Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson’s (1908–2004) “inventive work of the early 1930s helped define the creative potential of modern photography, and his uncanny ability to capture life on the run made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment”—the title of his first major book.”

MoMa has some online exhibitions of Cartier-Bresson and an interactive gallery (this one is of his USSR photos).

“Cartier-Bresson was the first Western photographer to be admitted to the Soviet Union after the death of Josef Stalin, in 1953. The pictures he made in the summer of 1954 were news in themselves, and several magazines reproduced quite a few of them. When he returned to the U.S.S.R. nearly two decades later, in 1972 and 1973, his image of Soviet life developed a new dimension—grim, barren, and bleak.”

I’ve been wanting to post about a street photographer, but wanted to find one who was more inspirational/less pretentious than The Sartorialist (pretty much the only contemporary one I’m really familiar with). So I wikipedia’d ‘street photography’ and came across this guy. He seems pretty awesome, so I plan on learning more about his work!

Reading Assignment: Practice 1

I enjoyed the eye anatomy which served as a refresher for what I knew from psychology classes. Seeing the parallels between a camera’s workings and our own vision was interesting. The next time I get a huge cardboard box, I will be making it into a camera obscura. In one of the next sections, I thought it was kind of strange to have such lengthy explanations about how cell phone cameras and images work, but I suppose it might be necessary in twenty or more years when everything has completely changed. I enjoyed the real life examples (like the watermelon camera or Garth’s water bottle lens) over the manual-like explanations of camera basics (possibly because a lot of it was review).

The Topographic Projections and Implied Geometries Series

By Jim Sanborn, found on Today and Tomorrow. These are large format, long exposures taken at night. The light is produced by a projector. Check out Sanborn’s website for a bunch more photos. I think it’s interesting how much time and effort he took to create these beautiful works, especially in an age where one could simply photoshop these designs onto images.