Project 3: What matters is to look – Research point

Research point
Watch the Henri Cartier-Bresson documentary ‘L’amour de court’ (‘Just plain love’, 2001)
available in five parts on YouTube:
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL707C8F898605E0BF
Write a personal response to the film in the contextual section of your learning log,
taking care to reference properly any quotations you use (300–500 words).

  • Whenever you read or watch something, get into the habit of putting anything you
    take directly from the source in quotation marks and note down full bibliographic
    details. If you do this, you won’t have to spend ages hunting for half-remembered
    references later – and you won’t inadvertently plagiarise someone else’s work.
    Always use Harvard referencing; print out the study guide on the student website
    and keep this to hand.
  • Be very careful about what you put on your blog. Take a moment now to read what
    the OCA learning blog study guide says about copyright law and fair use or fair
    dealing.

Parts 4 and 5 of the Henri Cartier-Bresson video ‘L’amour tout court’ have had the
audio muted by YouTube owing to copyright. However, the subtitles are still
included in the video which does allow the conversation to be followed without
audio.
‘L’amour tout court’ is also available on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/106009378
(accessed 26/09/2016).


The YouTube excerpts of the Henri Cartier-Bresson documentary ‘L’amour de court’ started with Henri mentioning that he escaped from prison. I looked into this for more details and found out that he was captured during the Second World War. From his confinement in forced labour camps he finally escaped after two failed attempts. He says in the video ‘I always feel like a prisoner on the run.’ (‘L’amour de court’, 2001). It is my opinion that this experience has been one of the major driving forces to his developed style of photography.

Shortly after this Henri comments ‘It’s always luck. It’s luck that matters… just be receptive and it happens’ (‘L’amour de court’, 2001). But this I think is more down to his uncanny awareness, heightened by that feeling of being on the run; always aware, always, looking, always listening, always searching. Using this amplified sense of awareness allows him to instinctively understand the geometry of what he sees and visualise the golden proportions within his field of view, enabling him to take images that seem naturally balanced. In this way he selects his framing waiting for the decisive moment, in anticipation of his target moving into the perfect position.

He lets the viewer into a few trade secrets. When with other people he tunes out, to him taking photographs demands ultimate concentration. Yet to those around him when he is taking photographs he seems to converse as if aware of them, though he confesses to talking nonsense. While taking photos he does his utmost to blend in with and become one with the scene, gentle and unobtrusive. To the point that he painted all the shining parts of his Leica black so that the camera attracts the minimal attention. ’I look, I look, it’s an obsession’, he muses (‘L’amour de court’, 2001).

My overall impression of Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of deep and profound awe. He demonstrates such amazing spatial awareness and a sensitivity to his surroundings, it is almost magical.

Reference

‘L’amour de court’ parts 1-5, 2001 YouTube video, added by Rangefindergeneral [Online]. Available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL707C8F898605E0BF (Accessed 2 April 2017).

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2016 hmmm…

What can I say about 2016…. there were highs and lows… generally a good year, very busy work wise (as always)…. I started my degree studies with EYV…  attended my 3rd London Photo 24, and I was lucky to have won one of the main theme categories which was amazing… we had a smashing summer holiday in Minehead with our caravan…soon after holiday I was hospitalised and nearly died after contracting Sepsis from a urinary tract infection…. I attended the Brighton Photo Biennial and was privileged to meet many other OCA students. Had an interesting weekend, but the weather was foul… after this I kinda lost my MoJo in a big way, and have been trying to reignite my creative spirit since but with no luck. I had become very uninspired by my own images and overwhelmed by everyone else’s work (artists and fellow students alike)…. however I am determined to recover my confidence in 2017 🙂

Wonderful bit of news

This week I received a wonderful bit of news. Back in June I took part in my 3rd Photo 24 in London, organised by Photography News and Nikon School. On Thurday afternoon I got a email telling me that my image “Millennium Reflection 3” was judged to be the winner of the Photo 24 2016 “Capital Reflections” Theme catagory.

Millennium Reflection 3

Millennium Reflection 3

To say I am pleased is an understatement, as I was against over 460 other great images. My image should appear in Photography News and I also get a Nikon Coolpix P900 superzoom bridge camera.

Photo 24 is a great and challenging event which I highly recomend anyone to enter the ballot when it is anounced next year.