The words aptly summarize the great image-maker’s style. “In photography, you’ve got to be quick, quick, quick, quick,” Cartier-Bresson once explained. “Like an animal and a prey.” Because to him, photography was “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.” Of course, a photographer could very well encounter a plurality of decisive moments in their career. Thus Cartier-Bresson would amend the title slightly, in fellow photographer Martin Parr’s personal copy of the book, so that it read: The More or Less Decisive Moments.
More than half a century after the publication of his book, Magnum Photos — the international photography collective Cartier-Bresson founded in 1947 — is paying tribute to this idea of “decisive moments” in pictures. In honor of its 70th birthday, Magnum is hosting a five-day online sale, appropriately dubbed “The (More or Less) Decisive Moments,” consisting of a group of spectacular split-second shots chosen by 60 different photographers, past and present.