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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Merci beaucoups, Henri.

Another obituary to report on, alas. The man who was my hero back in the day when I wanted to be a photojournalist died Tuesday at the age of 95. Henri Cartier-Bresson was perhaps not a well-known figure to most, but as far as people in the field of photography and especially photojournalism go, the man was a giant.

"Your camera is the extension of your eye."
"Seize the Decisive Moment."

Those were aphorisms I lived by when I was studying and practicing photojournalism back in the '80s. If the Decisive Moment meant going into a mosh pit to shoot at a punk rock gig, so be it. His amazing reportage from all over the world was a continuous inspiration.

He put down his trademark battered Leica camera in the 1970s, never to pick it up again. The last decades of his life were spent drawing and painting, his first love.

Au revoir.