INTERVIEW // Henri Cartier-Bresson ‘There Are No Maybes’

In 1971, Sheila Turner-Seed interviewed Henri Cartier-Bresson in his Paris studio for a film-strip series on photographers that she produced, with Cornell Capa, for Scholastic. After her death in 1979 at the age of 42, that interview, along with others she had conducted, sat like a time capsule in the archives of the International Center of Photography in New York.

That is, until 2011, when Ms. Turner-Seed’s daughter, Rachel Seed, learned of their existence and went to I.C.P. to study the tapes...

Q. Have you ever really been able to define for yourself when it is that you press the shutter?

A. It’s a question of concentration. Concentrate, think, watch, look and, ah, like this, you are ready. But you never know the culminative point of something. So you’re shooting. You say, “Yes. Yes. Maybe. Yes.” But you shouldn’t overshoot. It’s like overeating, overdrinking. You have to eat, you have to drink. But over is too much. Because by the time you press, you arm the shutter once more, and maybe the picture was in between.

Very often, you don’t have to see a photographer’s work. Just by watching him in the street, you can see what kind of photographer he is. Discreet, tiptoes, fast or machine gun. Well, you don’t shoot partridges with a machine gun. You choose one partridge, then the other partridge. Maybe the others are gone by then. But I see people wrrrr, like this with a motor. It’s incredible, because they always shoot in the wrong moment.

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Ms. Seed, herself a photographer, has been working on a personal documentary, “A Photographic Memory,” about a daughter’s search for the mother she never knew through their shared love of photography. She is raising money with a Kickstarter campaign.

Source (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/)