Tributes for legendary photographer

Last updated at 13:29 05 August 2004

Tributes have poured in for Frenchman Henri Cartier-Bresson, widely regarded as one of the great photographers of the 20th century, who has died aged 95.

The publicity-shy Cartier-Bresson, a founding member of the Magnum picture agency in 1947, died in the south of France. The cause of his death was not immediately announced.

Cartier-Bresson made his name partly by being in the right place at the right time, a knack that enabled him to develop his talent for capturing on celluloid what he called the "decisive moment".

During a career in which he travelled to 23 countries, Cartier-Bresson documented the Spanish Civil war, the liberation of Paris during World War Two, the death of India's Mahatma Ghandi and the fall of Beijing to Mao Zedong's forces in 1949.

In 1954, the Frenchman also became the first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union after the death of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin the previous year.

Thirty years later, Cartier-Bresson packed away his Leica camera and switched to the other passion in his life - drawing.

Last year, the national library hosted a retrospective of Cartier-Bresson's work, grouping 350 classic shots and drawings almost 30 years after he gave up photography.