> Author Index > C - Authors > Henri Cartier-Bresson Quotes

Henri Cartier-Bresson Quotes





Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of unrolling itself before my eyes.
 

Actually, I'm not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I'm not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren't cooks.
 

During the work, you have to be sure that you haven't left any holes, that you've captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.
 

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

Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven't left any holes, that you've captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.
 

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.
 

Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.
 

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.
[Art]
 

The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.
 

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

Think about the photo before and after, never during. The secret is to take your time. You mustn't go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick.
 

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.
[Art]
 

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.
 

To take photographs means to recognize - simultaneously and within a fraction of a second - both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye and one's heart on the same axis.
 

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