Take pictures of people in the style of Henri Cartier Bresson, a historic fugure who is considered by many to be the father of photojournalism and street photography. Look for “the decisive moment” where action, light and composition unite. Usually people pictures are best for this though it could be any complex interaction of moving objects, like animals, cars, sports, etc. It’s a unique moment, not set up, not a shot where you could have a series of very similar shots. Look for balance, or a dynamic imbalance. Qualities of light and color could be additional elements that add interest, but are not the primary elements of what the image is about.
Some of his thoughts:
Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’ve taken a great photo, and yet we continue to unfold. We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.
To take photographs means to recognize — simultaneously and within a fraction of a second — both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.
This recognition, in real life, of a rhythm of surfaces, lines, and values is for me the essence of photography; composition should be a constant of preoccupation, being a simultaneous coalition – an organic coordination of visual elements.
One has to tiptoe lightly and steal up to one’s quarry; you don’t swish the water when you are fishing.
I believe that, through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. –
You are asking me what makes a good picture. For me, it is the harmony between subject and form that leads each one of those elements to its maximum of expression and vigor.
Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obstrusive.
And no photographs taken with the aid of flash light, either, if only out of respect for the actual light – even when there isn’t any of it.
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Of course it’s all luck.
photography, for me is a supreme moment captured with a single shot.
He made me suddenly realize that photographs could reach eternity through the moment.
Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.
Photography is, for me, a spontaneous impulse coming from an ever attentive eye which captures the moment and its eternity.
There is no closed figure in nature. Every shape participates with another. No one thing is independent of another, and one thing rhymes with another, and light gives them shape.
Inside movement there is one moment in which the elements are in balance. Photography must seize the importance of this moment and hold immobile the equilibrium of it.
I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung up and ready to pounce, determined to ‘trap’ life – to preserve life in the act of living. Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of unrolling itself before my eyes.
Quotes from here.