Saturday, 20 October 2007

In Two Minds

Sometimes it is both intuitive and immediate. At other times it can take weeks, or even months, for me to select which photo, in a sequence of similar but slightly different 'decisive moments', is to be 'the one'. Sometimes I shelve my decision for a few weeks, and come back later, hopefully with a clearer head. It is encouraging and interesting to see that Henri Cartier-Bresson appeared to suffer from this same problem on occasions, apparently having difficulty deciding which image to print and publish. On at least two occasions he changes his mind and selects another similar but different image later. Two examples below. The first is an image from his book 'The Decisive Moment', followed by the more familiar version. The second is from 'The Family of Man', again followed by the better known version. These examples are not like looking at a contact sheet, but instead reveal how HCB changed his mind about which image he ultimately preferred. I know I have seen a different version of the Seville, Spain, 1933 photo published, the of the kids through a broken wall. If anyone can tell me where, it would ease a nagging in my mind. And if one day I change my mind about one of my own images, I'll be in good company.


blake said...

Hi Nils,

The new HCB book Scrapbook has several versions of the Seville kids in the wall photo. I think ultimately he picked the right one. He was almost as good at editing as he was at photographing.

Nils Jorgensen said...

...thanks Blake, I had a look at this book, and it is very interesting. However, I wanted to stress the difference between seeing his contact sheet, or various outs, and the final select. It appears he had difficulty in this final decision, (on which to print and publish), on at least two occasions.