Monday, June 12, 2006

The prodigal returns

Firing all booster rockets, I have made a successful re-entry to the blogosphere. While still in orbit, I made a trip to Sedona, Arizona, supposedly for this, but actually for this. I have come to the following conclusion: Arizona is hot, dusty, and littered with large red rocks and small scrubby trees. Trees so small, in fact, that it's easy to believe you're looking at them from much higher than you actually are. These pictures illustrate the aforementioned.


I also ate rattlesnake. Strips. Deep-fried. Tasted like a small, chewy version of kurkure. Something more substantial was expected. Anti-climax.

On to better things. In 1952, Henri Cartier-Bresson published a small book called "Images a la Sauvette" ("Images on the Run"), aka "The Decisive Moment". It had the following to commend it: a cover by Matisse (below), a short introduction that is still the last word on the philosophy of the camera, and 126 black-and-white photographs. For some unknown reason, the book is out of print and copies (usually in tattered condition because of the substandard binding) are hard and shockingly expensive to come by.

Cover of "The Decisive Moment" by Henri Matisse

For the sake of us mortals who do not have potloads of shekels to dish out on a wad of paper, a great soul has scanned the entire book and uploaded it on the web. I have no idea how long this will remain online, and my sincere advice to you is to read it asap. If there is one book of photos you should ever look at in your life, this is definitely it. As a human document, it has never been bettered.


Il n'y a rien en ce monde qui n'ait un moment décisif
-- Cardinal de Retz, quoted by Henri Cartier-Bresson

18 comments:

Erythrocyte said...

At last! Welcome back to the blogodome, captain.

MadHat said...

thanks for the link...

and it _looks_ like you had a great time!!!

DD said...

welcome back, will take a look at that book.


and that translation will be done by tonight :P

madhurt said...

Lovely book! Thanks for the link.

expiring_frog said...

@rbc: 'Nuff of your cheek, nippy! Now look sharp and scrub the foredeck!

(runs away as hordes of enraged females bear down on him with handbags)

@apurva: Yeah pretty good time. Met Sesh there after a long time.

@dd: Hooray :P.

@madhurt: Anything for you, dahlin'.

MadHat said...

Met Sesh there after a long time.

You did? Hmm... Wonder what he is upto...

expiring_frog said...

@apurva: Do you really want to know :D?

MadHat said...

@sid: Why? Has he hooked up with somebody too and left his phd? THAT would be a surprise.

jhantu said...

excellent book link man..

expiring_frog said...

@apurva: Not that, perhaps :). But why "too"?

@jhantu: A+ it be.

bilu said...

check out this guy:

http://dhruvaghosh.blogspot.com/

bilu said...

methinx you will echo similar thoughts...

MadHat said...

@sid: 'too' because there have been atleast two CS guys who have done exactly that.

PS. I've got to subscribe to your comments. I keep forgetting about this conversation.

Rapid I Movement said...

Chobis are good. And rattlesnake-bhaja ta hojom hoyechilo toh? Jotoi hok, bangalir digestive system boley kotha kina.

Kele Panchu said...

Thanks for the book link. Pics are great. They were showing some wild fire incident near Sedona on weather channel a few days ago!
Rattle snake bhaja? Tomar protihingsha choritartho korar khabor peye somogro byang jaati gorbito hobe! (rattle snake ki byang khai?)

olidhar said...

enjoyed the book immensely. muchly merci.

expiring_frog said...

@bilu: Hum.

@r-i-m: Knp-e theke sheta shudhre jay na?

@panchuda: Nishchoy khay, tobe ebar byatader jobdo kore chharbo. Shaaper pakoda besh bhalo hobe bodh hoy.

@amrita: Walcum.

yippeeHippie said...

Arizona pics are nice...they(large red rocks) remind of some place in india, but can`t remember ;)