» The Impassioned Eye with Henri Cartier-Bresson
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The Impassioned Eye with Henri Cartier-Bresson



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As some of you may know, Henri-Cartier Bresson was a master photographer. He was a trained artist and used design techniques and the 1.5 grid to breathe life and art into his photos. Today we take a look at a rare interview full of Bresson inspiration and wisdom that really tend to hit home on many instances.


I couldn’t find a full length video to embed, but if you have time follow the link and watch “The Impassioned Eye.” It’s an excellent documentary on Bresson and his photography. The audio was disabled, but it’s still neat to flip through.

“Well, I don’t want to say anything. It’s as if you invite someone for dinner and serve wine in a decanter instead of the bottle with the label. People should guess if it’s a good wine. But no, they want to see the label. This is awful. That’s why there shouldn’t be any captions. People should just look. We should awaken our sensitivity. But people don’t. If it’s in a decanter, they won’t dare say it’s a good wine or it’s a bad wine because they haven’t seen the year. They don’t know which chateau. That’s what I resent. I think photographs should have no caption, just location and date. Date is important because things change.” HCB



In this excellent BLOG we are able to hear audio of Bresson being interviewed in 1971 by a student. Interesting story that the interviewee passed away, yet had a one year old daughter. Later in 2011, the daughter discovered the interviews where she heard her Mother’s voice for the first time in over 30 years.


Some more of my favorite HCB quotes from the blog are below as well as a clip about the Decisive Moment.

“But life is very fluid… Life is once, forever.” HCB

“Oh, a very rare print.” There’s not a very real place for it. But what does it mean? That preciousness is a sickness. “ HCB

“Why do photographers start giving numbers to their prints? It’s absurd. What do you do when the 20th print has been done? Do you swallow the negative? Do you shoot yourself? It’s the gimmick of money.” HCB


Here’s another excellent interview that gives you a sense of Bresson’s personality and great humor.


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