Henri Cartier-Bresson on Photography

Henri Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) was a French photographer considered to be the father of modern photojournalism. He was an early adopter of 35 mm format, and the master of candid photography. He helped develop the “street photography” or “real life reportage” style that has influenced generations of photographers who followed.

Cartier-Bresson achieved international recognition for his coverage of Gandhi’s funeral in India in 1948 and the last (1949) stage of the Chinese Civil War. He covered the last six months of the Kuomintang administration and the first six months of the Maoist People’s Republic. He also photographed the last surviving Imperial eunuchs in Beijing, as the city was falling to the communists. From China, he went on to Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), where he documented the gaining of independence from the Dutch.

“Photography is not like painting,” Cartier-Bresson told the Washington Post in 1957. “There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative,” he said. “Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”

Photographer Reflects on Revolutions

Photographer John Moore is no stranger to combat. As a member of an Associated Press team in 2005, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for coverage of the war in Iraq and he’s done extended stints in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Mexico and Nicaragua and elsewhere in the last 20 years.

Yet despite his relative comfort with being on the frontlines, Moore told the NewsHour from his hotel room in Cairo that his latest assignment -a six-week trip that took him to the uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain and Libya – might have been his most dangerous. Moore recorded the interview for us after sneaking out of Benghazi, Libya en route back to his home in Denver.
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