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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Matthew Davis Dissertation BA Applied Media

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Introduction.

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Henri Cartier-Bressons “Behind Saint-Lazare Station” - Paris 1932 I believe is one of the greatest examples of The Decisive Moment. How does this image represent Bresson’s approach to photography? Henri Carter-Bresson is undoubtably one of the greatest photographers of all time. A master of photography, a pioneer visionary. His intentions can be best summed up by the English philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) whom Bresson quoted when trying to illustrate his dream. " The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion without substitution or imposture is, in its self, a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention."1 In researching several articles websites and documentaries about photography and in need quote by someone saying the way he photographed

particular Cartier Bresson’s ideal of the decisive moment within a photograph. I want to see, why today in the 21st-century with millions of photographers, and millions of different imaging devices, Cartier-Bressons uber-famous photograph “Behind Saint-Lazare Station” - Paris 1932 displays the decisive moment better than any other photograph.

The Decisive moment. The decisive moment is a slice of time. It is capturing an image at the exact time offering the maximum engagement for the audience. The image will have an aspect of kinetic energy and be weighted with possibilities. Has something just happened? About to happen? A decisive moment must leave the viewer thinking. Bresson termed it as , !

“The decisive moment, it is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second,

!

of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which

!

gives that event its proper expression.” 2 2


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

It is something photographers are always attempting to catch in their photographs. David Campany theorizes in Photography Theory, that today although people don't speak of the moment, it still haunts photography. The ability to catch a sequence of events, in one frozen slice of time and space. This phenomenon relates to all manner of arts. Musician Pablo Beschi agrees with the theory, and comments !

“something goes off, something is released, like with the camera. Something is

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released which will remain unique it’s in that moment of time never to be repeated

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that’s it!” 3

Type to enter text Rules. Bresson had a unique recipe in which he followed in order to gather his photographs, but are these instructions that anyone could follow? Or is it Bresson’s self, Bresson’s emotion and relationship with the subjects that gave him the ability to capture what no one else has, or to my mind is capable of? David Campany goes on to speak about the stoicism within photography, and that ultimately someone with destructive emotions-someone 3


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

cross, or angry will not be unable to view an image to the same level as someone who is calm and collected. Someone who has “moral and intellectual perfection.” 4 Was Bresson “moral and intellectual perfection”? Cartier Bresson does not so much have a specific style, more a dedicated set of guidelines that he followed. He was a massive fan of waiting, and believed that the viewfinder was the only place an image should be created. Bresson was adamant that cropping, and darkroom trickery should be very much frowned upon. In a radio interview with Bresson in 1958 he goes on to state that if the image, is not perfect in the viewfinder-”then no darkroom magic would make it work.” – Famous Photographers Tell How (1958)

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Cartier-Bresson: About cropping? !

“ Ah, as I said in that foreword, we have to have a feeling for the geometry of the

!

relation of shapes, like in any plastic medium. And I think that—ah, you place

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yourself in time, we're dealing with time, and with space. And just like you pick a

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right moment in an expression, you pick your right spot, also, I will get closer, or

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further, if given an emphasis on the subject, and if the relations, the interplay of

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lines is correct, well, it is there. If it's not correct it's not by cropping in the darkroom

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and making all sorts of tricks that you improve it. If a picture is mediocre, well it

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remains mediocre. The thing is done, once for all.” 5

This is echoed in the forward to his book ,’The Decisive Moment’ !

“We must neither try to manipulate reality while we are shooting, nor must we

!

manipulate the results in a darkroom. These tricks are patently discernible to those

!

who have eyes to see.”6

This was one of Bresson’s key values, and something that he was passionate about. He also believed in time. The timing was key, even when he was waiting for something to happen for hours, !

”sometimes you light upon the picture in seconds; it might also require hours or

!

days. But there is no standard plan, no pattern from which to work. You must be on

!

the alert with the brain, the eye, the heart; and have a suppleness of body.”(The

!

Decisive Moment)7

Here again is an insight into Bresson’s approach, reinforcing the philosopher within his ”heart” and his overall approach to photography. Lazzare Station was a great example of the him “lighting upon a picture in seconds”. This picture was a rushed shot,

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

!

Bresson:!

"I shot this one through In between planks I slipped the camera

!

!

!

through but I couldn't see, That's why it's a bit blurry the planks were

!

!

!

like this, so only the lens went through. I couldn't see a thing through

!

!

!

the viewfinder. "

!

Interviewee:! "You couldn't see the man leaping?"

!

Bresson:!

!

Interviewee:"That was lucky"

!

Bresson:"It's always luck. It's luck that matters. You have to be receptive that's all"

!

Bresson:(17:21) "It's a matter of chance, if you want it, you get nothing"8

"No"

Another clear insight into Bresson, and his photographic approach-The philosopher saying that if its meant to be, it will be. Bresson seems not to worry if an image is faulty, he merely accepts it.

Behind Saint Lazzare Station 1932. Today we are a society of analyzers, of people breaking things down to the most basic of levels to enable us to make sense of what we are looking at. Photography is a prime example of this. In the 30’s photography was still relatively a professional craft, and in that era a photographers work generally consisted of portraits, and thus images were not susceptible to the same scrutiny-simply due to the fact-people wanted pictures of friends and families. They did not question the photograph-they accepted it. Bresson’s Behind Lazzare Station was at this time considered revolutionary. It moved away from the static studio based photography, and sired photo documentary. When check contradict p8 MAYBE

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Bresson unveiled his Behind Lazzare Station in 1932-the image was considered on a denotive reading. In recent decades no longer are things valued on such denotation, but more connotation. The image nowadays is under rigorous interpretation and deconstruction, people are aware that the camera can lie. Thus upon deconstruction and analysing, we can reevaluate opinions and establish a better understanding of the image. The iconic picture was shot in Paris, behind Lazzare station, of a temporary building site. This image was taken (captured) by Bresson in 1932. Today with our incredibly image saturated culture some may consider it relatively common place.However at the time of its creation it was a fresh and exciting image, this particular image of Bresson’s is steeped in codes, conventions and meanings. Behind Saint Lazzare station, can be seen to represent many ways, one being -Man, ever striving forward, overcoming boundaries, or the working man, slumped and staring into the abyss.Philip Jones Griffiths sees one meaning as “Europe jumping into the unknown”9 (WW2).

This particular image was one of only two images that Bresson captured and cropped in his life. Cropping went against Bresson’s own set of rules. This he justified by saying that it was because he didn’t have a clear view of the subject. In the short film on Bresson"L'Amour Tout Court" (Just Plain Love) directed by Raphael O'Bryne, the opening statements are clear insights into his mind, and into his photographic approach. !

“What matters is to look, but people don't look. Most of them don't look. They press

!

the button…But to seek the meaning….beyond this or this(pointing at his eye and

!

heart) Very few do it”.10

This is an amazing way to contemplate photography, and every time you look at each of his images you can see his thoughts, share his feelings.

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Leica. Behind Saint Lazzare Station represents Bresson’s approach to photography for many different reasons.The first reason applies to technology. The Leica.

The Leica he purchased in around 1931/2 (at more or less the same time that Behind Lazzare station was photographed) was a model I (or model A as many referred to it) The camera was a 35mm rangefinder camera, it used interchangeable lenses, built with legendary german engineering, and today is recognized as one of the greatest names in cameras. Bresson loved the way the small form fitted into his hand, the way the shutter was almost silent, and the way it could be relatively unobtrusive. To further remove its obtrusiveness Bresson painted all the shiny silver bits on the camera with matt black paint. This he did to enable blending, to conceal his presence in a situation(or the presence of his camera), and also to stop the subjects realization that there is a camera. Bresson believed once a camera was observed people, posture, faces and body language all changed. “When the subject is in any way uneasy, the personality goes away where the camera can't reach it.”11(The decisive moment)

Bresson was a purist, and he was aware that if a camera was present in the vicinity, then humans simply become dolls, or mannequins. Fake smiles, uncomfortable postures, and people void of humanity and raw emotion. !

“It happens in less than a fraction of a second you must feel it intuitively, sensitivity,

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intuition...a sense of geometry . Nothing else. You have it or you don't” CR

!

INTERVIEW 21:21 12

Bresson only ever shot images with a 50mm lens. 50mm lenses are the closest lens ratio to the human eye, and Bresson loved this view. It was a natural view,( This natural view relates to the golden proportion) and using this lens on a Leica meant that while one eye 8


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

was looking through the view finder the other eye could be naturally observing the subject, and as it was a 50mm lens, the view was in stereo, so a very natural viewing experience. The 50 mm lens by Leica was incredibly sharp, and incredibly good in low light. This fast lens with a very low f-stop enabled Bresson to tread the sidewalks of Paris, New-york, London etc in the early sunrise, and dim sunset hours and still be able to snap a great well exposed sharp image. Bresson’s love of this natural view can be seen to have sprung from his early years studying art.

Artistic Background. Bresson was introduced to oil painting by one of his uncles when he was young. Uncle Louis was a gifted painter who taught much to the young Henri. After Louis’s death during World War 1 Bressons love of art continued, and when Bresson was 20 he attended art school and was taught by modern artist André Lhote. Bresson also studied under the watchful eye of portrait painter Jacques Émile Blanche. Studying portraiture he learnt the complexities of composition, the human form and the method is in which viewers read images. During his recuperation from a tropical fever in Africa Bresson came across a photograph. Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika by a Hungarian photo-journalist Martin Munkasci. This image stirred Bresson, so much so that it changed the course of his life. This image demonstrated clearly to Bresson that there was technology available to draw a scene in a fraction of a second. Bresson commented "For me photography was a means of drawing, thats all"13 . The elegance, so poetic. It was the ability to capture time. To freeze an event, and then to hold that event indefinitely at the point of perception. As Bazin states in The Ontology of the Photographic Image “ Photography does not create eternity, as art does, it embalms time” 14 9


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

This embalming of time is never truer than when you look at Behind Lazzare station. Bresson captured something incredible and beautiful,however he constantly stated that he was not a photographer. I believe this relates to his style of photography. His approach was a hidden, inconspicuous voyeur, a hunter on the prowl

Denial at title of Photographer. Bresson denied being a photographer repeatedly. Bresson was an incredibly humble man. A gentleman, a genuine man, and a man confident with his shyness. Considered by a large proportion of the photographic community as “the greatest photographer of the 20th-century, he is like what Tolstoy was to literature"15Richard Avedon (interview charlie rose 2004) To be considered as one of the greatest photographers of all time by one of the eminant photographers of our time is quite a statement and yet Bresson repeatedly denies being a photographer.”16.(CR interview 8:50) Bresson refused many many interviews, and of the very few interviews he gave, he didn’t want to talk about photography- He stated he would much rather have a conversation, with no cameras and no sound recorders or note books present. On one such occasion Ian Phillips a writer for a Parisiane magazine wrote “((( He doesnt want to talk about photography, even in connection with his retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photo”http://www.parisvoice.com/-archives-97-86/264-conversation-with-henri-cartierbresson))). In an interview with a well known American journalist Charlie Rose, Charlie is looking at one of Bresson’s photographs, and states-! !

“You are an amazing photographer-it was your destiny, to which Bresson replies”

!

“no”

!

"This says it"

!

"no" 10


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

!

"THIS says it. It was what you were born to do"

!

"I don't know?"17

This is a real insight into Bresson’s overall approach to photography. It clearly illustrates his humbleness and maybe the aggreement of Flusser’s theory that a camera is a black box and the human is purely apparatus required to activate the shutter, and that humans in the role of “photographer” are no more than “functionaries”.This could be considered as to why Bresson denies such a title.

Anonimity. Bresson hated the limelight. He talked about fame, and how it alters a person, how it goes to ones head “as a photographer, to be famous is dangerous” 18 I believe this is all connected to Bresson’s incredible idea of empathy and interaction within a scene. To be famous, and known as a celebrity means no one will treat you as an equal, and will always assume, or criticize you, and perhaps more importantly so Bresson could no longer hide in the shadows with his camera. If indeed he became a celebrity-face that everyone knew his ability to disappear would vanish along with his ability to create incredible images. This anonymity is a value that Bresson held high, and this blending in enabled him to stroll freely-capturing what he saw, wherever it may be.

To be relatively anonymous gave Bresson the space he required to construct a scene in his head. Although a fleeting moment, behind Saint Lazzare Station presented itself to Bresson, and he saw it-he saw the potential, he snapped it.

Bresson was an incredibly skilled craftsman, artist, perfectionist, and at times magician. He had the ability to get close to people, to groups of people without them noticing him. His 11


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

character, and his ability to be almost invisible, allowed him to take photos closer and with more emotion than many others. His camera was black. He was a master at making his camera disappear and a genius at getting incredibly close to the subject matter. Andrei Pandele an eminent Romanian photographer had the pleasure of accompanying Bresson whilst he was in Romania, and he commented on this ability of Bresson’s. !

“Viorel Simionescu was spotted 5m away and they all smiled,I was spotted 3m

!

away, but Cartier Bresson could go 1m or closer and they just didn't notice him, they

!

just wouldn't realize he was taking pictures. How on earth? I can't say” 19

Many people have commented on his skill, but one particular image he took of people mourning shows just how close Bresson was able to get.

An example of Bresson’s hidden approach to photography is defined by Bresson’s photograph of the funeral of a film star. This image showed incredible vulnerability of the mourners. For Bresson to be able to to get this close, and capture something so personal was and still is awe-inspiring. The raw emotion in the photograph, the pureness of it can only be described as poetry. The mourners crying, upset, beside themselves, such sadness in their eyes. However Bresson did not capture this he turned the sadness, upset and desolation to absolute joy. The photo is beautiful, it is almost as if you can see these peoples souls, the way they mourn something so deliberately and full, the raw emotion can only ever be seen as beautiful. The memories these people hold for the deceased shows how much joy they bought to these people. This image I believe represents Bresson’s ideals, and sums him up totally. A picture is worth a thousand words, and if essays were written about all the meanings within this image, then libraries would be filled. He captured something incredibly personal, potentially grey and depressive and turned it into something truly amazing, sheer unabashed emotion, in its crudest, rawest form. Yves Bonnefoy writer of “Just Plain Love” comments ”Henris abilities to empathise enables him 12


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

to go unnoticed among the actors/mourners”20. Although the translation is a little dry, and devoid of passion, the sentiment is a real insight into the passion and empathy that Bresson was capable of feeling, and thus enabling him to get close.

Philosophy. In all Bresson’s interviews his approach is always a considered one, and passion, empathy and life shine through. I believe his love of philosophy is blatantly apparent and evident in all of his images, including Behind Saint Lazzare Station. His philosophical love started in his teenage years, and only a few years before Behind Lazzare Station was created. His approach to photography and life was a contemplative one

During his studies Bresson read many philosophical works by masters these included to mention but a few Freud, Marx, Dostoevsky and Joyce. These works are heavyweights in the literary and philosophical worlds and that he read several of these illustrates that Bresson was certainly a thinker. Bressons works are all influenced by these literary minds and his own philosophical musings. In all of his work you can almost hear his thoughts. These musings and thoughts I believe developed and evolved through Bresson’s life, and the experiences he held. In his life he seemed to of experienced everything, from love to death, from prison to war, from Africa to Paris. He seemed to live to experience diversity. This was a key value to Bresson, and important to his work. His venture for variety was incredibly apparent, purely the variety of his images, and the subjects that he photographed.

War and Peace. Bresson was also close friends with some of the greatest artists of all time, people like Matisse, Renoir, Duchamp etc. He lived the Parisian dream at a time when Paris was the 13


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

artistic and cultural epicenter of the world. Bresson smoked, drank and laughed with some of the greatest creative minds of all time.The sheer volume of the people he spoke with relate to modernism in conclision

and chatted to, and indeed loved, shaped his mind. Being surrounded, and subjected to such great creative minds inevitably would shape your own. The greatness that surrounded and invigorated Bresson surely inspired him. The modernist movement in Paris in the 30’s was a time of new technologies, of new concepts, and a massive artistic transformation. Some of the greatest names in modernism were found in Paris in Bresson’s era. People like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Igor Stravinsky, Ernest Hemingway, Jean Cocteau, Gertrude Stein, Vaslav Nijinsky and Aaron Copland, to mention but a few. These people would of been in the same circles as Bresson socially, and ideas and influences would of been bouncing of each and every one of them. Living the bourgeois highlife in Paris inspired Bresson, it showed him the good things in life, and he was able to taste and indulge in this. This indulgence of the riches that Paris had to offer was in a massive contrast to the time that Bresson spent at war.

Bresson carried out his mandatory service in the French army in 1930 "And I had quite a hard time of it, too, because I was toting Joyce under my arm and a Lebel rifle on my shoulder”21. War is the other end of the spectrum to Paris in the 30’s. Glamour replaced with gore. A man that has a poetry book in one hand, and a gun in the other whilst on military maneuverers is a sign of a man split. A man that was in two places. This could be considered as Love and hate? Peace and war? Two opposites linked by one mind? This convergence of opposites can be seen clearly in Bresson’s work, and is especially evident in Behind Lazzare Station. The opposites of a man leaping, and a man slouching on a fence. A reflection that clearly illustrates detail that is absent from the land. These

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

contradictions, or coincidences are a clear insight into Bresson’s approach to photography, and could clearly stem from the very different lifestyles which Bresson has led.

In all the interviews with Bresson that I have read, watched,and listened to- he always comes across as a genuine, sophisticated, contemplative person. Very polite, relatively shy, but with a twinkle in his eye. A smile as he remembers, a mind that remains incredibly sharp and focused. He also takes time to remember, and is certainly in no rush to answer his interviewee-or even perhaps his audience. His memories are etched into his lined, weathered face, his emotion almost takes a physical form. The great sadness and fear he has felt, lived by and known keeps his eye astute and ready, the same eye of the young lad who sold his fancy flute to be able to afford to take girls out. Bresson’s life appears to of been led with a full spectrum of living, from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows. His life of philosophy, of art, of war, of travel has centered him.

In all of his interviews he talks about geometry, and the golden rule. The golden ratio or divine proportion is an age old equation that sums up beauty. It can be found in all things in nature, from a rose, to an eye. The human body is steeped in this divine proportion. 1.618. This number has been agreed upon for thousands of years by scholars and academics as the key to beauty.

Background. Bresson was 24 when he created the iconic image Behind Lazzare Station. This image is a classic example of Bresson and his formative formal artistic training. The ‘Vitruvian man’, is clearly visible within the image Behind Lazzare Station. Leonardo Davinci very astute towards the golden proportion, and looking at the illustrations you are able to see how this pattern is found and repeated through Davinci’s, and indeed Bresson’s work. The golden 15


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

proportion is pleasing to the eye, and this aesthetic sensation is what Bresson continues to talk about in his various interviews. Bresson, it appears, is able to see what is appealing to the eye, and he records it. He understands time and space and captures the moment. I have looked at Behind Lazzare Station, and have attempted to decode this golden ratio within the image, and as you can see- the results speak for themselves. Literally everything relating to everything else is within or can be seen to be within this magic ’divine proportion’

Bresson: (17:48)” It's all geometry, the divine proportion! Intuitively I know how it sits. But that's all I can say"22

Bresson: It's the physical rhythm (17.59) 1.618, 3.1416. The golden number, we know how it sits, A compass will tell you, but its in the eye.23

This ability of Bresson’s to see beauty is paramount to his approach to seeing, and choosing what to capture.

Behind Lazzare Station

The first great thing about this image obviously is the man jumping. His heel is about to splash down into the puddle, and this would change the serenity and dynamic of the image irrevocably. The next thing is the repetition. There are countless reoccurring themes. The most obvious is the jumping mans reflection. All but touching, except for a hundredth of a millimeter, and a nano second in time. The man jumping is then replicated by the billboards of Railowsky. A circus or acrobat. His posters depict a man leaping with a very similar albeit mirrored posture. There is then the second figure peering out, he is also 16


Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

reflected in the water. Then there are the discarded barrel ribbons in the water. These arcs are repeated in the billboard again. Then we look at the connotations within the image. The board the man is jumping off could be construed as a railway line-this ties again with the ‘Railowsky’ banner-similar to the English ‘railway’. We can look at the board as a piece of apparatus that a gymnast may use in the circus, leaping off it. The bits of old barrel discarded in the water could also seem as if they are the juggling rings circus people may use to entertain. These rings are then repeated in the few ripples around the board, this also reinforcing the repetition, and the deliberate reinforcement of the geometry within the image, but also signify the ripples that are to be created when the leaping mans heel hits the water. Bresson saw the image, and was aware of his environment. Everything worked, and his eye, and his heart saw the possibilities. Bresson was able to see, as Barthes puts it in “Camera Lucidia”, not only the “studium” the initial flash interest one sees when one looks at an interesting image, but he was able to see and incorperate the “punctum”.This was something within an image that kept the observer looking. “This new punctum, which is no longer of form, but of intensity, is time, the lacerating emphasis of the noeme (that-hasbeen), its pure representation. “24

This is a stunning image, and it is recognized around the globe by photographers as being a key, and a total illustration of the Decisive Moment.

The decisive moment was a phrase that was coined by Bresson, and can be illustrated in Behind Lazzare Station. “I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung-up and ready to pounce, determined to "trap" life - to preserve life in the act of living.”25 (THE DECISIVE MOMENT FORWARD)

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Summary and conclusion. Looking back through photojournalism and decisive moments over the last century it is ???

clear that Bresson’s image ‘Behind Lazzare station’ stands head and shoulders above all other photo documentary images. It captures so much more than simply a man and a puddle. It signifies the very modernity of photography, the height of science and engineering, and the pedantic artists eye. It is special. Other photographers have come very close, and have truly captured some amazing scenes, slices of time frozen for all eternity on the emulsion of photographic paper. Bresson had something that no one else did, his ‘Joie de vivre’, his life of dealing with war, of friends, of death, of marriage, of watching, of waiting. He had something that no one else had. He was the perfect photographer.

In all the interviews with Bresson that I have read, watched,and listened to- he always comes across as a genuine, sophisticated, contemplative person. Very polite, relatively shy, but with a twinkle in his eye. A smile as he remembers, a mind that remains incredibly sharp and focused. He also takes time to remember, and is certainly in no rush to answer his interviewee-or even perhaps his audience. His memories are etched into his lined, weathered face, his emotion almost takes a physical form. The great sadness and fear he has felt, lived by and known keeps his eye astute and ready, the same eye of the young lad who sold his fancy flute to be able to afford to take girls out. Bresson’s life appears to of been led with a full spectrum of living, from the highest of highs, to the lowest of lows. His life of philosophy, of art, of war, of travel has centered him and enabled him to connect not only with people, but with places and spaces on a different level. This connection and empathy enabled him to capture some truly amazing images.

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Technology today is helping us to capture bigger, better photographs.The new Canon 1DC is capable of capturing 25 fps, and these stills are able to be printed individually as high quality photographs.The sheer totality of recording a scene with such technology has created the ability to capture micro emotions. This micro emotion is the capturing of very slight changes in a scene, in a models eye, or expression-incredibly slightly, but enough to give an image a lift, a certain something....Micro emotion, is this what Bresson could see?

Philosophizing, researching and contemplating Bresson, and Behind Lazzare Station I conclude that this image was created by luck. I also think that no one else could of captured it. Bresson was in the right place at the right time, and he alone was capable of recording this. He saw the potential, and he pulled the trigger. Bresson saw the camera as more than just a machine with a shutter, he saw it as a device to embalm time, a device to capture and hold a moment forever. He was connected with his camera on a very different level and so much so that when he talks of his images he doesn't use “click” upon capturing a moment, but “boom” or “bang”. American photographer and New York Times columnist agrees with the theory and we the audience share the overall idea that Bresson who

was a big game hunter. Shooting his prey, and in a sense pulling the trigger and halting the movement of time within a scene.

Joel Meyerowitz poetically illustrates the chronological connection that a camera has with time in the BBC documentary “ The Genius of Photography” and I feel this sums up Bresson’s theory."Every camera has a clock on it, it says a second and it says a 1,000th of a second and you can choose to work within those time constraints. And if you know what a 1,000th of a second is, you can believe that you see things in that split second. And if you believe it, you'll begin to see it."26

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Matthew Davis, Dissertation, Ba Applied Media

Yves Bonnefoy writer of the documentary “Just Plain Love” talks about Henri and his relationship with his camera "that tool, as much as his hand is part of his body…or even better, a part of his soul"!27

Henri Cartier-Bressons “Behind Saint-Lazare Station” represents the decisive moment like no other photograph. This is due to Bresson, and his approach to photography. Bresson’s philosophy and emotional connection with not only his camera, but with the scene. The Leica he used was not to take photographs, but was to embalm time. Bresson’s formal artistic studying and influences led him to be able to see perfection and beauty within an image, and finally Bresson’s constant denial at calling himself a photographer. Perhaps he was an author of time?

As Bresson himself says in his interview with Charlie Rose (16:58)"It's always luck. It's luck that matters. You have to be receptive that's all".28 Henri leaves us with one eloquent, humble statement, “I am simply a human being”.29

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