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

 I am a pack of nerves while waiting for the moment, and this feeling grows and grows and grows and then it explodes, it is a physical joy, a dance, space and time united. Yes, yes, yes, yes! 
 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. 
 We are always struggling with time: whatever has gone has gone forever. The time element is the key to photography. One must seize the moment before it passes, the fleeting gesture, the evanescent smile. For it is impossible to “start again.” That’s why I am so nervous—it’s horrible for my friends—but it’s only by maintaining a permanent tension that I can stick to reality. 
 As photojournalists we supply information to a world that is overwhelmed with preoccupations and full of people who need the company of images... We pass judgment on what we see, and this involves an enormous responsibility. 
 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. 
 [Photography] can be like a passionate kiss, but also like a gunshot or a psychoanalyst’s couch. 
 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. 
 What do you think I’m a professor of? The little finger? (On offers of honorary doctorates.) 
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