All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Country: France
Birth: 1908 | Death: 2004

Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica - his camera of choice thereafter - and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir. Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and subsequently joined an underground organization to assist prisoners and escapees. In 1945 he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then filmed the documentary Le Retour (The Return). In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos. After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment). He explained his approach to photography in these terms, '"For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday.

Source: Magnum Photos


His technique: Cartier-Bresson almost exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward medium format twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "[i]mpolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation. Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image.

Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints and showed a considerable lack of interest in the process of photography in general, likening photography with the small camera to an "instant drawing". Technical aspects of photography were valid for him only where they allowed him to express what he saw: "Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing."

He started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as 'my only superstition' as he considered it a 'baptism' of the lens. Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon. "In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotiv."

Source: Wikipedia

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards 2021
Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Thomas Wrede
Germany
1963
Thomas Wrede was born in 1963 in Iserlohn (Germany). He studied Fine Art in Muenster and Berlin. From 1998 until 2005 he taught photography at the Kunstakademie Muenster. During the last few years numerous exhibitions presented his works in- and outside of Germany. Particularly, the solo exhibitions at the Museum Kunst der Westkueste, Alkersum (2010), the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2010) and at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Koeln (2007) and the following group exhibitions should be mentioned: at the National Museum for History and Art, Luxembourg (2013), the Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea (2011) and the Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2009). Since 1998 Wrede has shown his works in several galeries of the United States (New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles). Wrede's photographs have also been placed in these major art collections: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Landesmuseum Muenster, The West Collection Philadelphia, Kunst-am-Bau-projects in Berlin for the German State, UBS Zuerich & Lucerne, DZ-Bank Frankfurt. The artist won some important awards, among others the Karl-Hofer-Preis of the Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin. Thomas Wrede published all photographic series in several nice books.About Real Landscape from the Press Release by Beck & Eggeling:Thomas Wrede already counts as an established position to the Duesseldorf photography scene. His large format, quiet, but also dramatic landscape photographs fascinate in a particular way, as the observer immediately feels himself confronted with all the facets of human existence. Idyll and catastrophe, longing and debacle form the fine line of atmospheres which through Wrede's complex direction have a thought-provoking effect. Scenic cloud formations or glistening sunsets at the horizon blur the boundaries further. Point of origin of his photographic works is time and again the longing for nature. Wrede thereby utilizes in his „Real Landscapes“-series requisites from model railways, placing miniature houses and trees into real nature – at the beach, into the snow or in a nearby puddle. Yet, only a small excerpt of nature measuring at most a few steps in circumference is of concern. The observer's perception is thus set on the wrong track because in the photograph the whole setting is perceived in line with the size of the trees and houses. The illusion, generated through the inconsistencies and discrepancies of the proportions, is the result of Wrede's skilful use of his analogue plate camera with wide angle – he interferes with scales and reduces distances. A puddle thereby becomes a lake, a pile of snow turns into snowcapped mountain ranges and a few centimetres of even sand become a milelong beach.
Pierre De Vallombreuse
Pierre de Vallombreuse was born in Bayonne in 1962. In twenty-five years of travel to all continents, he made a photographic collection of 41 indigenous peoples, with more than 130,000 photographs, paying tribute to their diversity.In contact with Joseph Kessel, a French author and traveler, de Vallombreuse felt a very early desire to be a witness of his time. In 1984, he entered the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris with the idea of becoming a cartoonist. A trip to Borneo the next year, though, changed the course of his life. He shared his daily life with the Punans, the last nomads of the jungle. Normally a sedentary artist, de Vallombreuse decided to become a nomadic witness, and photography became his mode of expression. While still a student at the Arts Décoratifs in Paris, he took multiple trips to the Philippine jungle to stay with the Palawan people. In total, he lived with them for over two years. The first part of his work on this tribe was presented at the photographic festival Les Rencontres internationales de la photographie in Arles.De Vallombreuse was Secretary General of the Association of Anthropology and Photography (association Anthropologie et Photographie, Paris Diderot University). Since then, he has regularly collaborated with leading international magazines: GEO (France, Russia, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Japan), Sciences et Avenir, Le Monde 2, Le Figaro Magazine, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, and La Stampa.About The Origins of Man (Hommes Racines)Encompassing five years of work, this project represents the commitment of a photographer with eleven indigenous peoples spread across the globe. Its main purpose is to show the intimate relationship between man and his environment. De Vallombreuse presented his work as a testament to the diversity of lifestyles, practices, and traditional knowledge that are embedded in very different environments. These cultures are repositories of knowledge essential to the preservation of biodiversity. De Vallombreuse aimed to promote a reflection on humanity sustainable whose corollary is the protection of nature.Whenever linked to a specific people, the project emphasizes the multiplicity of responses to living conditions imposed by nature and history. It is in this context that de Vallombreuse addresses this root concept. By meeting people entrenched in their territory and those who have been subjected to the test of uprooting, de Vallombreuse analyzed changes in life affecting our modernity. He worked to show how indigenous peoples are often the first victims of environmental disasters: food shortages, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and water war, crucial questions that, far from being local concerns, affect our mutual humanity.Since 2007, this project has resulted in 12 exhibitions and numerous publications.Souce WikipediaAbout SouverainesIn the West, feminists fight for equality with men. But elsewhere? In some traditional societies, women have a predominant social and spiritual part to play. There is equality, mutual respect and freedom for both genders. Amongst these people, women are recognized for their uniqueness and their skills.Pierre de Vallombreuse traveled to four South East Asian cultures where women play a crucial part in the family and in governance itself.In the matrilineal and matrilocal tribe of Khasi in the North-East part of India, children are given at birth the name of their mother and the youngest daughter inherits all the land and family properties.In the nonhierarchical tribe Palawan in the Philippines, men and women live in perfect equality, while emphasizing values such as goodwill, generosity and mutual assistance.In the southwestern part of China, status of women is unique in Moso, a population that practices all forms of matriarchy as children's education is entrusted with their maternal uncles.Finally in Malaysia, the Badjao abolish all forms of hierarchy and advocate for an egalitarian and libertarian civilization that is prominently in favor of women.
Francis Malapris
Schizothymic baby-boomer, at the age of 12 Francis takes refuge in computer science and excels in this field despite social and academic failure. In 1996, as he becomes an engineer, he meets the need to preserve memories of the Moment and tries photography. Gradually, this utopia fades to give way to the sensitivity he has so long repressed. 20 years later, he is an accomplished self-taught artist through the study of technique and the masters who inspire him such as Raymond Depardon, Rafael Minkkinen and Daido Moriyama. Key encounters have formed his photographic approach to bring him to social contact and staging. He then abandons computer sciences to exploit his bubbling creativity, full of sensitivity. The human being is then at the center of his work, after the fashion of the "Self" (Freud), which lies between unconscious desires and moral standards. Affected by the death of a friend, he undertakes a strong introspection that will highlight neuroses that he crystallizes through nude photography. In 2011, he begins the "IN SITU" project about mental escape, a phenomenon that concerns him. In 2014, he develops a shooting process to build the "AQUATIC" series. In 2017, the images encounter a great success, are published and exhibited at the FEPN in Arles, namely with the festival bill. With his installation in the heart of the Saint Anne chapel, Francis goes beyond photography to offer a contemporary art installation which sublimates female energy. Artist Statement The human element is a fantastic material. I like observing bodies, their movements and expressions, sometimes with the idea of appropriating them. The part that fascinates me the most, because almost inaccessible, is the soul, at the head of the personality with its tastes, emotions and especially its history. Then comes the complex relationship to society, which evolves with environment and time. I approach the person naturally with openness and sensitivity, on the lookout for singularities that may resonate in me. From object, "the other" becomes a proper individual, whose distinguishable particles and sub-particles I highlight. The main theme of the work I am presenting is that of the relation to reality : whereas the physical body is submitted to the present, imagination is free to roam without constraint in time and space. The ambiguity of this permanent oscillation between rational and irrational, resignation and escape, motivates me in my research where letting go is the motto. The plurality of my projects illustrates the richness of mental spaces that I have visited. Whether dreamlike or real, I put limits only in the possible interpretation of the codes that I use.
Gabriele Galimberti
Gabriele Galimberti, born in 1977, is an Italian photographer who frequently lives on airplanes, and occasionally in Val di Chiana (Tuscany), where he was born and raised. He has spent the last few years working on long-term documentary photography projects around the world, some of which have become books, such as Toy Stories, In Her Kitchen, My Couch Is Your Couch and The Heavens. Gabriele's job consists mainly of telling the stories, through portraits and short stories, of people around the world, recounting their peculiarities and differences, the things they are proud of and the belongings with which they surround themselves; social media, in all its forms, is a fundamental part of the research needed to get in touch, discover and produce those stories. Gabriele committed to documentary photography after starting out as a commercial photographer, and after joining the artistic collective Riverboom, best known for its work entitled Switzerland Versus The World, successfully exhibited in festivals, magazines and art shows around the world. Gabriele is currently traveling around the globe, working on both solo and shared projects, as well as on assignments for international magazines and newspapers such as National Geographic, The Sunday Times, Stern, Geo, Le Monde, La Repubblica and Marie Claire. His pictures have been exhibited in shows worldwide, such as the well known Festival Images in Vevey, Switzerland, Le Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles) and the renowned V&A museum in London; they have won the Fotoleggendo Festival award in Rome and the Best In Show prize at the New York Photography Festival. Gabriele recently became a National Geographic photographer and he regularly works for the magazine. Publications Gabriele Galimberti, Paolo Woods, "The Heavens", Delpire/Dewi Lewis, Paris-London 2015 Gabriele Galimberti, "My Couch Is Your Couch", Clarkson Potter, New York 2015 Gabriele Galimberti, "In Her Kitchen", Clarkson Potter, New York 2014 (also translated in French, Chinese and Korean) Gabriele Galimberti, "Toy Stories", Abrams Book, New York 2014 Gabriele Galimberti is the Second Place Winner of All About Photo Awards 2020 with his work The Ameriguns
Claudio Rasano
Switzerland
1970
Claudio Rasano lives and works in Basel, Switzerland. His work explores the relationship between spaces and humans, the subject within the space and the space as the subject itself. Rasano has a genuine and identifiable style that crosses documentary and fine art practices. He works with people from similar backgrounds, circumstances and experiences - environmental portraits and landscapes depicting a quiet anthropological commentary. There is a strong relationship between the environmental portraits and the landscape images. He is the recipient of Photovogue Portraits 2017, Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize 2016, Lensculture portrait award Finalists, Syngenta Photography Award Unseen and Life 2017 Framer World Travellers. 2019 Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography at PHOTO IS:RAEL Statement My work may cross countries and continents, but there is one thing that features centrally throughout, people. People are the focal point of his work, whether it's schoolchildren in South Africa or cigarette sellers in Tirana, the story of the country that Claudio is working in is told through its people. "I love to explore the relationship between spaces and humans, the subject within the space and the space as the subject itself, I work with people from similar backgrounds, circumstances and experiences -environmental portraits and landscapes depicting a quiet anthropological commentary. It is important for me to see that there is a strong relationship between environmental portraits and landscape images." His work is focused around the human stories of an area, but in many cases it is not just the person that is of interest. The composition of many of his images, even when portraits, provides a snapshot of the landscapes and built environments that are around the subject. This contextualises many of his photographs, helping you to build a more rounded impression of the individuals based on their surroundings too - the perfect example of this being his image of South African workmen in sodden clothes.
Javier Arcenillas
Freelance photographer. Degree in Evolutionary Psychology from the Complutense University of Madrid, he is Professor of documentary photography at the PICA School of PHE and editor of photographic projects. 
It develops humanitarian essays where the protagonists are integrated in societies that limit and aggregate all reason and right. He has won several international prizes, including The Arts Press Award, Kodak Young Photographer, European Social Fund Grant, Euro Press of Fujifilm, FotoPress, UNICEF, Sony World Photography of the Year, POYI, POYILatam, Fotoevidence, Gomma Grant, Eugene Smith Grant 2013, Getty Images Grant, PDN 2018, World Press Photo 2018, Lucas Dolega 2019 In 2013 entered the dictionary of Spanish photographers. It has 4 books published, "City Hope" on the satellite cities that populate the landfills of Latin America, "Welcome" that tells the story of the Rohingya refugees of Myanmar in the Kutupalong camp and Sicarios on the hitmen in Central America and UFOPRESENCES in 2018, the fun project about the spaces of UFO sightings and the way of transformation that localities, roads and cities turned into a legend. Aliens, Area 51, Death Valley or Roswell. The project that conceptualizes in images, maps and graphics the UFO phenomenon offers us places where these strange appearances have entered a unique subculture in the environment, endowing it with a singular energy. In the year 2016 La Fabrica publishes a Photobolsillo within the Photographers Spanish collection. His most complete news articles outside Spain can be read in Time, CNN, IL Magazine, Leica Magazine, Der Spiegel, Stern, Esquire, GEO, El Mundo, PAPEL, VICE News, TRIP, Matador, Man on the Moon, L´Expresso, Zazpika, Primera Linea, El País Semanal, Planeta Futuro, Libero, Gatopardo, El Confidencial, El periódico de Guatemala, Sputnik News as most important magazines. His work is distributed by the Agency LUZ. CITY HOPE Since the mid-nineties settlements bordering on rubbish dumps in the major capitals of Central America and Caribean have experienced a radical transformation. Now a days there are numerous families living in the recycling of waste in these macrociudades of disposable plastic or glass, their economic survival depends on it. Neighborhoods such as La Esperanza in Guatemala, La Duquesa on the Dominican Republic or in Managua Acahualinca fairly communities adapted to the collection of waste in landfills. This essay shows how and where they live hundreds of people in Latin America whose work is not the collection of organic waste. LATIDOAMERICA Latidoamerica is a Photojournalistic Research project that describes and analyzes violence in Central America, one of the most dangerous places in the world documenting the direct consequences of violence Sumida in revolutions, dictatorships, genocides, wars or political lack of control inheriting in each country, these Societies use the fear learned in their worst years to coexist daily with death and criminality in each city. This inheritance that left so much death has transformed the way of thinking and acting in the area. Today, a large part of its citizens live in fear and insecurity of certain death by firearm, rape, aggression, extortion, kidnapping and murder. Since the end of hostilities in countries like El Salvador, the young people who emigrated due to the war in the United States returned as street soldiers with new laws and regulations. The gangs known as "Maras" are responsible for that fear in which they live because they have bloodied any attempt at peaceful democratic socialization and have led the country to a new undeclared war in which Salvadorans are the victims. Similar circumstances in Guatemala where after years of dictatorship, genocide and death professions like that of Sicario end up seducing the poorest young people for the fear and respect they instill. The hired killer recruits teenagers attracted to fast money. Her main game is fear and her job is intimidation and death. In order to ‘graduate' these assassins murder a person on the condition that the situation involves risk. But it is not the only problem, in these countries without war where deaths from violence occur every hour, their social portrait is considered the most terrifying place in the world according to the United Nations. In Honduras, its geographical value is a place of transit for drug trafficking, a constant fight by drug cartels, a country that does not generate social policies. It is the heartbeat of America. CITIZENS OF DESPAIR More than years after his expulsion from Myanmar, thousands of unregistered Rohingya refugees living in makeshift camp Kutupalong, Bangladesh, have been forcibly displaced from their homes, in an act of intimidation and abuse of local authorities. Some international organizations have been treating many people for injuries where the majority were women and children victims of rejection and the disdain and the situation seems to be moving to nowhere. The Rohingya are a small Muslim ethnic group have for years been fleeing the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar which were subject to cruel of Abandonment, violence and exploitation. AmA The story begins like this... "In Genesis there was only the sea. Everything was dark, neither sun nor moon, the water was the mother and her cloak covered everything." For indigenous people there is no difference between dream or reality, day and night, visible or invisible.... Everything is equally real with the eyes open or with them closed. The native, like Alicia, pierces the mirror of appearances naturally but not always with tranquility because if the imaginary is sobering it also has its black and white. EdeN is a story, an illusion that we build in its most spiritual and dreamy emotional state. For generations, indigenous people have explored light and the subconscious on trips beyond reason about a latent unreality of space / time, that origin is found in the need for mastery of the cosmos. They are dreams materialized in a hidden place of the mind. In a meeting of two worlds their universes divide or intertwine over water or earth, the ground and the stars, consciousness and matter. The project embraces an imaginative and unreal photography that plays with illusion and fable as a different form of viewing. That exploration that directs us to delve into the narrative forms of visual expression.
Advertisement
AAP Solo Exhibition
PHmuseum
All About Photo Awards 2021

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with Réhahn
Referred to as someone who "captures the souls of his models", (Wanderlust Travel Magazine, 2018) Réhahn is more than just a man behind a camera. Behind each click is a story. Whether the photograph shows a child with startling blue eyes, a woman pulling a needle through indigo fabric or a man walking alone down a brightly painted street, these are more than just images to Réhahn. They are the culmination of an experience. The stories of his subjects as well as his passion to learn more about their culture, diversity and changing traditions are what drives Réhahn's work.
Craig Varjabedian: Found Horizons
Craig Varjabedian's photographs of the American West illuminate his profound connection with the region and its people. His finely detailed images shine with an authenticity that reveals the ties between identity, place, and the act of perceiving. For Varjabedian, photography is a receptive process driven by openness to the revelation each subject offers, rather than by the desire to manipulate form or to catalog detail. He achieves this vision by capturing and suspending on film those decisive moments in which the elements and the spirit of a moment come together
Exclusive interview with Jacopo Della Valle
Jacopo Maria Della Valle is an Italian travel photographer who fell in love with photography at young age thanks to the influence of his father. Since then he has travelled to Europe, the USA, Cuba, Morocco and all over Asia. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 12 B&W with his project Bull Jumping. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive interview with Giedo Van der Zwan
Giedo van der Zwan is a street photographer, writer and publisher from the Netherlands. He started working on a long-term project 'Pier to Pier' in 2017 and published his book in June 2018. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 8 Street. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive interview with Eli Klein
Eli Klein Gallery has an international reputation as one of the foremost galleries specializing in contemporary Chinese art and continues to advance the careers of its represented artists and hundreds of other Chinese artists with whom it has collaborated. The Gallery has been instrumental in the loan of artworks by Chinese artists to over 100 museum exhibitions throughout the world. It has published 40 books/catalogues and organized more than 75 exhibitions of Chinese contemporary art at our prestigious venues in New York City.
Exclusive interview with Cayetano González
Cayetano González is a talented Spanish photographer and cinematographer who found his calling when his grandfather lend him his Leica. Since then he has directed commercials and shot several covers of major magazines. His work is influenced by the painters he admires like Sorolla, Velázquez, Rembrandt and Delacroix.
Exclusive interview with Mauro De Bettio
Mauro De Bettio is an Italian photographer who lives in Spain. His pictures are a visual story able to highlight unseen or ignored realities. A vital tool that can help bring about social changes. He is the winner of AAP Magazine 11 Travels. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive interview with Stéphane Lavoué
Stéphane Lavoué, is a French portrait photographer born in Mulhouse in 1976. He lives and works between Brittany and Paris. He is the winner of the Niépce Prize 2018. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview With Harvey Stein
Harvey Stein is a professional photographer, teacher, lecturer, author and curator based in New York City. He currently teaches at the International Center of Photography. Stein is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He was the Director of Photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan from 2009 until 2019 when it lost its lease and closed. Stein's photographs have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe, 86 one-person and over 165 group shows to date and has published eight books. We asked him a few questions about his life and work
Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards
Winners will receive $10,000 in cash awards, extensive press coverage and global recognition.