Sunday, 28 November 2010

Collection 100 Research: Henri Cartier- Bresson.

Henri Cartier-Bresson, the French Photographer and Photojournalist is created for inspiring photographers for generations to come, an early adopter of the 35mm film format, and the photographer whom introuduced candid portraiture to the masses, developing "street" and "real life" photography.

Thanks to the family's high income, Cartier-Bresson was able to develop his interests in photography from a young age, owning a Box Brownie and other cameras, which grew through his art studies in schooling and his education.

With the development of photographic technology, and tastes in the format, schools of photographic realism began emerging all over Europe in the 1920's- each unique and experimental, opening up people's views to the world of photography and visual communication, and, along with the Surrealist movement four years later, Cartier-Bresson involved himself with this culture, learning and gaining social status.

After an initial stint in painting, his focus shifted to his main love of photography, and exhibited his work in the United States in 1935 with fellow photographers such as Walker Evans, with his photojournalism first published in 1927 as he covered the coronation of King George VI.

In spring 1947, Cartier-Bresson, along with Robert Capa, David Seymour, and George Rodger formed the cooperative picture agency 'Magnum Photos', a group of photojournalists who set about projects to inform the masses of subjects of humanity by providing captivating, arresting, and often dramatic images to be viewed by the masses.

Cartier-Bresson first truly gained international acclaim for his coverage of Gandhi's funeral, which was held in 1948, and the last stage of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, developing his style of "the decisive moment".

In technical terms, Cartier-Bresson exclusively used Lecia 35mm rangefinder cameras with 50mm lenses, or, occasionally, wide angle lenses for landscapes.

Despite his great success, Cartier-Bresson was consider to be one of art's most unassuming and humble personalities- disliking publicity with a great deal of reserved shyness, the portraits he took being one of the few reflections in the world of his true personality.

I, along with people the world-over, I'm sure, will agree, that Cartier-Bresson really is a force to be reckoned with, and few really compare in terms of his revolution with technology- and I feel that all aspiring photographers could learn a great deal from his candid, often touchingly sentimental works.

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