Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Dieselpunk Icon: Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) was a French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism, an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography.

He helped develop the "street photography" or "real life reportage" style that has influenced generations of photographers that followed.
In 1931 he acquired the Leica camera with 50 mm lens that would accompany him for many years. He described the Leica as an extension of his eye.

The anonymity that the small camera gave him in a crowd or during an intimate moment was essential in overcoming the formal and unnatural behavior of those who were aware of being photographed. He enhanced his anonymity by painting all shiny parts of the Leica with black paint. The Leica opened up new possibilities in photography — the ability to capture the world in its actual state of movement and transformation. He said, "I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung-up and ready to pounce, ready to 'trap' life." Restless, he photographed in Berlin, Brussels, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest and Madrid. His photographs were first exhibited at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1932, and subsequently at the Ateneo Club in Madrid. In 1934 in Mexico, he shared an exhibition with Manuel Alvarez Bravo. In the beginning, he did not photograph much in his native France. It would be years before he photographed there extensively.
You can read a lot about Cartier-Bresson - take Wiki, or National Press Photographers Association page, or his biography @ HCB foundation. There's a lot of other resources. But first of all - look at his pictures (sorry, I haven't arranged them in a chronological order):

Find more photos like this on Dieselpunks
Or browse the album. And please, visit Cartier Bresson pages at the Magnum Agency website.

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Comment by lord_k on October 26, 2009 at 1:40pm
He's one of my favorites - since I've been to his exhibition in 1986. Not the most joyous of all French masters, but definitely the most powerful one.
Comment by Tome Wilson on October 26, 2009 at 1:31pm
As a photographer, I often wonder how our advances in camera technology have completely changed the art.

For example, before the flash bulb, a lot of these off-the-cuff "life shots" wouldn't have been possible.

This is a great photo set. Thanks for reintroducing me to Cartier-Bresson!

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