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

 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. 
 A photographer is part pick-pocket and part tightrope dancer. 
 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. 
 Thinking should be done beforehand and afterwards—never while actually taking a photograph. 
 All I care about these days is painting—photography has never been more than a way into painting, a sort of instant drawing. 
 Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not a major concern. 
 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! 
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