» Proof that Henri Cartier-Bresson used Dynamic Symmetry in Photography – 4K Video
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Proof that Henri Cartier-Bresson used Dynamic Symmetry in Photography – 4K Video

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#472

How’s everyone doing today? I hope you are all well! Huge thanks for all of the continued support, you are all amazing!

Today we are going to do a video follow up to the most recent videos of Henri Cartier-Bresson (see #460), and a refresher of these articles (see Day 232 and #410). This video provides proof that Henri Cartier-Bresson used dynamic symmetry in his photographs. It educates the people who use comments like, “if you put enough lines on anything, something is bound to line up.” I hope to further educate everyone, to open their eyes to the potential of using dynamic symmetry in their own art. The masters used it, and so can we.

Proof that Henri Cartier-Bresson Used Dynamic Symmetry – 4K Video

Here is the video with lots of proof, close ups, details, and “Easter eggs” (hidden extras), which show how Cartier-Bresson used dynamic symmetry. You’ll also see and hear some clips from Cartier-Bresson interviews.

Proof that Henri Cartier-Bresson Used Dynamic Symmetry – 4K Video

Maurice Tabard’s Technical Diagram in The Decisive Moment

In Henri Cartier-Bresson’s most popular book, which was labeled “the Bible for Photographers,” there is a dynamic symmetry diagram by the surrealist photographer Maurice Tabard.

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Photograph of Maurice Tabard.

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Surreal photograph by Maurice Tabard.

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Dynamic symmetry diagram being demonstrated by Maurice Tabard in “The Decisive Moment.”
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Here is a close up of the 1.5 dynamic symmetry grid, drawn on by Maurice Tabard.

Andre Lhote Taught Cartier-Bresson Dynamic Symmetry

Andre Lhote was the cubist painter that taught Henri Cartier-Bresson his dynamic symmetry (geometry). Andre Lhote was also a very good educator and wrote an excellent/rare book called “Treatise on Landscape Painting.”

NOTE: The Master Pass members can download a PDF version from the Resources Page.

Mastering Composition - Henri Cartier-Bresson using Dynamic Symmetry - Proof-004-Andre Lhote-Root 9 side by side

Painting by Andre Lhote.
Mastering Composition - Henri Cartier-Bresson using Dynamic Symmetry - Proof-004-Andre Lhote-Root 9 side by side

Painting by Andre Lhote showing how he used the dynamic symmetry grids (root 9’s side by side inside the 1.5 rectangle).

Mastering Composition - Henri Cartier-Bresson using Dynamic Symmetry - Proof-019-Andre Lhote Treatise on Landscape Painting grid

A page from Andre Lhote’s book “Treatise on Landscape Painting.”

Surreal Artists

Henri Cartier-Bresson was greatly inspired by the surrealist movement, and looked up to the surrealist photographer Man Ray.

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Photograph of Man Ray the Surrealist photographer, who was an inspiration to Cartier-Bresson.

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Surrealist photographs by Man Ray.

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Surrealist artists Salvador Dali and Man Ray.

Cubist painter Marcel Duchamp and surrealist photographer Man Ray.

Surrealist Photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson

An interesting clip from one of the interviews explains how Henri Cartier-Bresson was told by his friend, Robert Capa, to make surrealism a private affair of his own; to not label himself as a surrealist. Capa recommended he label himself as a photojournalist to get more business. Cartier-Bresson took his advice and proceeded to make the images he desired.

The best way to become a surrealist artist is to understand Gestalt psychology principles. This will teach you how the mind works to help create illusions and designs.

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Surrealist photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Surrealist photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Surrealist photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Surrealist photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

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Surrealist photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Henri Cartier-Bresson Surrounded Himself with Artists

Henri Cartier-Bresson photographed some of the most amazing artists of his time. This includes Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Man Ray, Pierre Bonnard, Lucien Freud, Marcel Duchamp…the list goes on. Dynamic symmetry and masterful design techniques surely rubbed off on him during his time spent with them. He mentions in a documentary that Picasso was an excellent draftsman his whole career.

Note: The word “Draftsman” is another word artists used to acknowledge that they were using composition, design, and dynamic symmetry. An artist who planned things out instead of creating with emotion 100% of the time (see Day 111).

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Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Pablo Picasso.

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Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Pablo Picasso.

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Painting by Pablo Picasso.

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Painting by Pablo Picasso showing the 1.5 dynamic symmetry grid.

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Mastering Composition - Henri Cartier-Bresson using Dynamic Symmetry - Proof-007-Pierre Bonnard Portrait

Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Pierre Bonnard.
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Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Pierre Bonnard.

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Painting by Pierre Bonnard.

Mastering Composition - Henri Cartier-Bresson using Dynamic Symmetry - Proof-009-Pierre Bonnard stacked root 3 grids

Painting by Pierre Bonnard showing stacked root 3 dynamic symmetry grids.

Book Cover Created by Master Painter Henri Matisse

The book cover of “The Decisive Moment” was created by master painter Henri Matisse. It was designed with his “cutout” concept.

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Mastering-Composition---Henri-Cartier-Bresson-using-Dynamic-Symmetry---Proof-01-book-cover-detailBelow, is another example of Matisse’s cutout design.

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Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Henri Matisse.

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Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Henri Matisse.

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Painting by Henri Matisse.

An interesting fact about Matisse is that he studied with William-Adolphe Bouguereau, which is one of my all-time favorite master painters. He certainly used dynamic symmetry and other design techniques to accomplish his amazing masterpieces.

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Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Artist Henri Matisse.

Here’s one of my favorite paintings by Bouguereau, which can be seen in The Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

Mastering Composition - Henri Cartier-Bresson using Dynamic Symmetry - Bouguereau Painting Nymph and Satyr

“Satyr and Nymphs by Bouguereau.

Conclusion

Surround yourself with artists and learn from the masters before you. Henri Cartier-Bresson definitely used dynamic symmetry (geometry) in most of his photographs. Try aligning the 1.5 grid to your photo and see how you did. Build your muscle memory so you can incorporate it whenever you wish. Thanks again for all of the support! See you next time!

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