Cartier-Bresson’s Street Photography: The Perfect Take

A R T L▼R K

61yXPxQLYXLOn the 22nd of August 1908, painter and pioneering photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, France. By self-admission, his first true love of photography was inspired bya 1930 photograph of Hungarian photojournalist Martin Munkacsi showing three naked young African boys, caught in near-silhouette, running into the surf of Lake Tanganyika. The picture captured the very essence of a joyful moment in time. Cartier-Bresson remembered:“The only thing which completely was an amazement to me and brought me to photography was the work of Munkacsi. When I saw the photograph […] of the black kids running in a wave I couldn’t believe such a thing could be caught with the camera. I said damn it, I took my camera and went out into the street. I suddenly understood that a photograph could fix eternity in an instant.” Initiated into the mysteries of the simple “Brownie” snapshot camera as a…

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