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Henri Cartier-Bresson on creating inside-outside balance

Some quotes have a universal truth and this one from Henri Cartier-Bresson, pioneer and master par excellence of street photography, is definitely one of them. It exudes authenticity - or rather the ambition to be authentic - in its purest form: "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 must be established between these two worlds – the one inside us and the one outside 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."

This quote comes from the introductory essay Cartier-Bresson wrote for his seminal photobook 'The Decisive Moment' in 1952 with an amazing cover designed by his friend Henri Matisse. The French title, 'Images a la Sauvette'/ 'Images on the Run’, offers a complementary perspective on his work. Must-read for photographers who put the art of seeing well above technique ("for they are all set forth with military precision in the manuals which the manufacturers provide"). At the core of how I aspire to work as a professional with organisations on creating better futures for the people they care about.


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