Monday, May 17, 2010

Henri Cartier-Bresson

I'll start this post by saying this: if you're a photographer and you live on the east coast (or have the opportunity to get to New York City), you absolutely must get thee self to MoMA to see the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit before it closes at the end of June.

Holy. Moly.

To say it blew my mind was an understatement.

300 of Cartier-Bresson's photographs in simple white frames with white matting on gray walls in room after room.

I spent 2.5 hours wandering around the exhibit on Saturday and it was worth every penny I spent getting up there and back (and every penny I spent at the gift shop afterward!). Also, if you go, pick up the free audio guide at the entrance to the exhibit. It offers some really interesting commentary on his photos and world travels.

I went with the goal of being inspired to improve my street photography and portraiture - I came away with more inspiration than I thought possible.

I fell in love with several of Cartier-Bresson's photographs during my visit, including one that I cannot find anywhere online (must mean that I have unique taste). I'll have to take a photo of it out of the coffee-table book I purchased that has a copy of all 300 photos at the exhibit.

Some of the others I found most inspiring:
Cartier-Bresson didn't shoot many landscapes and never shot a landscape without a touch of something "man-made" in it. I love the simplicity of this shot. I bought a 16x20 version to hang in our office, where I do a lot of my photography work.

Simple. Perfect lines. Perfect blurred motion. Perfectly contrast-y.

Taken when cameras first became portable enough to do street photography and fast enough to capture stop-action. Look at the poster in the background, with the dancer in almost the same pose. Genius.

1 comment:

Oliver said...

I love the one of the bike, your right the contrast is perfect.