Don’t Just Shoot 50mm Because Henri Cartier-Bresson Did So

Don’t Just Shoot 50mm Because Henri Cartier-Bresson Did So

It is no coincidence that Henri Cartier-Bresson preferred a 50mm lens on his Leica 35mm rangefinder camera. His special ability was to use a 50mm lens but allow the photo to “breathe” almost as if shot with a 35mm. HCB just seemed to know how to frame so that it looks wider than it should. […]

Rediscovered 1971 Interview — Henri Cartier-Bresson: Living and Looking

Rediscovered 1971 Interview — Henri Cartier-Bresson: Living and Looking

The New York Times’ Lens Blog just published a beautiful two-part series with journalist and filmmaker Sheila Turner-Seed interviewing Henri Cartier-Bresson in his Paris studio in 1971. The interview was only discovered in 2011. Not much to add. You have to read the whole thing for yourself. Straight-forward answers of a blessed photographer who never […]

Documentary — Henri Cartier-Bresson et le Nord

Documentary — Henri Cartier-Bresson et le Nord

This is not only for our French friends. Yes, this documentary on Henri Cartier-Bresson is in French. It’s as visually remarkable as surprising in many aspects. The documentary dates back to 1976, four years after HCB gave up photography. But he was willing to once again pick up his Leica (actually two Leicas each with […]

If Henri Cartier-Bresson Were Alive Today, Would He Be Using Digital?

If Henri Cartier-Bresson Were Alive Today, Would He Be Using Digital?

By RONN ALDAMAN Many people say today’s digital imaging sensors deliver quality comparable to film. Two of today’s questions on many a photographer’s mind are: 1) The difference between digital and film photography, and; 2) Would Henri Cartier-Bresson have used a digital camera today? Of course, we will never know. The master died in 2004, […]

Shy Street Photographer

Shy Street Photographer

Street photography and shyness, they don’t match, do they. Street photography requires an outgoing personality, eager to not mind what passersby think, not shying away from even confronting people. People can get upset if not aggressive when they see a stranger’s camera pointed at them. Some photographers just don’t care. Others are careful enough to […]

The Art of Seeing

The Art of Seeing

John Berger, the politically committed critic, novelist, screenwriter, lyricist, dramatist, essyist, activist and, above all, photographer, John Berger is dead. He passed away on January 1 in Paris after a long illness, a few weeks after his 90th birthday. As photographers we owe many things to John Berger, above all to his equally influential and […]

Meditation and Photography

Meditation and Photography

We all face difficult times in life. It can be a sudden tragic event disrupting our daily routine, or for years we lead a life that just seems wrong and unsatisfying, yet we don’t find ways to break out, to shake off our lethargy and live the life that reflects our self. Photography is an […]

10 Movies Every Photographer Should See

10 Movies Every Photographer Should See

Don’t know about you, but what’s nicer than chilling out to a good movie after a hard day’s work. The Internet turns our computers into phenomenal movie libraries with access to every movie imaginable, such as Amazon’s Instant Video. Well you know the name of the game… While everyone has his or her favorite genre, […]

The Decisive Moment 2.0

The Decisive Moment 2.0

The photography world is in hyperactivity. It’s biennial Photokina time, lots of exciting announcements, just to mention the-wait-is-over Canon 7D Mark II (Amazon / B&H Photo / Adorama), world’s probably top APS-C camera. Photography sites and forums are flooded with enthusiasm, exasperation and bad blood, so let’s swim a bit against the tide of nonstop […]

The New World Atlas of Street Photography

The New World Atlas of Street Photography

Photography, like life itself, changed radically over the past few decades. The photography of city life especially — these days simply called “street photography” — has developed into an own new genre like the new urban scenery itself. Now a book titled The World Atlas of Street Photography showcases the work of 100 contemporary photographers, […]

Ready to Make Money in Photography?

Ready to Make Money in Photography?

All a photographer needs are a camera and a lens. Take Henri Cartier-Bresson, he was a one lens shooter. On rare occasions he used a 35mm, otherwise all the way through the trusted 50mm. Times have changed, everyone’s a photographer today, but success in photography still doesn’t depend on bags full of gear and stuff. […]

HCB’s Decisive Moment Reloaded

HCB’s Decisive Moment Reloaded

It’s one of those topics that’s discussed to death. More cliché than truly understood, wise men throw it in casually when talking the essence of street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment”, considered to be the key element of this pioneer of modern photojournalism, influences photographers of all kinds to this day. The world is full […]

Robert Capa’s 100th Birthday — Magnum Launches #GetCloser100

Robert Capa’s 100th Birthday — Magnum Launches #GetCloser100

“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Right, it’s the modern photojournalist’s golden mantra. It’s the leitmotiv of Robert Capa, one of the most influential photographers of all time who marks his 100th birthday on October 22. The late Robert Capa’s photographs of conflict — from the beaches of Normandy and the […]

Vision and Images, 1981 — Iconic American Photographers on Photography

Vision and Images, 1981 — Iconic American Photographers on Photography

These are some great inspiring time witnesses and documents: long forgotten videos with Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel interviewing some of the greats of American photography. Recorded in 1981, the series portrays the iconic photographers Arnold Newman, Elliott Erwitt, Garry Winogrand, Horst P. Horst, Harry Callahan, Frederick Sommer, Duane Michals, Cornell Capa, Burk Uzzle and Joel Meyerowitz. Especially […]

The One Tutorial Every Photographer Should Act Upon

The One Tutorial Every Photographer Should Act Upon

Don’t look like a photographer and get rid of the tension, says photographer John Free who has some strong and rather philosophical thoughts on what makes a good photographer. “Be able to effectively react to a particular instant in a situation that you wanna react to,” he says. Henri Cartier-Bresson might have called this the […]

“Photos Are Like Fossils” — B&W Photographer Roger Ballen on His Fundamentally Psychological and Existential Journey

“Photos Are Like Fossils” — B&W Photographer Roger Ballen on His Fundamentally Psychological and Existential Journey

German magazine Spiegel has an excellent interview with photographer Roger Ballen, a black-and-white film photographer for nearly 50 years who believes that he’s part of the last generation that will grow up with this media. Black and white, says Balen, is a very minimalist art form and unlike color photographs does not pretend to mimic […]

In Photography, Think Lens First, Then Which Body You Can Afford

In Photography, Think Lens First, Then Which Body You Can Afford

The story usually goes like this: you buy a new camera, and then you decide on the optics. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, really. Shouldn’t it be the other way round. Aren’t the optics at the heart and soul of an image? Sensor and camera are second priority. Rather decide first which lens(es) […]

The Zen Film vs. Digital Scattershot Approach

The Zen Film vs. Digital Scattershot Approach

How many photographs can you look at more than once? Not many, not many. Henri Cartier-Bresson (The following is a free interpretation of Forbes’ excellent Leica M Monochrom review by David Foster.) Although the technical brilliance of modern digital cameras is undeniable, there’s also something about the ease with which pictures can be taken that […]

In Photography, Your Credentials Are Worthless

In Photography, Your Credentials Are Worthless

The pursuit of paid photography is one of the few vocations left that are ideal for career changers and newcomers alike. Who needs a degree when great photos can do the talking! But the world is flooded with images and it becomes more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd. There are just […]

Why More Photographers Leica It and a Little Bit of Leica History

Why More Photographers Leica It and a Little Bit of Leica History

Leica again. Somehow I missed this story by Deutsche Welle published last October. The German newswire spoke to Leica Camera CEO Alfred Schopf about the company’s comeback. You learn about some of its unbelievable management mistakes in the 70s, its first digital camera and the move back to Wetzler. An interesting short read on the […]

Gandhi and HCB

Gandhi and HCB

Mahathma Gandhi, world’s most familiar symbol of peace and founding father of India, and Henri Cartier-Bresson, father of street photography and the modern photo reportage, they both shared a tragic moment in history: Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of the last persons to meet Gandhi while he was alive. It was a very special meeting. Cartier-Bresson […]

The Sony RX1(R) File

The Sony RX1(R) File

+++ As you all know, Sony updated the stellar RX1 with the RX1R lacking an anti-aliasing filter, something that seems very fashionable at present. Currently for the same price as the predecessor with AA filter, the newer model should deliver superior detail resolution, but potentially at the expense of increase moiré patterning in areas of […]

The Unspoken Truth About Photography

The Unspoken Truth About Photography

By HANK FAN Consider this list of the most famous photographers in history: Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Steichen, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, William Eggleston. I know I missed quite a few. Talent aside, do you know what they all had in common? They all came from wealthy families. This is a theme […]