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Teachable Moments
Thursday, August 05, 2004
Henri Cartier-Bresson has died at 93.

An inspiration for amateurs like me, Cartier-Bresson never used a wide-angle or zoom lens, for he wanted his camera to see what the human eye sees. Nor did he pose scenes or use a studio; much the better to shoot real life, where it happens. To pull this off, he was the absolute master at capturing the "Decisive Moment." I think of this as a Zen-and-the-Art-of-Archery sort of thing; sometimes I press the shutter while holding the camera waist-high, not looking at the viewfinder.

I don't know why I remember this, but it comes back to me whenever I eat North African hot sauce. Cartier-Bresson always carried his own tube of Harissa to spice up his meals. I've switched to Tabasco, but the thought is the same. And it reminds me to go through life in search of Decisive Moments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

More photographs at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/04/europe_the_work_of_cartier_bresson/html/1.stm

--Vijay Luthra

5:28 PM  

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