A film I believe tells it all...

"The Impassioned Eye".  A bio-documentary of Henri Cartier-Bresson, arguably one of the best -if not the greatest- photographers of all time. 

In these days of uber-cameras - digital and technological marvels that can take pictures in virtually every situation put in front of them, here was Cartier-Bresson showing a body of work taken over many decades, shot with a small Leica camera and predominantly a single 50mm lens, which wasn't particularly fast in terms of aperture. It was quite a sobering thought. No autofocus, no evaluative metering, no picture modes, no image stabilization. Things that we take for granted these days. He utiilised the simplest and most efficient way of taking pictures. Just a man, his simple camera, and his eye. Compose, focus, press the shutter.

His thoughts on the images were humbling. He saw them as 'memories' from an earlier time, in much the same way as we look at our holiday snaps. Watching him look back at his pictures, you could sense the emotion he was feeling at the time. He handles the paper pictures like a pile of proof prints, and talks quite openly about the stories behind them, often with a tear in his eye. Nothing pretentious, and totally devoid of ego.

If you can get to see the documentary, then don't miss it. It is one of those masterpieces of film making, that will inspire you to take better pictures.

Here is a link to a Blogger who has the film in segments, it is very much worth the time to see.



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