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Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908 - 2004)
Hyères, France, negative 1932, gelatin silver print.
Museum Members purchase 1981.3.2

When Henri Cartier-Bresson chose to use a 35-mm Leica camera in 1932 it was one of those decisive moments that would set the course of photography for much of the twentieth century. The anonymity and immediacy provided by the small camera opened up many possibilities for photography and allowed him to capture motion and freeze time. Hyères, France captures one of those fractions of a second. Poised at the top of a narrow, winding set of stairs above a curving roadway, he waits for the cyclist to hit the perfect spot in his tightly framed composition. A slow shutter speed blurs the figure enough to suggest motion and further induces a sense of vertigo into an already dizzying space.



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