Hyeres, Cartier-Bresson

An iconic photo from Cartier-Bresson that showed up in a delete-me photo pool on Flickr with 11 pages and counting of comments. The comments deride and praise the photo with a few commenters noticing “hey that’s an iconic Cartier-Bresson. Is it in here as a joke?”


Iconic Photo sets the record straight

The photo above was taken in 1932 in Hyeres, a small town on the French Riviera, and has been featured in many retrospectives on Cartier Bresson’s work. The decisive moment here nicely juxtaposes the fleeting biker with the spiral staircase; the poignancy of the moment is accentuated by the fact that although the photo seems as if it was taken accidentally or on the spot, we can also imagine Cartier-Bresson crouching over those railings in Hyeres for hours, waiting for the right instant.

When I saw the photo it reminded me of the collective advice David Schloss and Martin Gisborne gave me about street photographer.

Composition must be one of our constant preoccupations, but at the moment of shooting it can stem only from our intuition, for we are out to capture the fugitive moment, and all the interrelationships involved are on the move. – Martin quoting Cartier-Bresson

The difference between the pros and amateurs is pros take thousands of shots to get one good one. – David

Last year I said we were working hard to increase the quality of the media and content we publish. Aspiring to a street shooter of bikes in cities has me capturing moments like this one in Hyeres. Every photo that I consider good ones have been accidents so far …

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