SWEET: NYTimes Lens blog: Magnum from Behind

To quote the Time's Lens Blog:

As hard as it is to tear your eyes away from a Magnum photo, the back of the print often tells an important story of its own. (direct link).

This tandem of the fron and back of one of the most famous images of all time really caught my eye and my heart as a photographer. Perhaps the best is how Bresson describes his own work:

There was a plank fence around some repairs behind the Gare Saint Lazare train station. I happened to be peeking through a gap in the fence with my camera at the moment the man jumped. The space between the planks was not entirely wide enough for my lens, which is the reason why the photo is cut off on the left.

I hope if I ever happen take one of the most well-known and important images in photography I have the Bressons to talk about it like I farted it out by accident one afternoon. Bravo.

I think this is really telling though, about how we all look at our own work. Maybe Henri really loved this photo, and maybe he didn't, but the fact is that when he captioned it for the editors back at Magnum, he felt he needed to explain why the left was a tad darker than the rest of the photo. I can just imagine him justifying this to a higher up back in the day, not satisfied with his own work, like so many of us are on a day-to-day basis.

Editor: Henri, this is awesome! You really captured a very decisive moment there!
Henri: Yeah I just wish I could've made this perfect, lets just hope they never use this in millions of photography books, textbooks, classrooms, blogs and photo websites
Editor: Are you crazy?! We don't care about that slight vignette on the left! Wait, whats a blog?
Henri: Huh? Oh, um... Nevermind. Hey what was that thing you said about deciding moments? I like that, I'm going to use it.

Also, go to Magnum, and here is more of Bresson's work.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:27 AM

    After reading you site, Your site is very useful for me .I bookmarked your site!