hammer, nail, plank. // 04 Aug 2004

Henri Cartier-Bresson has died, at the age of 95. From the Times' obit, these two fantastic paragraphs...

He insisted that his works not be cropped, but otherwise disdained the technical side of photography; the Leica was all he ever wanted to use; he was not interested in developing his own pictures.

"My contact sheets may be compared to the way you drive a nail in a plank," he said. "First you give several light taps to build up a rhythm and align the nail with the wood. Then, much more quickly, and with as few strokes as possible, you hit the nail forcefully on the head and drive it in."
(Hammer, nail, plank. I can't wait to see how Kenneth Baker turns such a simple philosophy into 1500 words of inscrutable Art Speak.)