Henri Cartier-Bresson and Street Photography

5

French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of modern photojournalism, has inspired plenty of photographers. His raw images capture the emotions of his subjects and his photo compositions are phenomenal. Read more about Henri Cartier-Bresson and his street photography.

Two Old China Hands, Shanghai 1949 image © Henri Cartier-Bresson via Laurence Miller Gallery

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photographer who started out as a painter. Because of his interest in capturing intimate moments in the lives of people around him, he got into street photography. Most of the photos that he takes are of big events, wars, clashes in society, and other interesting subjects. His street photography possesses some qualities that every photographer can learn from.

Srinagar, Kashmir 1948 image © Henri Cartier-Bresson via After Image Gallery

One thing that makes Henri Cartier-Bresson an excellent street photographer is that he immerses himself in the places where he shoots. He has travelled all over the world and visited Europe, USA, Asia and Africa and has spent a long time in these places in order to learn about the culture and the people there. This gives him an understanding on how to approach each shot that he takes.

Volcano of Popocatepetl, Mexico 1964 image © Henri Cartier-Bresson via After Image Gallery

Henri Cartier-Bresson spent a lot of time on personal shoots. Whenever he shoots for himself, he only used a 50mm lens. This gave him the chance to be truly familiar with one tool and hone his skills until the lens became an extension of himself. By doing this, he was able to improve his techniques as a street photographer.

Quai de Javel, Paris 1932 image © Henri Cartier-Bresson via After Image Gallery

Learning to blend in is a big part of street photography. The idea is to capture candid moments and the best street photographs are when the subjects are oblivious to the presence of the camera. This is exactly what Henri Cartier-Bresson did. He would cover his camera or apply black tape in order to hide it from view.

Hyde Park, London 1937 image © Henri Cartier-Bresson via Laurence Miller Gallery

Since he was a painter before becoming a photographer, the composition of his shots can be compared to that of a painting. The people, scenery and objects are always the focus. Henri Cartier-Bresson actually stopped being a photographer and went back to drawing and painting.

Children Playing by the Berlin Wall, 1962 image © Henri Cartier-Bresson via Laurence Miller Gallery

These are some of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s qualities that make him an excellent street photographer. With the kind of talent he has, his photos will surely be talked about for years to come.

Henri Cartier-Bresson was also part of a series made by Cornell Capa. Hear what he has to say about photography.

For more Henri Cartier-Bresson articles here on Lomography.com, read Best of the Best: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Grey, Blurry, Small, Odd Crop and London Street Photography

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-09-16 in #lifestyle #henri-cartier-bresson #painter #photography #photographer #street-photography

5 Comments

  1. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    He was the founder..<:)

  2. analogmonolog
    analogmonolog ·

    true legend :)

  3. vicuna
    vicuna ·

    Legendary HCB! He was one of the first photographers I discovered before I started myself to shoot... always love his work!

  4. keni
    keni ·

    i love this kind of article.always inspiring.

  5. selmasailor
    selmasailor ·

    such a new eye for hummanity in its day-life!

More Interesting Articles

  • A Salute to the Masters: Judo (A Tribute to Sabine Weiss)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-04-18 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Judo (A Tribute to Sabine Weiss)

    This article is a tribute to the street and humanist photographer Sabine Weiss. Considered a living legend in street photography, she likes to photograph daily lives of people, trying to capture the emotions she recognizes around her. Weiss like to photograph people of all ages but she especially loves to take photos of children, masterfully immortalizing their spontaneous gestures and emotions. For this article, I was inspired by one of her rare sports photos of some children practicing judo. Do you want to know more about this great artist? Well, read on!

  • A Salute to the Masters: Rugby (A Tribute to Robert Doisneau)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-06-06 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Rugby (A Tribute to Robert Doisneau)

    This is a tribute to one of the most famous French social and street photographers, Robert Doisneau. During his life he was able to capture many little moments of everyday Parisian life with humanity and grace. His photos, full of poetry and humor, tell the ordinary life in the suburbs of the big French capital, away from the richest central areas of the city. Read more after the jump!

    1
  • Speakers' Corner: Interview with Photographer Philip Wolmuth

    written by anamartaml on 2015-07-25 in #people
    Speakers' Corner: Interview with Photographer Philip Wolmuth

    Having a respectable career photographing social, political and economical matters, Philip Wolmuth is capable of starting a dialogue with the public via his thought-provoking photographs. Going through the collective of images on his latest work, it seems impossible not to be instantly affected by the rawness of the emotions captured within the images. The passion, the anger, the commotion, the rebellion, the fervor, the shouting, the devotion; his work is inebriating. It's as if the images are screaming at you and, for a short while, you are transported to the Speakers' Corner without actually setting foot on that location.

    4
  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • Through New York City with Markus Hartel and the New Russar+

    written by zonderbar on 2015-09-11 in #people #lomoamigos
    Through New York City with Markus Hartel and the New Russar+

    New York City-based graphic designer Markus Hartel has a passion for street photography. On one of his last strolls through the city, he captured some scenes on the busy streets with the New Russar+ Lens. Read on to learn about his experience photographing with the Russar+ and get insider info on how it is to be a street photographer in the Big Apple.

    1
  • Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    written by jacobs on 2015-04-03 in #people #lifestyle
    Storytelling with Petzvals: Alex Timmermans and the Art of Collodion

    Not long after Alex Timmermans purchased his first digital camera at the turn of the century, he quickly realized the trappings of digital photography couldn't fulfill his personal photographic desires. He then began searching for a more challenging process — one that wasn't so predictable. His journey eventually landed him back at the roots of analogue photography, specifically employing the wet plate collodion process using original Petzval lenses. This antique photographic process found in him a renewed inspiration and has since become his passion, which is evident in both his words and his images.

    13
  • Petzval 58 Amigo: Richard Wong

    written by azinteimoori on 2016-02-12 in #people #news #lomoamigos
    Petzval 58 Amigo: Richard Wong

    Auckland-based photographer Richard Wong dabbles in everything from wedding photography to street photography, even Lego photography! In the midst of his busy schedule as photographer, camera reviewer and father, he sat down to speak with us about how he uses the Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens in his diverse practice.

    1
  • Shop News

    Experience Sleek Medium Format Shots of Belair City Slicker!

    Experience Sleek Medium Format Shots of Belair City Slicker!

    Take high-quality medium format shots, professional grade panoramas and get tons of customizable features yet compact in size! Grab this camera at a discounted price!

  • Newcomer of the Week: emilybeaver

    written by lomography on 2015-10-25 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Newcomer of the Week: emilybeaver

    Emily Beaver got the community hooked on her compelling black and white portraits of musicians. Despite the absence of colors, her images are enliven by the intense emotions of her subjects. In this interview, our newcomer of the week opens up about her passion for photography, shooting exclusively with an LC-A, and more.

    2
  • Newcomer of the Week: gazeofslate

    written by lomography on 2016-02-07 in #world
    Newcomer of the Week: gazeofslate

    Aside from photography, newcomer Dmitri Berenger enjoys a multitude of hobbies including gardening, watching movies, and discovering music. In this interview, he talks about his photographic style, his inspirations, choosing film cameras over digital gear, and many more.

    3
  • Paint the Town Purple: A Psychedelic Series of Street Photographs Taken with LomoChrome Purple

    written by azinteimoori on 2016-01-13 in #world #news
    Paint the Town Purple: A Psychedelic Series of Street Photographs Taken with LomoChrome Purple

    The enticing energy of street photography has been a big subject of admiration for the community - especially when combined with the pleasing purple palette of Lomochrome Purple! Here is a round up of some recent vibrant and voyeuristic street photographs from the Lomography Community Site taken with this magical film!

  • Shop News

    Start to Get Wide with Horizon Kompakt

    Start to Get Wide with Horizon Kompakt

    Prepare your overwhelming panoramic views and capture them with this ultra-wide panoramic 35mm gear. Start sharing your great memories with family and friends the analog way!

  • LomoAmigo LomoKev Tests the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-03 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo LomoKev Tests the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    Kevin Meredith, more popularly known as LomoKev, is a photographer based in Brighton, England who gained notoriety for his use of the Lomo LC-A and his lomographic style of creating images. Aside from a plethora of personal and commercial projects, he has also conducted workshops on photography, written and published photography-related books, and participated in a few exhibits. With his evident passion for photography, it comes as no surprise that he was selected to test a prototype of the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens.

    3
  • Stephen Dowling Takes the LC-A 120 to Malta

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-07-08 in #people #locations #lomoamigos
    Stephen Dowling Takes the LC-A 120 to Malta

    Aside from his pictures, there is more to admire about Stephen Dowling. His extensive knowledge and insight into film photography and cameras are inspiring. Dowling, a BBC editor and analog photographer, tested the LC-A 120 camera and became a LomoAmigo last year. He has since rekindled ties with the Lomo LC-A 120, and brought it on a trip to Malta.

  • Photo of the Day by mavicomeflor

    written by lomography on 2016-02-13 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by mavicomeflor

    It's never too early to plan for your summer escapade. Here's another must-visit destination in the Caribbean as photographed by our fellow lomographer.