02 October, 2008

Idol Talk | Henri Cartier Bresson

I think that everyone has some idol or the other. Someone they worship. Idols serve as good inspirations and its always great to know and read more about them. It gives one the confidence that what you are doing , can be done and people have done it.

I am currently reading a book The Mind's Eye by Henri Cartier Bresson , whom I fondly like to call HCB :). It is his writings on photographers and photography.

In the first chapter, there is something that I really liked.
Below is an excerpt of it and I think that I as a photographer, live by these words.
For me the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to "give a meaning" to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, a discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry - it is by great economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression. One must always take photographs with the respect for the subject and for oneself.

Initially I used to that this is something that holds so true especially when shooting portraits. But now when I think about it, it is also about other subjects equally.
To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. To take photographs means to recognize - simultaneously and within fraction of a second - both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. Its putting one's head, one's eye, and one's heart on the same axis.
It's all about the moment. HCB also calls this The Decisive Moment. A phrase that he coined and later went on to write about it as well. It is that fraction of a second that you click the photograph. But thats easier said than done. The perfect blend of these different components comes about after years of practice.

Here is a shot that I had taken a while back, which was inspired by his most famous photo.
Away from God

This is the inspiration for the photo above.


~ ॐ ~ said...

" One must always take photographs with the respect for the subject and for oneself. "

Could not agree with this more than I currently do !!!

Sadly, I do not have an idol when it comes to photography... there are a few that I admire, but an idol, none !!!

Maybe I am still looking around for the inspiration that I need !

nicely composed post Kshitiz !!!

I am said...

nice, post..

yah an Idol, a direction always helps :)

'patience' I feel is another important dimension of photography..