Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/07/03

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Subject: Re: [Leica] HCB didn't crop, mostly...
From: frank theriault <>
Date: Thu, 03 Jul 2003 21:53:36 -0400
References: <> <000401c341c8$39953410$fbfea8c0@DHHZSZ11> <>

Hi, Rich,

I'm terrible at remembering titles, but this one I know:  "Derriere la gare
Saint-Lazare, Paris 1932".  And you're right, it's cropped!  I've seen a photo of
the neg, too.  It's cropped, no doubt about it.

I think it's the exception that proves the rule.

I read an interview of his long time developer, Pierre Gassmann in the French
issue of Photo, May 1998.  He said:  "D'ailleirs la legende qui veut qu'il
refusait tout recadrage est simplement nee du fait que c'etait rarement

Which, if my very rusty French is half-way accurate means roughly, "The legend
that he refused to crop was simply born of the fact that it was rarely
necessary".  Which would lead one to believe that it ~did~ happen, at least


tripspud wrote:

> Hi!
>       From this webpage of a review by John Banville, 'Secret Geometry'
> of HCB's "The Man, the Image and the World"
> the entire artcle is here:
> he states:
> And one cannot leave it alone. One wants, one tries, to frame the precise
> question that will provoke the revealing answer. It is
> impossible. Cartier-Bresson has always been fascinated by the East—his first
> wife, Ratna Mohini, was Javanese—and in the
> face of all one's efforts to elicit from him a solution to the riddle of his
> abandonment of photography he maintains an attitude of
> merry serenity worthy of a Zen master. Which is what he is, really. The
> "decisive moment" is everything, the moment at which
> the artist catches the world in flagrante, unaware of how much it is revealing
> of itself. It is an extraordinary fact that
> Cartier-Bresson's photographs come to us as they were taken: no darkroom magic
> has been performed. He does not even
> crop his pictures and refuses to allow others to do so. This is a truly
> miraculous eye.
>       Well, I recall seeing the original negative of his shot in the '30s of
> the guy leaping
> the puddle and it's way cropped using about a third of the negative.  Maybe he
> decided
> not to crop later.
> Cheers,
> Rich Lahrson
> Berkeley, California
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In reply to: Message from Ernest Nitka <> (Re: [Leica] Ted., Vancouver and the Olympics)
Message from "Ted Bayer" <> (Re: [Leica] Ted., Vancouver and the Olympics)
Message from tripspud <> ([Leica] HCB didn't crop, mostly...)