During the past two years I have been developing an interest in photography, since I bought my first film SLR camera. I prefer using film, although is it pricey, because of it’s precious value and quality. I am a big fan of new technology and for example, recent cameras such as the Canon 5d Mkii amaze me, but the excitement of the risk taken with film is a lot more appealing. And thanks to my local Tesco offering £1 film developing, and my camera and lens costing £40, I saved a rather large sum compared to the purchase of a DSLR.
Sometime last year I watched the repeated BBC FOUR series ‘Genius of Photography’ which not only made me want to save up for a Leica and set up my own darkroom, but made me realise the true beauty of photography in a way I hadn’t yet seen. They spoke of a soldier in the second world war waiting till night to develop their photos with chemicals in their helmet. The following photo really stuck in my mind. I had forgotten the photographer’s name and after numerous google and BBC website searches I eventually gave up trying to find his name. However today I was browsing a collection of Magnum photographs, selected for the Guardian website, and came across this iconic image again, this time with the photographer’s name in the caption – Henri Cartier-Bresson.
On Wednesday during Johnny Hardstaff’s unfortunately brief talk at the Key Ideas event, he picked up on how when he sees an image that appeals to him, it leaves him speechless with no way of describing what it is exactly that makes him like it. It’s a mixture of feelings and memories that we cannot pin point. I think the next photo by Cartier Bresson is a perfect example of this –
Rediscovering his work has inspired me to get cracking with black and white photography and development/englargment using college facilities. Not forgetting to savour those precious frames for the decisive moments. Here are a few more of his photographs…
The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality. – Henri Cartier-Bresson