The Master Henri Cartier-Bresson - the Decisive Moment

The Master Henri Cartier-Bresson – the Decisive Moment

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) was a French photographer who is widely considered the father of photojournalism. His phrase the “Decisive Moment” is one that many photographers know well. If you are not familiar with his name or this phrase – it’s time to learn!

Father of photojournalism

bressonSomething I recommend in my classes is to learn about the history of photography. Who are the greats that came before us? How did this craft we know today come to be? There is much to be learned from the masters of yesterday. I want to start introducing them to you and couldn’t think of a better place to start (especially seeing this week’s challenge is street photography) than with Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Well known for his candid street photography, Cartier-Bresson was, in many ways, progressive before his time. One of the first to use a 35mm camera, a war prisoner and escapee, his first published book was title “The Decisive Moment ( Images à la Sauvette  in his native French – if you can find a copy in print grab it!)

I’m going to let you do your own research into the man, his life and his images but I’ll start you off with this video interview with him, from 1973.

Some books by Cartier-Bresson

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Darlene Hildebrandt is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through free articles on her website Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Peru, Thailand, India, Cuba, Morocco, Bhutan, Vietnam and more. To help you improve and learn she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!