“I am constantly amused by the notion that some people have about photographic technique – a notion which reveals itself in an insatiable craving for sharpness of images. Is this the passion of an obsession? Or do these people hope, by this tromp l’oeil technique, to get to closer grips with reality? In either case, they are just as far away from the real problem as those of that other generation which used to endow all its photographic anecdotes with an intentional unsharpness such as was deemed to be ‘artistic.'”~ Henri Cartier-Bresson
This week was the first of our “photographer spotlight” weeks, where we look at the work of some well-known photographers. Being relatively self-taught, I don’t know many famous photographers, so I’m excited for the chance to learn more about masters of the art. Chelsea says,
Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photojournalist and co-founder of Magnum. He spoke extensively on the idea of the decisive moment, wherein the photographer is honed in on capturing an event or scene in such a way to care more for the essence of the moment than the technical attributes of the imagery.
For this week use the master of the moment as your inspiration. Trust your creative instincts and intuition and show the essence of the scene.
She also has a list of links where you can learn more about HCB. I’m planning to try to go through some of them soon!
Now, given all that preamble, you might argue that this photo is in fact rather disingenuous, and maybe is the opposite of what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s fair criticism; but I also had a bit of fun with this, so… *shrug*
If you know anything about me you know that I don’t shoot film and probably never will. But I was inspired by the belief/practice of Cartier-Bresson that he rather disliked the darkroom and most “editing” techniques of the day; he preferred to show the images exactly as they came from the camera, to the point that he would usually leave the edges of the unexposed negatives in his shots. So, I decided to doctor my image a bit to make it look more “authentic” 😛
If you prefer, however, I also have the same shot that’s more in the spirit of the challenge:
HCB was the pioneer of the idea that photography is all about capturing the “decisive moment” of a scene or an event. He was one of the earliest street photographers, and used a small camera to try to capture candid shots unobtrusively. In this shot, I was striving to capture the “decisive moment” as well; there’s not much to do in terms of street photography right now, but I wanted to get an image from around the house with the same principles in mind. I shot this with my “most unobtrusive” 40mm pancake lens, and made simple brightness/contrast adjustments but no others in post. I don’t know if this is the best photograph I’ve ever taken, but I do like it, and it’s definitely a much different style from my normal work! I’d be curious to know what you think 🙂
P.S. Thanks to Stephane Pellennec for providing the film-strip texture I used.
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