(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘candid photography

Seizing the instant in its flight…

Hamburg, 1952-3 (The sign reads, “Looking for any kind of work.”)

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.
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was the father of modern photojournalism.  An early master of the 35mm format, he pioneered “street shooting” and more broadly, a form of candid photography that set the model– and the standard– for generations of photojournalists who’ve followed.  Indeed, after World War II (most of which he spent as a prisoner of war) and his first museum show (at MoMA in 1947), he joined Robert Capa and others in founding the Magnum photo agency, which enabled photojournalists to reach a broad audience through magazines such as Life, while retaining control over their work.

The first major retrospective of Cartier-Bresson’s work in the U.S. in three decades opens later today at MoMA in New York, where it will run until late June, then travel to The Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Readers can whet their appetites by visiting MoMa’s online gallery of Cartier-Bresson’s work.

Of all forms of expression, photography is the only one which seizes the instant in its flight.
– Henri Cartier-Bresson , 1968., The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson

As we reload our Brownies, we might recall that it was on this date in 1876 that a group that had started in 1868 in New York City as “The Jolly Corks” reorganized and renamed itself The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  After the death of a member of the Corks left his wife and children without income, the club took up additional service roles and rituals– and a new name.  Clear that they wanted to name their organization for “a readily identifiable creature of stature, indigenous to America,” the fifteen members couldn’t reach consensus on which one.  In the end, they voted 8-7 in favor of the elk over the buffalo.


%d bloggers like this: