One day in 1932, Henri Cartier-Bresson pointed his camera at the back of Paris Saint-Lazare train station and took a picture that embodies his idea of a "decisive moment". Bresson used a small hand-held Leica camera that could be moved freely; an experience very different from that of using a large-format camera on a tripod. This kind of camera allowed him to capture wonderful moments in time. Though today, we are accustomed to such photos, in 1932, this was a new method.
In this picture, Cartier Bresson made clever use of structure and light. The reflection of the environment on the water surface is eye-catching. When you look closely, you can see the posture of the jumping character on the poster. Its action echoes the character in the foreground, which makes for alluring symmetry of motion.
Henri Cartier Bresson is famous for his lively, candid black-and-white pictures, and his works are full of intimacy and poetic dynamism. His concept of a "decisive moment" is that the photographer must press the shutter at the right time to take the ideal photo. It was of great influence upon the world of both photojournalism and street photography. The photo "Behind the Gare Saint Lazare" marked the beginning of such decisive photography.