20 Apr 2014

Puddle jumping

One of the most famous photographers of all time is/was a Frenchman Henri Cartier-Bresson(1908-2004).He was a pioneer in the use of the minature Leica 35mm camera and he coined the term "the decisive moment" which can be interpreted as "always carry a camera and you'll capture the action."
He left behing a large legacy of ironic photos but his two most famous photos are "Sunday on the banks of the River Marne" - and "Behind Saint-Lazare Station,Paris,1932"-more usually known as the puddle jumper.Today the puddle jumper looks a little ordinary but it's important to remember that H C-B did not have the benefit of autofocus or fast sensors or fast film.A grabbed,unstaged,action shot like this was really pioneering in 1932.

I attempted to mimic HC-B's puddle jumper decisive moment with a shot in a torrential storm in Hong Kong last month.I used a Leica like HC-B and as he probably did I used a 35mm (equivalent) lens .However I did not use film and I shot it in colour.I have looked at it in black and white but it does not work so well- so colour it is.I deliberately used a slow shutter speed to add atmosphere but some camera shake crept in.Two puddle jumpers 82 years, half a world and a lot of technology apart.

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