Photo 1 – Photo Quality, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Franck, Elliot Erwitt


Take notes on each link. Be sure to summarize quotes from the photogapher and as you look at their work, describe their style (subject, framing, lighting, unusual approaches, and/or meaning/ideas presented.) These notes and responses are due by the end of the week – before you shoot your 2 rolls for the book assignment.

You must also submit your book topic before you start shooting your rolls.  You may want to shoot/develop, 1 at a time, to be sure you are on the right path for your book.

We have briefly looked at Cartier-Bresson’s work in looking at important photographers and iconic photos (remember the puddle jump, the “decisive moment”?).  We will now look more closely at some discussion about his work.  Read the following article about a past retrospective in Paris and the insights into his work. (If the link takes you to google first, then follow it from there.)

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Read through several of the posts at the next blog (return to view more over the course of the next 2 weeks for more insights as you shoot your book rolls).  Pay attention to comments about the myth of the decisive moment, the use of contact sheets, his name during the war as a cover for Jewish photographers, Magnum photography, etc.  Feel free to go to other sites for biographical overviews of him if you want. You may also want to look more at the history of Magnum, a photo agency founded by Cartier-Bresson and other photographers in Paris in 1947 so they could have a greater voice in the use and promotion of their photos.  According to Cartier-Bresson: “Magnum is a community of thought, a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson Iconic Photos

Martine Franck an important Magnum photographer and also was Cartier-Bresson’s second wife.  Unlike Cartier-Bresson, she often made significant alterations in the darkroom on photos. The following is a discussion of her personality and work, despite often being in Cartier-Bresson’s shadow.

Martine Franck

View her full portfolio at the Magnum site, paying careful attention to the compositions and deep blacks in some of her work, moving the photos to greater abstraction and impact.

Martine Franck’s Magnum portfolio

Look at Elliot Erwitt’s work; make notes on his advice in the quotation in the first link and his “handbook” in the second link.  Look at more of his work or at any other magnum photographers (see top menu bar from home page) for inspiration for your book.


Due at the end of next week, read the following and take notes.

In thinking about the upcoming art show, come up with your own list 3-5 elements that are the most important for your work as a photographer, after you read the following 2 lists. Strive for those 3-5 elements in your own work.

12 elements of award winning photos

6 elements of award winning photos



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