ICP Museum || The Decisive moment

Sometimes it happens that you stall, delay, wait for something to happen. Sometimes you have the feeling that here are all the makings of a picture – except for just one thing that seems to be missing. But what one thing? Perhaps someone suddenly walks into your range of view. You follow his progress through the viewfinder. You wait and wait, and then finally you press the button – and you depart with the feeling (though you don’t know why) that you’ve really got something. Later, to substantiate this, you can take a print of this picture, trace it on the geometric figures which come up under analysis, and you’ll observe that, if the shutter was released at the decisive moment, you have instinctively fixed a geometric pattern without which the photograph would have been both formless and lifeless. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Prostitute, Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City, 1934

Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Place de  l’Europe, Paris, 1932

Coronation of King George VI, Trafalgar Square, London, May 12, 1937

Dessau, Germany, May-June 1945

Downtown, Manhattan, New York, 1947

Manhattan, New York, 1947

Saul Steinberg, Vermont, 1947

Jean-Paul Sartre, Le Pont des Arts, Paris, 1946

Rangoon, Burma, 1948

The Forbidden City, Beijing, December 1948

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment examined Cartier-Bresson’s influential publication, widely considered to be one of the most important photobooks of the twentieth century. Pioneering for its emphasis on the photograph itself as a unique narrative form, The Decisive Moment was described by Robert Capa as “a Bible for photographers.” Originally titled Images à la Sauvette (“images on the run”) in French, the book was published in English with a new title, The Decisive Moment, which unintentionally imposed the motto which would define Cartier-Bresson’s work. – International Center of Photography (ICP)

August 16th, 2018


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