Today, 22nd August is Henri Cartier Bresson’s (HCB for short) birthday – or it would be if he were still alive. HCB was born 22nd August 1908 in Chanteloup, France, and was, (and still is) one of the leading figures in the world of photography, the father of the “decisive moment”, the patron saint of the genre of street photography, and the invisible street photographer armed with a simple Leica (“an extension of my hand” as he described it) and the humble 50mm lens in search of serendipity.
To him, photography is – “….putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis”, 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.”
A founding member of the world famous photographic agency Magnum photos, HCB’s original training was as a surrealist artist, and towards the end of his life, he returned to his first love and went back to painting. As a photographer in Magnum photos, he also played the role of a globe-trotting photojournalists, covering and observing world events through the lens of his Leica.
The world lost this great gift of a man when he passed away on 3rd August, just weeks shy of his 96th birthday. What better time than today, the anniversary of his birth, to post some street images from my on-going series, Tokyo Dreaming, in homage of this great, if eccentric photographer, whose vision and pictures have directly or indirectly inspired hundreds of thousands of photographers the world over.
Thank you HCB!
About Tokyo Dreaming
I’ve posted a few posts about Tokyo before, one on the 1-year anniversary of this blog last year , one of the crossroads of Shibuya, one on street photography in Japan, and one of Tokyo Dreaming, the first solo exhibition of my work in Tokyo that took place for 2 months from December of 2012 to the January of 2013. In addition, you can also catch up on Tokyo Dreaming – The Complete series Part I, Tokyo Dreaming II – The Gardens of Tokyo ft. Yasukuni Shine and Ueno Park and Tokyo Dreaming III – Hitting the Streets of Tokyo.
I’m currently working on a book, and hoping to put up another exhibition. Watch out for part 5 of this instalment! This is an on-going work.