Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson ~ August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004


A lot of what I know about photography has been influenced from past professional photographers. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a humanist photographer who focused on candid shots and street photography.

He was known as “man of the world” as he traveled to various places all over to capture his images (Africa, Europe, Mexico, etc.). Not only did Bresson never edit his images- which I find truly amazing as in 2017 it’s hard to not to tweak with a photo, but he always aimed to take better ones. His naturalist style motivated him to capture spontaneous moments of a person’s life.

Education & Influences 

Bresson attended University of Cambridge, but his interest in the arts came from his father, who was a textile merchant and uncle who was a well known painter. One of the reasons as to why he enjoyed photography so much was because to him, these were the true moments of human existence being captured.


—In 1933 he purchased first 35mm Leica-

But used mainly one: 50mm lens. He used this so much he called it “an extension of his eye”

Events to Influence Photographic Images 

—Cartier-Bresson traveled to Africa in 1931 to hunt, which enabled him to see a different side of the world’s beauty

He was also captured in Germany for three years, when he escaped the experience gave him a new perception of life and people. His appreciation of people and life went above most which he used to his advantage while capturing his images


Natural, street photography, exclusively black and white

He creates the phrase “the decisive moment” –  moment when everything comes together and falls into place in an image, or taking a picture at the perfect moment

Bresson would sometimes take over twenty pictures of the same scene because something could change in an instant.

The more pictures you take= the more chances you have of capturing a picture-perfect image

Significant work

Bresson managed to capture some of the last photographs of Gandhi before his death

India Birla House 1948 Gandhi, just after breaking his fast


Interview with Gandhi the day before his assassination


One of his last appearances between the end of his fast and his death


Why view Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work?

He viewed the world like a painter

His images are timeless

We can learn about photography through his work!

Henri Cartier Bresson’s Photography 




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nora says:

    He is one of my ALL TIME favorites!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can’t beat the OGs! Lol

      Liked by 1 person

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