2011.

  1. Very interesting indeed. Thanks for the link.
  2. Thanks for this link. The IPA site is a discovery for me. And the C-B video is also interesting. Imagine a time when in order to "blend in" on the street, a photographer would go about in a full suit and tie! Paris in those post-war years, with its street food vendors and fruit stalls, reminds me of present-day Bangkok. While I do like good street photography, I'm not sure I'm in accord with C-B when he dismisses "abstract photography" as "academic", as in "academic painting."
  3. Thank you for the link. I had seen Part II before, but not the part you linked to: Part I.
    I am especially impressed that there are a number of photos reproduced as examples of his work from those street episodes filmed that are almost impossible to find in any of his published works. It shows you more connection between the way that Cartier-Bresson moved, captured, and what it was he got. It also suggests he had a substantially high number of 'keepers' from the shots he took.
    From a brief re-look at what I saw, I notice he did not appear to be using a Leica iii, with their almost impossibly dim and small rangefinder focusing, but an M. Is that correct? Can anybody say when he switched over if correct?
    I especially like the part where the film focuses on his feet, and he appears almost to be almost on his toes, as he advances, hesitates, changes direction, etc. (or however, you want to characterize it). It reminds me of dance; and no matter how you describe it he appears very graceful and very driven at the same time yet somehow trying to remain surreptitious.
    Not all his non-portrait work shows non-surreptitiousness. He sometimes can be quite bold, judging from his work body of work, but these Parisian street episodes emphasize his surreptitious side. That is not his only side, as no doubt the Gandhi/Nehru set of Indian shots exemplify.
    Thanks again.
    John (Crosley)
  4. I especially like the part where the film focuses on his feet, and he appears almost to be almost on his toes, as he advances, hesitates, changes direction, etc. (or however, you want to characterize it). It reminds me of dance​
    I thought this bit was really interesting as well. Movements to give a small but potentially very important change of angle.
    A very good piece of filming too.
  5. Thanks for this link that I had not seen before, but in inspired me to go further and see other documentaries too with interviews of Cartier-Bresson.
    I agree that his footwork is admirable but he says many challenges things too. Some free notes on what he says concerning his photography and especially street photography.
    The good moment (to shoot a photo) is a relation between the subject and a rigorous composition and the geometry of the scene - I'm especially attached to geometry.
    Shooting a photo is a little like an orgasm: there, there THERE and you have your photo
    You have to forget yourself and let the subject "print" itself
    I shoot what I have seen at a specific place at a specific moment
    Photography is nothing, it is life that interest me"
    I could never make a film. I don't have any imagination. I have no memory either.
    Photos of my family? My family, concerns me and no-one else.
    As concerns music, it is Bach … and then there is ... Bach!​
  6. He mentioned and interest in painting as well, and said perhaps later.. I think if I had been in the marketplace, I would have noticed him hiding the camera at his side and he seemed a little overdressed too.. :)
  7. Your are right MH. He actually said that he was strongly influenced by certain (schools of) paintings and certain painters when seeing scenes and shooting reality (composition, colors, light).
    Concerning his "dress" he repeatably mentions that it is important to stay unnoticed: Small camera and especially small lens and dressed so that he fits to the context. In Paris, at that time, it seems to be right. I wonder what he wore during the many months he spent in Chine !! His tie would not really fit there.
  8. Anders..maybe he wore chinos..wink wink! Inspiring video. I may go shoot out today despite the rain.
  9. I watched it several times and bookmarked it. He did street with dignity and class. I wish more "street photographers' had his sense of style and taste rather than this 'anything is fair game' attitude. ok shut-up now ;)
  10. I loved his description of the difficulties of working in China. He said he had to be extremely polite, which was difficult of course, because (street) photographers are not a very polite bunch (~7:35). Much easier to work in America because everyone owns a camera. A ball-point pen and a camera.

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