Who better to explain the difference between the two principal ways to visually communicate with a single image? Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of the most famous photographers of the past century. We’ve all seen his pictures. Yet, Cartier-Bresson studied to be a painter and retired from photography in order to return to it decades before his death.
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”
“In photography, it has to be purely intuitive, like this (he lifts an imaginary camera to his eye). It’s such a passion. You hold your breath. Hup! And sometimes it never comes. It unwinds and it’s gone. And you can’t say, ‘Whoh, come back’. Whereas, in a drawing, that’s not the case. A photograph has to be definitive because you can’t erase it. Either you’ve corrected it yourself or the thing has disappeared.”
“Photography, for me, is a spontaneous impulse, the result of a constant awareness, which captures both a moment and eternity. Drawing, by contrast, expands on what our consciousness has taken from the moment.“