عنوان مقاله [English]
Henri Cartier-Bresson is among the most considered and also the most debatable artists and photographers of the modern era. Shifting from painting to photography and from photojournalism into surrealism as an artist makes his career a bit vague and his personal approach of photography ambiguous as a practical approach. Known as the ‘decisive moment’ his practical theory is based on reaching the most harmonic point possible between the form and the meaning in a single photo and that photo should necessarily be captured in an unrepeatable moment that is a unique one. The ‘decisive moment’ was proposed by Cartier Bresson through the publication of his book under the same name in 1952. The book contained a selection of Cartier Bresson’s photos and a brief introduction in which he explained some features of his artistic vision and photography approach. The book was soon titled as the ‘Bible of Photography’ by Robert Capa, his friend, his colleague and a co-founder of Magnum Photos. The decisive moment has two major components; first a complex, meaningful composition that Cartier-Bresson himself calls it ‘Geometry’ and the second, is ‘Spontaneity’ in action meaning that the photographer should skip any kind of contemplation and hesitation while capturing the moment that is due to Cartier-Bresson’s admission to surrealism as an artist. Cartier-Bresson’s emphasis on the geometrical composition as the major and fundamental component of the decisive moment roots back in his tendency toward painting However, the contradictions between Cartier-Bresson’s role as a photojournalist or documentary photographer and his artistic vision and his artistic stem caused some ambiguities in the quality and the possibility of applying the geometrical ratios used in the realm of painting as a rule for composition in photography specially in photojournalism where every second has the potential to lead into a photograph and therefore such obsession with composition might result in missing important moments in an event. In 1920, contemporary to young Cartier-Bresson, Canadian Jay Hambidge invented ‘Dynamic Symmetry’ armature as a system of geometrical composition based on the Greek Golden ratio which became popular among his contemporary visual artists. The ‘Dynamic Symmetry’ consists of two major diagonals named the ‘Baroque Diagonal’ and the ‘Sinister Diagonal’ and the rest of the armature or the grid named as the ‘Reciprocals’ are drawn, at a ninety-degree ratio toward the major diagonals. Hambidge believed that applying the Dynamic Symmetry has the benefit to promote balance, flow and rhythm in a composition and the whole idea is in contrast to static symmetry therefore it can bring more dynamicity, and in result movement and life in a frame.
This article initially studies the components and the qualities of the decisive moment and its roots and then explains the dynamic symmetry as a system of composition based on the geometrical proportions and then by applying the dynamic symmetry armature or grid to some of Cartier Bresson’s photos evaluates the amount of concordance between Cartier Bresson’s arrangement of the visual elements in his composition with the order of the Dynamic symmetry armature.