Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 What do you think I’m a professor of? The little finger? (On offers of honorary doctorates.) 
 I regard myself still as an amateur, though I am no longer a dilettante. (Introduction to The Decisive Moment, 1952) 
 A photographer is part pick-pocket and part tightrope dancer. 
 I was marked, not by Surrealist painting, but by the conceptions of Breton [which] satisfied me a great deal: the role of spontaneous expression and of intuition and, above all, the attitude of revolt. 
 Time runs and flows and only our death succeeds in catching up with it. Photography is a blade which, in eternity, impales the dazzling moment. 
 Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks. 
 To take photographs means to recognize—simultaneously and within a fraction of a second—both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis. 
 One must creep up to the subject on tip toes, even when it involves a still life. One must put on velvet gloves and have Argus eyes. No pushing or crowding: an angler doesn’t stir up the waters beforehand. 
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