Henri Cartier-Bresson on “The Decisive Moment”

Here’s what Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of modern photojournalism, said about his concept of “The Decisive Moment” in an interview with The Washington Post in 1957:

Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. 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.

That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever. [#]

The phrase was taken from a quote by the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, who stated, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment.”

Image credit: A bit later after “the decisive moment” by AlexRK

  • ZD

    Hahaha!  I like the re-edited photo.

  • Dogsbees

    this image edited is the first thing i have seen that i would call an abomination !

  • Dogsbees

    and it has got nothing to do with a decisive moment

  • Will

    you guys have completely missed the satirical point of that photo – subtle and well done PP.

  • Alan Rivera

    Hah what an ignoramus me. I just learned today, just this decisive moment, that the camera I use is a bridge and not a P&S. How toopid of me. So like Paquiao, I can say with pride: Now I know. You know.