Photography vs Drawing

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.






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