a blog by knut skjærven

Posts tagged “Cartier-Bresson and Buddhism

Cartier-Bresson and Zen

Tonal Range. © 2008: Knut Skjærven.

In the history of photography French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson plays a special role. Not only are many of his photographs a delight  to look at and to study, but Cartier-Bresson also had a good grip on what he wanted to do, and how he wanted to do it. He wrote about his photography.

The book giving the best overview of his thoughts on photography is The Minds Eye. I have the version from 1999, published by Aperture.

In this book, as in other contexts, Cartier-Bresson suggest that he does not consider himself as a photographer at all, but as one whose main task it simply is to be attentive to life. His main art form he considered to be drawing. For Cartier-Bresson photography was only a quicker way to do things.

If you want to understand a bit more about what this attention to life might mean, a good place to start is within Buddhism. Cartier-Bresson is said to be a Buddhist at least part of his life. I started to look around for sources that might enlighten me in this matter.

By a simple search on Google, I was pointed to an article on the subject. The article is Henri Cartier Bresson Zen Buddhist? It is written by British photographer and photojournalist, Ben Wyeth. Go see his site here.

The story ends here. Or is starts here. Depends.  As it is Friday: Have a nice weekend. Enjoy the article.

Many thanks, Ben.

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