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Recommended Reading: The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Tips and Inspiration

09 April 2017

Posted by Ranjit Dhaliwal

This is the book of photojournalism. It’s viewed by many as one of the classic photographic publications of all time. The title is a maxim for observational documentary photography; knowing the decisive moment when to press the shutter. It’s a huge tome, really well reproduced, containing most of Cartier-Bresson’s great, golden age photographs; separated into sections of images taken in the West and the East.

It was out of print for many years and I waited for it to be republished. I was willing to pay almost any amount to get my hands on it. The introductory essay, written by the master himself, is slightly irrelevant to the modern age, given that the medium has changed so much and photographers no longer have to avoid being noticed taking pictures because absolutely everyone is taking pictures. However, it does contain a lot of Cartier-Bresson’s maxims on photography and countless photographers have referred to them when describing their approach to photojournalism.


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