Side step: fifty shades of…colour?

13 Nov

Henri Cartier-Bresson sticks to black and white.

There’s a new photography exhibition in town that asks: colour photography or black and white shots, which is the ideal medium? 

Nowadays we take most of our photos in colour, and with the magic of Instagram can turn them into faded retro snaps or bright pop art pictures. But during the 1950s when colour photography was just entering the scene, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was sceptical towards the medium.

However he never discouraged others to experiment with it. What mattered to him more was the ability to capture the moment with a photograph, that fleeting, decisive moment, and if his contemporaries used colour, then so be it.

The result is an exhibition at Somerset House called Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour. The protagonist’s black and white portraits are interspersed with colour photographs by international artists from the US, Canada, Mexico and beyond.

It’s laid out in a challenge and response manner. Cartier-Bresson challenges the concept of colour photography and his contemporaries respond by using it. The exhibition has a diplomatic end and concludes that both mediums are beautiful, as the photos show.

What’s more important is the skill to capture the moment.

Just as cool in colour.

The details:

Location: Somerset House, Strand.

Opening times: daily from 10am to 6pm. Just launched and will stay until 27th January 2013.

Free admission.


One Response to “Side step: fifty shades of…colour?”

  1. Jessica November 13, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    I’m going to see a display of his in Paris!!

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