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Henri Cartier-Bresson Quotes

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Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson



Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Life is once. Forever.”

Life is once. Forever.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “You just have to live and life will give you pictures.”

You just have to live and life will give you pictures.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Culture shock is often felt sharply at the borders between countries, but sometimes it doesn’t hit fully until you’ve been in a place for a long time.”

Culture shock is often felt sharply at the borders between countries, but sometimes it doesn’t hit fully until you’ve been in a place for a long time.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience.”

Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Of course it’s all luck.”

Of course it’s all luck.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”

There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.”

Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.”

Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “It’s seldom you make a great picture. you have to milk the cow quite a lot to get plenty of milk to make a little cheese.”

It’s seldom you make a great picture. you have to milk the cow quite a lot to get plenty of milk to make a little cheese.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “One eye of the photographer looks wide open through the viewfinder, the other, the closed looks into his own soul.”

One eye of the photographer looks wide open through the viewfinder, the other, the closed looks into his own soul.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photography is nothing-it’s life that interests me.”

Photography is nothing-it’s life that interests me.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing.”

While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”

For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Time runs and flows and only our death succeeds in catching up with it. Photography is a blade which, in eternity, impales the dazzling moment.”

Time runs and flows and only our death succeeds in catching up with it. Photography is a blade which, in eternity, impales the dazzling moment.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photography is like fencing. You must keep your distance, wait, and then thrust.”

Photography is like fencing. You must keep your distance, wait, and then thrust.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “The camera can be a machine gun, a warm kiss, a sketchbook. Shooting a camera is like saying, Yes, yes, yes. There is no maybe. All the maybes should go in the trash.”

The camera can be a machine gun, a warm kiss, a sketchbook. Shooting a camera is like saying, Yes, yes, yes. There is no maybe. All the maybes should go in the trash.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”

Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “The difference between a good picture and a mediocre picture is a question of millimeters – small, small differences – but it’s essential. I didn’t think there is such a big difference between photographers. Very little difference. But it is that little difference that counts, maybe.”

The difference between a good picture and a mediocre picture is a question of millimeters – small, small differences – but it’s essential. I didn’t think there is such a big difference between photographers. Very little difference. But it is that little difference that counts, maybe.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”

To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “As time passes by and you look at portraits, the people come back to you like a silent echo. A photograph is a vestige of a face, a face in transit. Photography has something to do with death. It’s a trace.”

As time passes by and you look at portraits, the people come back to you like a silent echo. A photograph is a vestige of a face, a face in transit. Photography has something to do with death. It’s a trace.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “To take photographs is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.”

To take photographs is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “To take photographs means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second – both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.”

To take photographs means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second – both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photography is only intuition, a perpetual interrogation – everything except a stage set.”

Photography is only intuition, a perpetual interrogation – everything except a stage set.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photographier: c’est mettre sur la meme ligne de mire la tete, l’oeil et le coeur.”

Photographier: c’est mettre sur la meme ligne de mire la tete, l’oeil et le coeur.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Freedom for me is a strict frame, and inside that frame are all the variations possible.”

Freedom for me is a strict frame, and inside that frame are all the variations possible.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “In order to give meaning to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what he frames. This attitude requires concentration, a discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry.”

In order to give meaning to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what he frames. This attitude requires concentration, a discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.”

We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “If, in making a portrait, you hope to grasp the interior silence of a willing victim, it’s very difficult, but you must somehow position the camera between his shirt and his skin. Whereas with pencil drawing, it is up to the artist to have an interior silence.”

If, in making a portrait, you hope to grasp the interior silence of a willing victim, it’s very difficult, but you must somehow position the camera between his shirt and his skin. Whereas with pencil drawing, it is up to the artist to have an interior silence.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “I enjoy very much seeing a good photographer working. There’s an elegance, just like in a bullfight.”

I enjoy very much seeing a good photographer working. There’s an elegance, just like in a bullfight.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.”

Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”

To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “We must respect the atmosphere which surrounds the human being.”

We must respect the atmosphere which surrounds the human being.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “All I care about these days is painting – photography has never been more than a way into painting, a sort of instant drawing.”

All I care about these days is painting – photography has never been more than a way into painting, a sort of instant drawing.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Think about the photo before and after, never during. The secret is to take your time. You mustn’t go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick.”

Think about the photo before and after, never during. The secret is to take your time. You mustn’t go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “The adventurer in me felt obliged to testify with a quicker instrument than a brush to the scars of the world.”

The adventurer in me felt obliged to testify with a quicker instrument than a brush to the scars of the world.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “I love painting. As far as photography is concerned, I understand nothing.”

I love painting. As far as photography is concerned, I understand nothing.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “A photographer must always work with the greatest respect for his subject and in terms of his own point of view.”

A photographer must always work with the greatest respect for his subject and in terms of his own point of view.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Thinking should be done before and after, not during photographing.”

Thinking should be done before and after, not during photographing.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “We cannot develop and print a memory.”

We cannot develop and print a memory.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Pictures should never be posed. They are ‘revealed’ so must be accepted as they are. Left alone.”

Pictures should never be posed. They are ‘revealed’ so must be accepted as they are. Left alone.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “In every photographer there is something of a stroller.”

In every photographer there is something of a stroller.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.”

During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Nobody takes photographs, photographs take you.”

Nobody takes photographs, photographs take you.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “It is by great economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.”

It is by great economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”

Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment. It is the only photo that influenced me. There is such intensity in this image, such spontaneity, such joie de vivre, such miraculousness, that even today it still bowls me over.”

I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment. It is the only photo that influenced me. There is such intensity in this image, such spontaneity, such joie de vivre, such miraculousness, that even today it still bowls me over.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody.”

In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson Quote: “And no photographs taken with the aid of flash light, either, if only out of respect for the actual light – even when there isn’t any of it.”

And no photographs taken with the aid of flash light, either, if only out of respect for the actual light – even when there isn’t any of it.

— Henri Cartier-Bresson

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