Kurt gave me a book on Henri Cartier-Bresson to inspire my own photography and it has. I am very excited about taking many more photos in the 08 and also getting a better camera so I can do so. Looking at the photos also makes me want to travel so much more in the near future. So much to do and photograph.
Wikipedia.org has a long entry about Cartier-Bresson and at the end talks about his technique:
Cartier-Bresson exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward two and a quarter inch twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "[i]mpolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in his camera and not in the darkroom, showcasing this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation -- indeed, he emphasized that the entire negative had been used by extending the area reproduced on the print to include a thick black border around the frame.
Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He never developed or made his own prints. He said: "I've never been interested in the process of photography, never, never. Right from the beginning. For me, photography with a small camera like the Leica is an instant drawing."
Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon.
In my humble experience, I find I fit with this technique. I crop my photos from time to time, but mostly take a photo that is "done". I have taken photography classes and have printed my own photos, but don't find it nearly as interesting as taking the photos themselves. I can't wait to do more.