Five Things to learn from Henri Cartier-Bresson

Happy Monday everybody!!

One of the promises I’ve made myself this year is to get better acquainted with the masters work and learn something from all of them.

I came across Henri Cartier-Bresson work about two or three years ago when I was watching podcasts by Ted Forbes on the Art Of Photography. As well as loving his work, I’ve realised that they are quite a lot that can be learned from from his work.

Patience – The “Decisive Moment” is commonly associated with Henri Cartier-Bresson. What does this mean? The artist often said that even though some of his images are spontaneous, but he sometimes have to be wait and be patient until the right subject presents itself.

The Decisive Moment is not easy to explain but from my experience, it is when all elements come together to capture a story and you are intuitive enough to know it and capture it and when you miss it then you spend the rest of the day or week kicking yourself.

 Telling the story The right image should convey an emotion in the viewer, it should tell a story. That’s what our passion behind our photography should be.

Composition – In this digital age, it is easy to shoot anything and everything and leave composition on the back burner. Taking an image, look at it on the LCD screen and then go again and again until we get an image we like or better yet rely on post-processing. Even I have been there but over time I’ve learned that OK composition makes for OK images.

It is the composition that makes an image, moving the camera a few inches to the right or left can make or brake an image but with practice it become second nature.

Get it right in camera – Instead of relying on post-processing, how about getting it right in camera.

Most of my images are black and white, it is not say that I shoot in black and white, I don’t. Composition, tones, colours, background etc.. I try to get them right in the camera. This means that half of the work is already done.

Gear isn’t everything – Many of you may know that Henri Cartier-Bresson camera of choice was a Leica with his lens of choice being the 50mm.

With all the lenses on the market, it is very difficult not to want to buy new lenses or new camera every year. The more often we use a lens, the more we learn and get use to it. Learning all its ins and out and most importantly loving its quirks

Travel – It is the best way and a common way to get new inspirations. Learn about yourself, learn about cultures and learn about new things.

Photography shouldn’t be about the end goal, it should be about loving the journey. I must admit that as the not so patient person in the world it is easier said than done. They are times that will get frustrated, you will get doubt yourself over and over again. The most important thing is to not let it linger on and find ways to motivate yourself.

One great way I’ve found is to visit museums, art, portrait, photography etc.. It is a great way to learn and see new things and see things from a new perspective.

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