Henri Cartier-Bresson was famous for seeking out a landscape (or background) to compose his subject before taking photographs. In a sense, he was setting a trap for his "prey." This pre-visualization technique allowed him to determine the best composition prior to snapping the shutter and helped guarantee a more favorable result when it came time to edit his contact sheets. However, for this technique to work effectively, it requires the photographer to have a thorough understanding of classical design principles and a tremendous amount of patience. In the photographs below, notice how Bresson composes a picture before his subject appears in the frame.
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