Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French humanist photographer considered a master of candid photography, and an early user of 35 mm film. He pioneered the genre of street photography, and viewed photography as capturing a decisive moment.
He was captured during the Battle of France, where he served in the French Army as a Corporal in the Film and Photo unit. Despite brushing the experience off in later years, he once said that his escape from a Prisoner of War camp was his “favourite journey”.
Cartier-Bresson achieved international recognition for his coverage of Gandhi’s funeral in India in 1948 and the last stage of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. He covered the last six months of the Kuomintang administration and the first six months of the Maoist People’s Republic. Cartier-Bresson was one of the founding members of Magnum Photos in 1947.