I like the article -- it reminded me of what I like about Cartier-Bresson. I know I'm a little late to the conversation, but:
As to GrahamBy's original comments, (1) "Rail" can be a pun in French, though it might be a trifle obscure. "Derailler" means to run off the rails, which is sort of what the jumping man is doing...(2) I don't think the author meant to say that *that* specific boy was pre-visualized, just that the setting was, as it was with the man jumping over the puddle. H C-B typically set a kind of photographic trap which snapped on his subjects, but often missed. What we see are the successful trappings. (4) I don't think the author suggested that the moment normally veiled by the flow of time was uniquely revealed by H C-B, just that he did it here. What bothered me more about (4) is that it seems to me that I've read that before, perhaps in Sontag or Barthes?
As to Sophia's first comment, I think virtually all of H C-B's most interesting work displays the decisive moment characteristic. I find most of his explicitly journalistic work to be pedestrian; I worked with a lot of good photojournalists in my life, and from looking at his work, I wouldn't have ranked him among the best. Like much photojournalism, the interest in his photos lies in history, not in composition, and if you don't know or care about the history, then the photos won't mean much to you. His best work is all about composition.
As for Schewe's comment, I think a lot of those poor photos were the journalistic work I referenced above. When I was working for newspapers, I saw many, many very good photos printed to last just as long as it took to get them in the paper. They were *dipped* in fixer, rather than really fixed. Sometimes, they only had to last a half-hour, and when you went back to the old photo files, you found a lot of ruined photographs. On the other hand, I have an original H C-B on my wall (the one of the little girl running up the stairs between the white buildings) and it is gloriously printed and preserved. I suspect any survey of H C-B's work is going to contain a lot of pretty badly preserved stuff, because it wasn't made to be preserved.
Rob C. said, "Seems only fair to give the man himself the final word." Why is that? I often find artists lie a lot about their work. Even great artists. In fact, lie more often than not.