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

 I’m not responsible for my photographs. Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience. It’s drowning yourself, dissolving yourself and then sniff, sniff, sniff—being sensitive to coincidence. You can’t go looking for it; you can’t want it, or you won’t get it. First you must lose your self. Then it happens. 
 What do you think I’m a professor of? The little finger? (On offers of honorary doctorates.) 
 Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. 
 The adventurer in me felt obliged to testify with a quicker instrument than a brush to the scars of the world. 
 Thinking should be done beforehand and afterwards—never while actually taking a photograph. 
 I love painting. As far as photography is concerned, I understand nothing. 
 All I care about these days is painting—photography has never been more than a way into painting, a sort of instant drawing. 
 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. 
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