Last Sunday I was able to attend the large exhibition re: Henri Cartier-Bresson thats running at the Pompidou Center in Paris through June 9. (It will be in Madrid from June 28 to Sept 8; in Rome from Sept 25 to Jan 6; in Mexico (City?) from Jan 22 to April 19.) This is not the first exhibition Ive seen of his work, but the organizers tried to make this one a bit different by showing prints that were made around the same time the photographs were taken, rather than modern prints made in the 80s and 90s. Some of the photographs did have a different appearance and tonality than the modern prints Ive seen elsewhere, but Id be hard-pressed to say they were better though they may be closer to HCBs vision of the final image at the time he made the photograph. The exhibit includes movies shorts of HCBs film-making days with Jean Renoir, but I found these of little interest OK, HCB played an English butler for 15 seconds in one movie, but that didnt inform me much about how his film work affected his still photography. The exhibit wants to show that HCB developed in his still photography over the decades, that there were multiple HCBs as he moved from era to era. Hence the inclusion of some early photographs he took as a young boy, and some of his drawings late in life I wish I could say the latter were interesting or demonstrated skill in drawing, but they did not IMHO. I did, however, enjoy learning about how HCBs interest in surrealist art influenced his photography. It seems the surrealists believed that images could show both stillness and movement, and that the contrast of the two in a frame was important (pardon me if Ive not grasped this properly, but I know little of surrealist art theory). They liked the notion of having a unique background against which action occurred static vs dynamic. That causes me to wonder if some of HCBs photographs of that era (attached) in which we see an unusual background with action in front (or, in the case of the hole in the wall, behind) were made by HCB finding the background and then waiting to see who walked into the frame and what they did. Some movie shorts from the 50s or 60s show him taking pictures in New York, almost literally dancing through the streets and around crowds to grab that decisive moment but it strikes that in some earlier photos from the 30s perhaps he simply stood still and waited for the action to come to him. For example, what are the odds that he could get his camera to his eye, focus and trip the shutter before that bicyclist zipped out of the frame perhaps he found the steps, thought them a perfect frame, and waited to see what happened. While Ive never subscribed to the idea that if I had X or Y camera I could shoot like HCB, Gene Smith or Bob Capa, I will confess to being interested in learning what tools THEY found useful. In some of the movies shorts in NYC its clear that hes using a collapsible lens on an M body, as you can see him double-stroke a few times and the shape of the collapsible lens is obvious. In other shots he has a rigid lens mounted, and in the book store of the exhibit, on the cover of a magazine dedicated to HCB, we see a 1967 photograph of him pointing a black IIIg with a LTM Summicron directly at the person taking his picture. So it seems he used whatever he felt like using at the time. Id recommend the exhibit if it comes to where you are. You could, as I did, enjoy seeing some early prints of his very well-known photographs up close, and the breadth of the exhibit might add to your understanding and enjoyment of his work.