Henri Cartier Bresson

Henri Bresson the French photographer considered to be the father of photojournalism, was the master of candid photography and an early user of 35 mm film. Henri was well know for street photography that features the human condition within public places and does not necessitate the presence of a street or even the urban environment. The subject of the photograph might be absent of people and can be an object or environment where the image projects a decidedly human. As this went on he came up with a term called ‘The Decisive Moment’ that has inspired generations of photographers ever since.

  Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 16.28.18

He became inspired by a 1930 photograph by Hungarian photojournalist Martin Munkacsi showing three naked young african boys, caught in near-silhouette, running into the surf of Lake Tanganyika. The image is titled Three boys at lake Anganyika. The image captured the freedom, grace and spontaneity of the children’s movement and their joy at being alive. After seeing this image, Henri started photographing street photography, capturing moments as they happen in front of him. Henri decided to give up studying art and started to take photography more seriously. He quoted ‘I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung-up and ready to pounce, ready to ‘trap’ life’.

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 16.21.26

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 16.21.41

Henri Bresson later on met a Hungarian photographer named Endré Friedmann, whose name changed to Robert Capa. The two shared a studio in the 1930s and Robert mentored Cartier from there on. Robert told him‘Don’t keep the label of a surrealist photographer. Be a photojournalist. If not you will fall into mannerism. Keep surrealism in your little heart, my dear. Don’t fidget. Get moving!’. Because of inspirational influences such as Robert Capa, Henri felt compelled to go out into the street to pursue his passion, photographing people as they move around.

In 1952 Henri published his book ‘Images à la sauvette’, who’s english edition is titled ‘The Decisive Moment’. It includes a portfolio of 126 of his photos from the East and the West. As Cartier continued documenting the lives of people he said a famous quote that he lived by as he continued learning from it, he said, “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression”. From this quote we as the audience can understand why the images from his Title ‘The decisive moment’ are so intimate’. The way in which Henri photographed was definitely him being true to the moments he encountered, as the people who influenced him told him ‘Don’t keep labels, be a photo journalist’, which means from a young age he was taught to photograph freely, not to stage moments but to simply capture them.


References-

Website: http://www.biography.com/people/henri-cartier-bresson-9240139 viewed 20/11/14.

Website: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/fb39e1e8-93c8-11e3-a0e1-00144feab7de.html#axzz3JZHUyfUU viewed 20/11/14

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyhMqDfmG9o viewed 20/11/14

Elliot Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt was a documentary and advertising photographer. He is well know for his black and white candid photographs, where he photographs every day things, such as families spending time together, someone cooking, children, eating and everything else. Erwitt started studying photography in 1939 at Los Angeles city college when he moved to America, finishing his education in 1950. Elliot served as a photographer’s assistant in the 1950s in the United States army. Photographers such as Robert Capa, Edward Steichen and Roy Stryker influenced Elliott to take photography further as he was inspired when looking at the images they took of society, making them look natural, within the moment, and what actually happens in real life.

Roy Stryker hired Elliott to work on a photography project for the ‘Standard oil company’. This experience led to him becoming a freelance photographer, producing work for Colliers, Life and Holiday. He then went on to continue shooting projects around the world because he joined the Magnum Photos agency in 1953.

All of Elliott Erwitt’s photographs are very simplistic and observed. He waits to grab the best angle and photo which comes naturally. In four of Elliot’s books that he published, Son of bitch (1974), Dogs Dogs (1988), Woof (2005) and Elliot Erwitts dogs (2008), a subject he decided to focus on was dogs. Elliot went on to spend a lot of time in film making since the 1970s. Some the documentary films that he produced are ‘Beauty knows no pain’ (1971) and ‘Red, white and bluegrass’ (1973), but the most well known one is ‘Glassmakers of Herat, Afghanistan (1977).

I looked at one of Elliott Erwitts latest books called ‘Personal Exposures’. Seeing what few others see and capturing it for us, is the essence of personal exposures. In this book Elliott put together prints that he rediscovered after a long time of not seeing them, creating a unified whole that reflects a consistent, mature vision of photograph and humanity. He photographed men, woman, children in off guard moments, old people, little girls, and many other things. I took ideas from his work, looking at how he approached society to photograph them working, living everyday, something I am going to do. Finding people in the most bizarre places, doing unusual things, or things we see all the time, find that perfect moment and then capturing it.


References-

Book: Elliot Erwitt, W.W.Norton & Co,First Edition(16 Nov 1988).Personal exposures. Schirmer/Mosel Verlag Gm (2012).

Website: http://hautlieucreative.co.uk/Photography/2014A2E/elliot-erwitt-david-bailey-preferences-for-film/ viewed 27/11/14

Website: http://www.americanphotomag.com/photo-gallery/2014/05/elliot-erwitt-work?page=1 viewed 27/11/14