Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Quotes from The Mind's Eye

I just read the Mind's Eye, collected writings of Henri Catier-Bresson. He is a purist, a photojournalist who coined the term the decisive moment. He has little interest in staged photography, but his insight into photography in general is still useful. Here are a few passages that I particulary enjoyed,

Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see. Your own personal technique has to be created and adapted solely in order to make your vision effective on film. But only the results count, and the conclusive evidence is the finished photographic print; otherwise there would be no end to the number of tales photographers would tell about pictures which they ever-so-nearly got - but which are merely a memory in the eye of nostalgia.

I believe that, through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us, which can mold us, but which can also be affected by us. A balance muct be established between these two worlds- the one inside us and the one outsde us. As the result of a constant reciprocal process, both these worlds come to form a single one. And it is this world that we must communicate.

The camera is not the right instrument to provide the whys and wherefores of things; it is, rather, designed to evoke, and in the best cases - in its own intuitive way - it asks questions and gives answers a the same time. I have thus used it is an active flânerie, in search of "objective chance".

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