One of this century’s icons in photography Henri-Cartier Bresson, thought to be the Father of

modern day Street Photography, transformed the field through his concept of “the decisive

moment.” He defined it as “the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second, of the

significance of an event as well as a precise organization of forms that give that event its proper

expression.” In other words, the dramatic climax of a picture where everything falls perfectly into

place. Bresson’s photographs excel in composition without cropping his negatives, he had a

unique ability to capture the fleeting moment in which the subject’s significance is revealed in

form, content, and expression. Cartier-Bresson utilizes a Leica 35 Midtown Mediation camera, in

fact, he popularized this small, portable camera. The general format that he incorporates is black

and white silver gelatin in 11” x 14” and 16” x 20” sizes.

The photograph, “Behind the Gare St. Lazare”, 1932, a man jumping through a puddle,

shows the French photographer’s ability to catch the moment in which an event is about to take

place. This picture is one of intensity and depth, it brings out his creativity and ability as a

photographer. The contrasts of light-to-dark and dark-to-light is brought about all throughout the

image. His ability of self-expression and compassion for his artwork, is what makes this

photograph so full of life and passion. The style of the picture is smooth, and soft, yet at some

angles it looks harsh and full of shadows. It brings out the complexities and intricacies that a

photographer has to go through in order to achieve such a perfect picture. He also makes popular

the saying “being at the right place at the right time,” because this is just what this photograph

demonstrates. It also catches the attention of any viewer, just in the simple way the man is

literally above the ground jumping over the puddle, it’s an amazement to any eye. The sense of

shadowing that pertrude throughout the image, is in itself a great accomplishment. Bresson

captivated his audiences through his marvelous works, he captured the essential quality and

fineness of an object and multiplied it by 3. Cartier-Bresson was, and is an incredible

photographer that still fascinates and enchants his audiences with such great works.

Bibliography

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