Martin Munkacsi: "Think while you shoot"


Martin Munkácsi (born Kolozsvar, Austro-Hungary, May 18, 1896, died July 13, 1963, New York, NY) was a Hungarian photographer who worked in Germany (1928–34) and the United States.
In 1932, the young Henri Cartier-Bresson, at the time an undirected photographer who catalogued his travels and his friends, saw the Munkácsi photograph Three Boys at Lake Tanganyika, taken on a beach in Liberia. Cartier-Bresson later said, "For me this photograph was the spark that ignited my enthusiasm. I suddenly realized that, by capturing the moment, photography was able to achieve eternity. It is the only photograph to have influenced me. This picture has such intensity, such joie de vivre, such a sense of wonder that it continues to fascinate me to this day." He paraphrased this many times during his life, including the quotation, "I suddenly understood that photography can fix eternity in a moment. It is the only photo that influenced me. There is such intensity in this image, such spontaneity, such joie de vivre, such miraculousness, that even today it still bowls me over."
Richard Avedon said of Munkácsi, "He brought a taste for happiness and honesty and a love of women to what was, before him, a joyless, loveless, lying art. Today the world of what is called fashion is peopled with Munkácsi's babies, his heirs.... The art of Munkácsi lay in what he wanted life to be, and he wanted it to be splendid. And it was."
In 2007, the International Center of Photography mounted an exhibit of Munkácsi's photography titled, Martin Munkácsi: Think While You Shoot![1] in conjunction with the show Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Scrapbook: Photographs, 1932-46.[2] In 2009, the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City staged a joint exhibit of photographs by Edward Steichen and Munkácsi. (read more wikipedia)