A question that I have been asked before is, “Is this a beautiful picture or a picture of something beautiful.” Looking through Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work I notice that every picture is ordinary. Most of the photos are of every day scenes, for the most part there are no spectacular costumes or buildings or views. If an amateur person with a camera visited all of the places that Henri Cartier-Bresson visited and took pictures in the same locations that he photographed, they would probably be forgettable. It is truly because of his skill and eye for beauty that his photo’s turned out so amazing. He found beauty in ordinary places and people, and made art, when other people never considered that those places and those people could be interesting. Henri’s style really was very “in the moment.” He knew when to take a picture in order to capture a scene and the feel of the scene. He knew the angles to take pictures from that would make the photo the most interesting. I think that part of the reason his photo’s are so alluring is because he shot places and things that we see in every day life, and this makes it easy to put yourself into the picture and feel as though you are there.
This picture was one that I particularly liked, possibly my favorite of the ones I found. I like it because of the movement and angles of the picture. Also because it represents to me the epitome of being a child. It’s very clear what is happening in the photo and you can tell by the photo what the children in the picture were probably thinking. This picture reminds me of being a kid and climbing fences and that is why it’s so easy for me to feel a part of this picture. I like this picture as well because the kids are doing different things yet are still obviously together and it gives a very strong message of simple fun. It captures a moment.
This photo I felt was a very good example of having strong highlights and shadows yet still keeping detail in a lot of the picture. It’s a good example of a picture that works even though there are spots with no detail. I liked it because there was such a strong contrast of darks and lights whereas the previous picture was a much broader scale of grays. I also liked it because there were so many people who had their bodies subtly contorted into interesting poses. Once again it captures a moment. I really enjoyed looking through Henri Cartier-Bresson’s pictures. If I had to make a guess of his AV and shutter speed I would guess that he used a rather large aperture and a fast shutter speed. I think that his photo’s were so successful because he was able to notice beauty that other people didn’t see.
The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing. —Henri Cartier-Bresson