Thursday, December 28, 2006

"Anarchism is an ethic"

An interview with Henri Cartier-Bresson (by Charlie Rose, July 6, 2000). The interviewer is obnoxious (and reinforces all American stereotypes -- I particularly love the "-Money? -No, film." exchange). However, this is still a remarkable piece of footage. An hour long, it gives fascinating glimpses into the life, mind and times of one of the icons of twentieth century art -- even if he would never admit it.

(Incidentally, a big thumbs up to this lovely little Firefox plugin that lets you record streaming video from Google Videos, YouTube etc -- I just downloaded the full 171 MB of the HCB interview in extremely high quality.)


olidhar said...

service to mankind again. i had never before seen him on footage. the rose is a pain, though.
i really need to see his (cartier bresson, not rose) work from india, btw.

expiring_frog said...

@amrita: Check out The Decisive Moment (it's online). Also, I think we have HCB in India at home -- you could ask the mater for it.

olidhar said...

yes, u posted the link to the decisive moment.
and yes, she said something to the effect herself, actually. only, i have so MANY things i want her to bring, including ghastly paperwork. this will be added to the list.

DD said...

ok, i finally watched this video. rose is annoying, an apt analogy would be with the two women sitting behind padmavati shaligram in her SRA performance.

thanks for the link, it was enlightening.

Rapid I Movement said...

Iye, lok-ta actually paagol. Says he never cropped any of his photographs - not a single one!
Baaper jommey erom loonish regimental stand shuni-ni.

And Rose's problem holo giyey je he attempts to poke his nose into things which are, mildly put, quite beyond his league. I saw him interviewing someone on String Theory. It was hilarious.

expiring_frog said...

@r-i-m: Let's say it's more philosophical than regimental. At my non-existent level, I try to avoid cropping too :).

Have you read the intro to The Decisive Moment? It's online here and should clarify his stand a bit.

Ironically, he did crop his most famous photo, of a man jumping over a puddle behind the Gare St Lazare, because a fence post interfered with his shot. Here is a comparison of the cropped and uncropped version.

Rapid I Movement said...

There's always a thin line...between principles and regimentation, don't you think?
I love the 50mm too - it's so darned sharp after all, but wouldn't want to be a composition-fanatic.
And, thanks for the links.

expiring_frog said...

Umm, on a 1.5x crop sensor, a 50 becomes a 75, which is great for portraits. One might find it a little too long for street stuff, but then SLR's aren't really suited for streets anyway -- too noisy. I find it versatile enough for what I like shoot, actually (and at the moment have two 50's and no other lenses).

Principles and regimentation -- umm... if your output is that of HCB, does it matter? :P

Rapid I Movement said...

(and at the moment have two 50's and no other lenses)

Frankly, the only thing I love...maaney really reeealy...about the f/1.8 is the sharpness. By god, it's sharp! Rest is (almost)irrelevent.

Btw, the other thing I like about the f/1.8 is that it's so cheap and light...same reason why haven't disposed of the 18-55mm - I normally roam with both stashed in the jacket pockets. Eminently convenient. The L lenses are so bloody heavy (btw, if you go to NYC, make it a point to visit the actual B&HPhotovideo store, even if you aren't buying anything - they pretty much have everything under the sun out on display which's really awesome)

And how on earth does noise matter in street photog.? Bujhlum na. You could go for the USM lenses, but not absolutely necessary. I was reading somewhere that it's best to stay in the Auto priority mode for general street photography and let the camera do whatever best it can. Instead concentrate on the subject. Still, wouldn't call that a P&S or anything.

Well, a man must do what a man must do...HCB did what HCB had to do. As much as I admire him, I wouldn't agree to a lot of what he believed in.

expiring_frog said...

If you shoot with a 50 or wider, you frequently need to get up close and personal, and if you also want to be unobtrusive the loud mirror slap does not help (and my camera seems to be exceptionally loud). Of course, half the time I let people know, but then candids become difficult. I've fooled around in an airport with a tiny p&s, something I wouldn't think of doing with an SLR.

I really like the smallness of a 50/35 too.

Will defly check out the BHPV shop.

Akhil Gupta said...

It is.