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Famous quotes by Henri Cartier-Bresson on photography, creativity, reality, joy and other things.

13 Famous Quotes By Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Great French Photographer

Quick Facts

Famous As: Photographer and Painter

Born On: August 22, 1908

Died On: August 3, 2004

Born In: Chanteloup-en-Brie, France

Died At Age: 95

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French photographer, who is regarded as one of the greatest pioneers of candid photography and had also been one of the earliest users of the 35 mm film. Bresson is possibly one of the most influential photographers in history and his work has influenced generations of photographers, who came after him. He is also credited for being the pioneer of street photography. He tried his hand at music and painting but he had always been keen on photography. After handling his first camera in 1929, he never looked back and became a professional photographer. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Cartier-Bresson worked across a range of genres and in fact, he had also been to the Second World War as a member of the French Army’s Film and Photo Unit. Cartier-Bresson went on to jointly establish his own photography agency Magnum Photos and he was primarily involved in covering India and China. He spoke about a range of subjects from time to time and photography and its evolution was a favourite subject. He had witnessed and was responsible for the evolution of the process of photography across several decades. His thoughts and sayings have inspired millions around the world. Here is a collection of Cartier-Bresson’s quotes excerpted from his interviews and known public utterings.
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Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Henri Cartier Bresson

For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.

Henri Cartier Bresson

To photograph is to hold one's breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It's at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

Henri Cartier Bresson

It is through living that we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us.

Henri Cartier Bresson

To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.

Henri Cartier Bresson

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.

Henri Cartier Bresson

The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.

Henri Cartier Bresson

For the world is movement, and you cannot be stationary in your attitude toward something that is moving.

Henri Cartier Bresson

In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a Leitmotiv.

Henri Cartier Bresson

Sharpness is a bourgeois concept

Henri Cartier Bresson

We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.

Henri Cartier Bresson

Photography is simultaneously and instantaneously the recognition of a fact and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that express and signify that fact

Henri Cartier Bresson

Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should?

Henri Cartier Bresson