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Bruce Davidson On Picking Up Girls With A Leica

"Q.  When you were young, what were you looking for?  You were looking

for Cartier-Bresson?

A.  In ‘52, when I was in college at R.I.T. photography school, that’s

when I first saw a Cartier-Bresson photograph.  It was with one of the

two girls in our class, Joan.  I was courting her a little bit and we

were sitting in a girl’s dorm and she had brought out “The Decisive

Moment.”  I laughed.  She was pointing out the pictures that really

moved her and said that Cartier-Bresson was her true love.  So I went

out and I bought a little Leica, a used Leica, and started to imitate

his images in some way.  What I did was photograph the Lighthouse

Mission, which was all drunks.  They gave them a sermon and a bologna

sandwich and a cup of coffee.  And when they left, they’d pull out the

bottle again.  But those pictures, were a little Cartier-Bressonish.

Q.  Most importantly: did it work with her?

A.  No. What happened is she ran off with an English professor.  He

was an older man.  I was left with Cartier-Bresson, which was good


Filed under magnum funny lol