domingo, 26 de julio de 2015

TORREÁRBOLES (CERRO MURIANO): DESCUBIERTA LA AUTORÍA Y UBICACIÓN DE OTRA FOTOGRAFÍA HECHA POR ROBERT CAPA ANTES DEL 5 DE SEPTIEMBRE DE 1936


                                    Photo: Robert Capa.

elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com ha podido descubrir la autoría y ubicación de una nueva fotografía hecha por Robert Capa en Torreárboles antes del 5 de Septiembre de 1936.

Se trata de una imagen que aparece en la página 127 del libro La Lucha del Pueblo Español por su Libertad (de A. Ramos Oliveira, editado por la Embajada Española en Londres en 1937), en tamaño 21 x 17 cm, y en la que se ve a un grupo de 8 milicianos anarquistas de la CNT y de la FAI de Alcoy (Alicante) subiendo a lo alto de una colina.


Uno de ellos lleva una ametralladora pesada francesa Hotchkiss M1914 calibre 7 x 57 mm Mauser de 24,4 kg sobre su hombro izquierdo, mientras que el situado inmediatamente a su izquierda está a punto de poner sobre la cima su trípode.

El resto de milicianos que caminan tras ellos en sentido ascendente llevan cajas de municiones que contienen cinco peines rígidos de acero, cada uno de ellos con 24 cartuchos del calibre 7 x 57 mm Mauser para la mencionada ametralladora.

Vertiente sur de Torreárboles, donde se aprecia la pendiente cuyos últimos metros hay que subir para llegar a la cima. Capa hizo la foto desde el tramo final ubicado ligeramente al otro lado, en ángulo contrapicado, disparando su Leica II (Model D) con objetivo Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 apuntando hacia arriba y encuadrando a los milicianos mientras caminaban cuesta arriba los últimos metros de pendiente antes de llegar a la cúspide llevando la ametralladora Hotchkiss M1914, el trípode y varias cajas de munición 7 x 57 mm Mauser.

La cima de Torreárboles vista desde otro punto más al norte. Puede apreciarse que los últimos metros de pendiente adyacente a la cima presentan mucha menos vegetación que todo el resto de sus laderas. 

La acción se desarrolla a muy pocos metros de la cima de la colina de Torreárboles, de 692 metros de altura, unos 2 km al suroeste del pueblo de Cerro Muriano (Córdoba).

Reencuadre selectivo de la foto hecha por Capa, en el que puede verse al miliciano de la derecha que lleva sobre su hombro izquierdo la pesada ametralladora Hotchkiss M1914 calibre 7 x 57 mm Mauser de 24,6 kg, con Gerda Taro tras él, y a la izquierda de la imagen otro miliciano que ha llevado el trípode sobre su hombro derecho hasta hace un instante y está iniciando el movimiento para posarlo en el suelo.

Igualmente, elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com ha podido descubrir que la persona que se halla detrás del miliciano que lleva la ametralladora Hotchkiss M1914 es Gerda Taro, que viste el mismo pantalón oscuro que ha llevado puesto también a finales de Agosto de 1936 en Santa Eulalia (Frente de Aragón), donde Capa le ha hecho tres fotografías (una reproducida en la página 69 del libro catálogo de la exposición This is War! Robert Capa at Work, donde Gerda Taro aparece a la izquierda del contacto de 35 mm con este mismo pantalón oscuro y dos reproducidas en la página 034 del segundo tomo del libro La Maleta Mexicana, en las que está mirando el cráter producido por una bomba: una horizontal en la que aparece Gerda Taro sola y otra vertical en la que aparece con cuatro milicianos al fondo, vistiendo en ambas dicho pantalón oscuro alto y una camiseta blanca de manga corta).

A partir del día siguiente de ser tomada por Capa en Torreárboles la foto de los milicianos subiendo la ametralladora, el trípode y las cajas de munición a su cima, Taro cambiará este pantalón negro alto por uno más claro de miliciano.

Esta fotografía fue hecha por Robert Capa en Torreárboles el 3 o el 4 de Septiembre de 1936, y no el 5 de Septiembre de 1936 (día en que realiza sus dos grandiosos reportajes La Arenga en la Finca de Villa Alicia y la Huida de los Refugiados de Cerro Muriano a través de la salida norte del pueblo en dirección a la antigua Estación de Tren de Obejo y El Vacar).

Reencuadre selectivo que muestra al penúltimo miliciano subiendo a la cima de Torreárboles dos cajas de munición 7 x 57 mm Mauser, cada una de las cuales contiene cinco peines de 24 cartuchos. La gran cantidad de cajas de munición para la ametralladora Hotchkiss M1914 que están transportando hasta la cumbre de esta colina los milicianos que aparecen en la imagen completa, indica que los mandos republicanos en la zona estaban preparando la defensa ante el que consideraban inminente seguro ataque en uno o dos días por parte del general Varela, y el notable despliegue de armamento indica también claramente que la inmensa mayoría de tropas republicanas y milicianos no estaban en el pueblo de Cerro Muriano, sino defendiendo Torreárboles, Las Malagueñas y la Finca de Villa Alicia, donde estuvo en realidad el frente de combates el 5 de septiembre de 1936, día en que tuvo lugar la batalla. 

Es evidente que los milicianos que aparecen en imagen no se hallan en combate, no hay batalla en ese momento, sino que están subiendo la mencionada ametralladora pesada, su trípode y abundantes cajas de munición a la cima de la colina Torreárboles, uno o dos días antes de la batalla propiamente dicha, que será a partir de aproximadamente el mediodía del 5 de Septiembre de 1936, cuando tres columnas franquistas al mando conjunto del general Varela, e integradas por altos jefes militares profesionales con abundante experiencia en combate en guerra colonial en Africa (coronel Sáenz de Buruaga, comandante López Guerrero, comandante Gerardo Figuerola, comandante Sagrado y comandante Baturone) atacarán la colina Las Malagueñas y la colina Torreárboles (dos cotas cuya conquista es fundamental para la ulterior captura del pueblo de Cerro Muriano) así como la Finca de Villa Alicia en la que hay abundantes contingentes de milicianos anarquistas de la CNT y la FAI de Alcoy (Alicante) junto con milicianos andaluces.

Los altos oficiales republicanos en la zona (al mando del comandante Juan Bernal, y en cuyo estado mayor - ubicado en la Mansión de las Malagueñas, sita en la cúspide de la colina del mismo nombre -, también figuran los comandantes José Balibrea, Gerardo Armentia y Aviraneta) saben que el general Varela va a atacarles muy pronto, ya que la presencia de abundantes tropas republicanas en el área de Cerro Muriano (unos 15 km al norte de Córdoba capital), un enclave estratégicamente muy importante, supone una gran amenaza para Córdoba capital, en manos de las tropas franquistas.

Por ello, han ordenado a los milicianos que suban ametralladoras y abundantes cajas de munición tanto a la cima de Torreárboles como a la de Las Malagueñas.

Capa hace la fotografía con su Leica II (Model D) acoplada a un objetivo Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5, en ángulo contrapicado, mientras los milicianos suben el tramo de pendiente inmediatamente adyacente a la cima de Torreárboles a pleno sol, probablemente utilizando diafragma f/8.

Cima de Torreárboles, a muy pocos metros de la estructura de hormigón armado con cilindro en su zona superior, construida en 1974 sobre el basamento de una antigua torre árabe. Al fondo a la derecha se aprecia la ciudad de Córdoba. Puede constatarse perfectamente como desde la cima de esta colina la vista panorámica es enorme y de una gran calidad, por lo que cualquier movimiento de tropas franquistas desde Córdoba capital hacia la zona de Cerro Muriano podía ser fácilmente detectado tanto visualmente como con prismáticos, de tal manera que la ubicación de ametralladoras Hotchkiss M1914 (cuyo alcance letal era de 3.800 metros) en la cúspide, permitía la defensa con garantías, desde una posición elevada, con fuego automático a una cadencia de 600 disparos/minuto y velocidad inicial de 724 m/seg, frente a cualquier intento de asalto enemigo de la colina.

Desde un punto de vista militar, la decisión de los altos mandos republicanos de instalar ametralladoras en la cima de Torreárboles (así como en la de Las Malagueñas) está plenamente justificada, ya que al ser el vértice geodésico más alto de la Sierra de Córdoba, desde su cima hay una excepcional vista de todo el entorno circundante en muchas decenas de kilómetros a la redonda (Córdoba capital, las sierras de Jaen, Los Villares, Sierra Morena y algunos pueblos de la vertiente norte cordobesa), por lo que se domina tanto la ladera sur de la colina como cualquier intento de ataque de tropas enemigas procedentes de Córdoba capital (situada unos 13 km al sur de Torreárboles).

Definitivamente, los rumores que circularon durante los primeros días de Septiembre de 1936 sobre un inminente ataque republicano a Córdoba capital eran totalmente infundados, los mandos republicanos en la zona estaban preparándose para la defensa ante el seguro ataque del general Varela, y Robert Capa y Gerda Taro no llegaron a la zona de Cerro Muriano el 5 de Septiembre de 1936, sino uno, dos, o incluso quizá tres días antes, haciendo fotos en Las Malagueñas y Torreárboles antes del 5 de Septiembre de dicho año, tal y como explicamos ya en Julio de 2013 en nuestro artículo sobre una fotografía hecha por Capa en Las Malagueñas también uno, dos o tres días antes del 5 de Septiembre de 1936 y que fue publicada en la revista Regards del 24 de Septiembre de 1936.


Texto y Fotos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza.

TORREÁRBOLES (CERRO MURIANO): DISCOVERED THE AUTHORSHIP AND LOCATION OF ANOTHER PICTURE MADE BY ROBERT CAPA BEFORE SEPTEMBER 5, 1936



elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com has been able to discover both the authorship and location of one more picture made by Robert Capa in Torreárboles hill (2 km in the southwest of Cerrro Muriano) before September 5, 1936.

It is an image appearing on page 127 of the book The Spanish People´s Fight for Liberty by A. Ramos Oliveira (edited by the Spanish Embassy in London in 1937), in 21 x 17 cm size, and in which a group of eight CNT and FAI militiamen from Alcoy (Alicante) going up towards the top of a hill can be seen.


One of them is taking a 7 x 57 mm Mauser caliber Hotchkiss M1914 heavy machine gun featuring a weight of 24, 4 kg on his left shoulder, while the one on his left is about to put the machine gun tripod on the hill summit.

The rest of militiamen walking behind them with ascending direction are transporting ammunition boxes containing five steel strips each one with twenty-four 7 x 57 mm Mauser caliber cartridges for the aforementioned machine gun.

South side of Torreárboles hill, where can be seen the slope whose last meters is necessary to walk up to reach the top. Capa made the picture from the last stretch of it, located slightly on the other side, from a low angle viewing point, shooting his Leica II (Model D) with a Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 lens aiming upwards and framing the militiamen while they were walking up the last meters of slope before reaching the peak of the hill, taking the Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun, its tripod and abundant boxes of 7 x 57 mm Mauser ammunition.

Torreárboles hill summit seen from another point more northbound. It can be observed that the last meters of adjacent slope to the summit have much lesser vegetation than all the rest of its sides.

Everything is happening at very few meters from the top of Torreárboles hill, featuring a height of 692 m and located around 2 km in the southwest of the village of Cerro Muriano (Córdoba).

Selective reframing of the picture made by Capa, in which can be seen the militiaman on the right taking on his left shoulder the heavy 7 x 57 mm Mauser caliber Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun featuring 24,6 kg and Gerda Taro behind him, and on the left of the image is another militiaman who has taken the tripod on his right shoulder until now and is beginning the movement to put it on the ground.

Besides, elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com has been able to discover that the person behind the militiaman taking the Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun is Gerda Taro, who is wearing the same dark trousers that she has also used throughout late August of 1936 in Santa Eulalia (Aragón Front), where Capa has made her three photographs (one reproduced on page 69 of This is War! Robert Capa at Work exhibition catalogue book, where Gerda Taro appears on the left of the 35 mm contact with these same dark trousers, and other two reproduced on page 034 of the second volume of The Mexican Suitcase exhibition catalogue book, looking at the crater produced by a bomb: a horizontal one in which Gerda Taro appears alone and a vertical one in which she can be seen with four militiamen in the background, being clad in both of them with these dark trousers and a short-sleeved clear shirt).

From the following day after the picture of the militiamen going up with the machine gun, its tripod and the ammunition boxes towards the summit of this hill, Taro changed her dark high trousers for
clearer militiaman trousers.

This picture was made by Capa on September 3 or 4, 1936, and not on September 5, 1936 (day in which he makes his two great reportages The Harangue in the Finca of Villa Alicia and the Escape of the Cerro Muriano Refugees Across the North Exit of the Village going towards the Obejo Train Station and El Vacar).

Selective reframing showing the second militiamen from right of the picture going up to the summit of Torreárboles with two 7 x 57 mm Mauser ammunition boxes, each one containing five 24 round strips. The great quantity of ammunition boxes for the Hotchkiss M1914 machine gun which are being taken to the peak of this hill by the militiamen appearing in the complete image, indicate that the Republican high officers in the area were preparing the defense against the impending attack of Francoist forces under the command of general Varela, that they deemed certain within one or two days, and the outstanding deployment of weaponry proves that vast majority of Republican forces and militiamen were not inside Cerro Muriano village, but defending Torreárboles, Las Malagueñas and the Finca of Villa Alicia, where was really the combat front on September 5, 1936, the day in which battle took place.

It´s apparent that the militiamen appearing in this image are not in combat, there isn´t any battle at that moment. They are hiking up with the heavy machine gun, its tripod and abundant ammunition boxes towards the top of Torreárboles hill, one or two days before the battle, which will take place from approximately high noon of September 5, 1936, when three Francoist columns under the global command of general Varela, and integrated by high military commanders with long experience in ruthless colonial war in Africa (colonel Sáenz de Buruaga, major López Guerrero, major Gerardo Figuerola, major Sagrado and major Baturone) will attack Las Malagueñas hill and Torreárboles hill (two heights whose conquest is fundamental for the subsequent capture of Cerro Muriano village), along with the Finca of Villa Alicia, in which there are plenty of contingents of CNT and FAI anarchist militiamen from Alcoy (Alicante) and Andalusian militiamen.

The Republican high officers in the area (under the command of major Juan Bernal, and whose general staff - located at the Las malagueñas House, placed on the summit of the hill bearing the same name - also includes majors José Balibrea, Gerardo Armentia and Aviraneta) know that general Varela will attack them soon, since the presence of numerous Republican forces in the area of Cerro Juriano (placed around 15 km in the north of Córdoba city), a strategically very important zone, poses a great threat for Córdoba city, which is in the hands of Francoist troops.

Therefore, they have ordered the militiamen to take machine guns with their ammunition boxes both to the summit of Torreárboles and Las Malagueñas.

Capa gets the picture with his Leica II (Model D) coupled to a Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 lens, from a low position, while the militiamen are going up the last stretch of slope immediately adjacent to the top of Torreárboles, under a scorching sun, and probably using a f/8 diaphragm.

Peak of Torreárboles, in its area at very few meters from the concrete structure with a cylinder on its upper zone, built in 1974 on the base of an old Arab tower and which nowadays crowns Torreárboles hill. In the background, on the right, the city of Córdoba can be seen. From the summit of this hill the panoramic views are amazing and offer an excellent watching quality, so any movement of Francoist troops from Córdoba city towards the area of Cerro Muriano could be easily detected both visually and through binoculars, in such a way that the placing of Hotchkiss M1914 machine guns (whose lethal range was 3,800 m) on the summit enabled to assuredly defend the position with 7 x 57 mm Mauser machine gun fire at a rate of 600 rounds/minute and 724 m/seg muzzle velocity against any enemy attempt to assault the hill.

From a military viewpoint, the decision made by the Republican high commanders to install machine guns on top of Torreárboles (in the same way as in Las Malagueñas) is entirely justified, because it is the highest geodesic vertex of the Cordoban range and from its summit there is an exceptional panoramic view of the whole surrounding landscape within a radius of many dozen kilometers (Córdoba city, the ranges of Jaén, Los Villares, Sierra Morena and the villages of the north of Córdoba province), so you can control both the south side of the hill and any onslaught manoeuver by enemy troops coming from Cordoba city (located around 13 km in the south of Torreárboles).

Definitely, the rumours which spread during the first days of September 1936 about an impending Republican attack on Cordoba city were utterly groundless, the Republican commanders in the zone were preparing the defense against the certain attack of Francoist forces under the overall command of general Varela, and Robert Capa and Gerda Taro didn´t arrive at Cerro Muriano area on September 5, 1936, but one, two or even perhaps three days before, getting pictures in Las Malagueñas and Torreárboles before September 5 of that year, as we explained in July 2013 in our article on a picture made by Capa in Las Malagueñas also one, two or three days before September 5, 1936 and which was published in the French magazine Regards of September 24, 1936.


Text and Indicated Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

jueves, 9 de julio de 2015

VIENNA PHOTOBOOK FESTIVAL 2015: WORK WELL DONE BEARS FRUIT ( I I I )

Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 ( I I )


Saturday, June 20, 2015. It´s only five minutes to the beginning of the LECTURE BY THE AMERICAN STAR PHOTOGRAPHER WILLIAM KLEIN IN DIALOGUE WITH GERRY BADGER, the most expected one of this Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015.

This is the first time that William Klein, one of the most important and influential photographers ever and a living icon in the History of Photography, comes to the Austrian capital.

Three years have elapsed since Michael Kollmann (photobook curator of Ostlicht Galerie für Fotografie), Regina Anzenberger (director of Anzenberger Gallery, Anzenberger Photographic Agency and Anzenberger Gallery Bookshop) and Peter Coeln (Director of Ostlicht Gallery für Fotografie) founded the Vienna PhotoBook Festival, whose first edition was held in 2013, and which has increasingly grown up and consolidated through strenuous work, illusion, love for photography, painstaking attention to every detail and the firm belief in the future possibilities of both top quality photobooks on paper focused on talents from the new generation, greatly fostered with the updated technologies. and the already existing first-rate photobooks, particularly the classic ones devoted to the photographic oeuvres of the great masters of photography, special editions, limited series, signed copies, etc.


The Anker Saal of the Brotfabrik Wien is overcrowded with attendants utterly aware of the huge significance of the moments which are about to be lived.


William Klein, born on April 19, 1928 in New York, has just gone up to the stage.


The collective thrill is huge and emotions skyrocket. Many of the attendees have admired him for decades and possess some of his famous books like New York (1956), Rome The City and Its People (1959), Tokyo (1964), Moscow (1964), Mister Freedom (1970), The Films of William Klein (1989), Torino ( 1990), In and Out of Fashion (1994), MMV Romani (2006) and others.


The dialogue between William Klein and the photographic critic, architect and photographer Gerry Badger flows in a very relaxed way, with William Klein quickly gaining the public appreciation through his special sense of humor and the scores of anecdotes lived throughout his almost seventy years as a professional photographer. Everybody is relishing this major and memorable occasion in which the towering human stature and true humbleness of this man comes to surface every time he answers the questions asked to him by Gerry Badger.













VIENNA PHOTOBOOK AWARD 2015 CEREMONY

After a Collector´s Talk held at the Anker Saal of the Brotfabrik Wien betwen 18:00 h and 19:00 h with Michel Auer, Andreas H. Bitesnich and Manfred Heiting as speakers, moderated by Gerry Badger, at 19:00 h of Saturday, June 20, 2015 started the Award Ceremony of the Vienna PhotoBookAward at the lecture room of the ground floor, presented by Regina Maria Anzenberger and Gerry Badger.

In only two years since its first edition in 2014, the Vienna PhotoBook Award has become a prestigious recognition within the photobook sphere, because of the high level of the participants and the internationally acclaimed panel of reviewers choosing the winners and which this year was made up by Gerry Badger (photographer, architect and photocritic), Andreas H. Bitesnich (photographer, collector and photocritic), Josef Chladek (The Virtual Bookshelf, Austria), Nela Eggenberg (Eikon, Austria), Peter Gössner (collector from Austria), Manfred Heiting (designer, editor, curator and collector from United States), Rob van Hoesel (publisher from the Netherlands), Rainer Iglar (Fotohof Salzburg, Austria), Silvia Jaklitsch (Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Austria), Klaus Kehrer (Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg, Germany), Dominique Kempers (Bookshop Walter König, Austria), Calin Kruse (Die Nacht, Germany), Harald Latzko (collector from Austria), Ania Nalecka (Tapir Book Design, Poland), Colin Pantall (photobook critic from United Kingdom), Johannes Schlebrügge (Schlebrügge Editor, Austria) and Hannes Wanderer (Peperoni Books, 25 books, Germany).


The Winners of the Honorable Mentions of the Vienna PhotoBook Award 2015 were Reka Szent-Ivanyi (Hungary) for her photobook dummy There´s Nothing Wrong with That, Ikuru Kuwajima (Japan) for her dummy photobook Trail and Kateryna Snizhko (Russia) for her photobook dummy My Friend is a Sniper.


Kateryna Snizhko (left) and Reka Szent-Ivanyi (right, beside the projector) at the moment of being bestowed the Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 Honorable Mentions by Regina Maria Anzenberger and Gerry Badger.


Regina Maria Anzenberger and Gerry Badger announcing the Second Prize of the Vienna PhotoBook 2015 Award given to Dimitry Lookianov (Russia) for his photobook dummy Instant Tomorrow, who will be published by Peperoni Books (Germany).


Projection of one of the images of Instant Tomorrow, the photobook including pictures by Dmitry Lookianov that was bestowed the Second Prize of the Vienna Photobook Awards 2015.


Two more images of Dmitry Lookianov´s photobook dummy projected on the screen of the lecture room.


Regina Maria Anzenberger interviewing Dmitry Lookianov in the presence of Reka Szent-Ivanyi, Kateryna Snizhko and Gery Badger.


Reka Szent-Ivanyi, Kateryna Snizhko, Dmitry Lookianov, Regina Maria Anzenberger and Gery Badger at the moment in which the latter announces the Vienna Photobook Award 2015 First Prize bestowed to Mark Duffy (Ireland),


for his photobook dummy Vote No.1


Mark Duffy speaking after receiving the First Prize of the Vienna Photobook 2015 Award


before the many attendees present during the Vienna PhotoBook 2015 Award ceremony.


Projection of one of the images of Vote No 1, Mark Duffy´s dummy photobook winner of the Vienna PhotoBook 2015 Award.


A further image of Mark Duffy´s photobook Vote No.1 photobook dummy projected on the screen of the lecture room.


Mike Duffy´s Vote No.1 photobook will be published by AnzenbergerEdition in autumn 2015 and the award winning photobook designer Ania Nalecka will overview the design.

The Vienna Photobook Award 2015 has featured from scratch an amazing level, since there was a previous selection from hundreds of submissions and a final photobook review of the deemed best 30 photobook projects made very good photographers: Julia Autz, Sonja Bachmayer, Alexander Bondar, Simon Brugner, Thomas Bundslchuch, Sebastian Collett, Mark Duffy, Marco Frauchiger, Marta Giaccone, Jacqueline Godany, Tamsin Green, George E. Holroyd III, Libuse Jarcovjákova, Gabor Kasza, Karl Ketamo, Ran Kokubun, Sasha Kurmaz, Ikuru Kuwajima, Dmytri Lookianov, Caleb Ming, Aleksey Myakishev, Christian Nowak, Borut Peterlin, catherine Rocke, Ursula Röck, Kateryna Snizhko, Mika Sperling, Reka Szent-Ivanyi, Xiaoxiao Xu, and Georg Zinsler.

The following day Sunday, June 21, 2015 had also a massive attendance of public and was made up by more lectures and visits to the 80 photobook international sellers located in the different facilities of the Brotfabrik Wien.


The level of the international booksellers present during this Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015 was such that dumbfounding experiences for visitors were often churned out: here we can see two magazines of the legendary Russian illustrated magazine Sovetskoe from late thirties in very good condition at the booth of Rotes Antiquariat (Germany), a great bookseller based in Berlin, and behind them the top-notch photobook JOHN HEARTFIELD Buchgestaltung und Fotomontage, published by Rotes Antiquariat and Galerie C. Barscht in 2014, featuring 224 pages and the most complete work on this photographer made hitherto.

From its foundation in 1926 by the writer and editor Mikhail Koltsov, Sovetskoe photographic publication turned into an international flagship in terms of articles and essays on photography, layout of pictures, advertisements of photographic products and pretty lavish information about all kind of photographic equipment, photographic chemicals, etc.

On the other hand, from 1927, Sovestkoe magazine became one of the key publications in the spreading of the revolutionary way of getting pictures handheld with the new German miniature 24 x 36 mm format screwmount rangefinder Leica cameras through the iconic pictures of both avant-garde photographers like Aleksandr Rodchenko with its iconic pictures The Mother (cover of Sovetskoe Foto number 10, October 1927), The Stairs (1929), Demonstration (1932), Girl with a Leica (1934), Dive (1934),  Dive (1935), etc, and professional photojournalists like Evgenii Khaldei, Georgi Zelmanovitch, Arkady Shaykett, Georgi Selma and others, all of them using Leicas, along with new image techniques like the multilayer pictures with 4 x 5 and 5 x 7 inch large format cameras made by El Lissitzky.

In spite of the not very good paper, almost eighty years after its production, the image quality of the b & w pictures inside these vintage Sovetskoe magazines is still amazing and showing a unique aesthetics of image, because in spite of the 35 mm black and white films of the time (mostly bulk loaded 24 x 36 mm nitrate panchromatic cinematographic ones with a lot of grain and very low sensitivity of around Weston 32, roughly equivalent to ASA 40), the remarkable acutance attained by the then commonly used Agfa Rodinal developer, optimized for excellent sharpness of contours and discernibility of details, fostering the Mackie lines, along with the amazing resolving power for the time of the Leitz Elmar 5 cm f/3.5 designed by Max Berek, paid off on printing the images on the magazine pages from original 35 mm negatives.


Iceland Photographs by Eliot Porter, a significant book featuring 126 pages and including 56 pictures made by one of the greatest masters of color bird and landscape genres.

It was published in 1989 by Bulfinch Press, one year before his death, and follows the main keynotes of this sublime artist photographer who committed himself to explore the diversity of natural world and its colourful beauty through the use of Linhof Technika large format camera with Kodachrome 4 x 5 film (second half of forties and fifties) and Ektachrome 4 x 5 (from early sixties onwards), a tremendous mastery of technique and composition, a wise use of overlying contrasts and the attainment of pretty wide and delicate tonal range along with superb color and detail by means of complex dye transfer developments and prints as a creative tool to convey extraordinary subtleties and nuances, together with boundless control possibilities as to the look of the definitive print, needing some days of hard work to get them.

Eliot Porter devoted most of his photographic career to create and exhibit painstakingly rendered dye transfer color prints of his photographs, with a richness, depth and fidelity unmatched by any other method, displaying an awesome subtlety of tone and hue and a brightness range of more than 500:1 from blackest black to whitest white, with better, more accurate and purer color than any other color print, particularly when using his Kodachrome 4 x 5 sheet films, which have been preserved flawless until now and currently boast a potential of 320 megapixels at 4,000 dpi per image.


UNTERGANG EINER WELT Der GroBe Krieg 1914-1918 in Photographien und Texten, published by Brandstätter and written by Wolfgang Maderthaner and Michael Hochedlinger, another of the excellent photobooks on sale during this Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015, on display at the booth of Christian Brandstätter Verlag (Austria).

It features a 24 x 30 cm format, 320 pages, 300 photographs and has been Silver Medal of the German PhotoBook Award 2015.

The pictures included in this book are truly impressive, mostly unknown, and fruit of a strenuous research work made by Wolfgang Mathertaner (Historian and General Director of the Austrian State Archive) and Michael Hochedlinger (Ph.D and archivist at the Austrian State Archive).


Exoticism to spare at the Antiquariat Mag.Michael Bauer (Austria) during the Vienna Photobook Festival 2015: First edition of Wunder in Der Natur, a photobook by Karl Blossfledt, published by H. Schmidt & C. Günther Leipzig (Pantheon- Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft) in 1942 with a 24,7 x 32,5 cm format, 120 pages and 120 excellent black and white pictures of different plants, while two original ambrotypes from 1860s can be seen in the foreground.


Some attendees perusing old photobooks. The love for black and white photography was apparent enough throughout the two day event.


A further excellent photobook at the booth of Verlag Scheidegger & Spiess (Switzerland) : Brasilia, first edition edited by Arthur Rüegg and published by Scheidegger & Spiess in 23 x 31 cm format and including the best pictures made by René Burri (104 in colour and 118 in black and white) between 1958 and 1977 in the City of Utopy, designed by Oscar Niemeyer in late fifties, with text in German and English.


Music, a digitally printed photobook by Andreas Oetker-Kast on sale at the booth of bt:st verlag (Germany), featuring 160 pages and 87 pictures, epitomizing the unique experience of live concerts and the photographic opportunities it provides, on creating images during magic musical instants in which the photographer (a specialist in documentary and musical genres) embeds into the artists´ muses and feelings while they are on the stages.

LECTURE BY NICOLO DEGIORGIS ABOUT HIS BOOK " HIDDEN ISLAM ", THE MOST AWARDED AND SUCCESSFUL PHOTOBOOK OF 2015

It took place between 11:00 h and 12:00 h in the morning of Sunday, June 21, 2015.








Three photobook enthusiasts at the booth of FOTOHOF edition (Austria).


A visitor talking to Christopher Anhalt, founder and director of Homeparkpress (Germany) at the booth of this photobook seller during the Vienna PhotoBook Festival 2015. It is an independent publishing project created in Hamburg seven years ago and producer of remarkable photobooks interspersing design, photography and typography in very carefully made editions, greatly manufactured with craftsmanship parameters and top-notch offset printing, as in the photobook Scars & Beauty (2010), featuring pictures by Christopher Anhalt, design by Stefan Kaetz, stitched brochure binding, Multidesign Original Natural 150 high quality paper and 21 photographs, which was selected by AD France as one of their favourtite three titles at Offprint Paris 2011.

Christopher Anhalt is likewise an accomplished photographer author of outstanding black and white urban pictures and portraits exuding an image aesthetics following the track of the mythical Kodak Tri-X 400 35 mm film rendering visible grain but getting impact and an accurate depiction of the atmosphere of the  moments.


Utak Ways by Benko Imre, at the booth of the Association of Hungarian Photographers (Hungary). The first edition of this 132 pages photobook was launched into market in 2004 in Budapest, and includes a lot of pictures made by the Hungarian photographer Benko Imre between 1971 and 2002 in different countries of the world like the Soviet Union, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Cuba and United States, aiming at depicting the social structures of their peoples and their sociological grounds).

Imre Benko, born in 1943, is a photojournalist linked to the great tradition of Hungarian photography, embodied since late twenties onwards by figures like Brassai, Martin Munkácsi, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Eva Besnyo, André Kertész, Robert Capa, Cornell Capa, Béla Kondor, Károly Escher, Laszlo Willinger and others, both in the photojournalistic sphere and in the artistic one.

He has been twice Gold Medal of the World Press Photo Competition in 1975 and 1978, Pulitzer Memorial Prize-Winning Artist of Merit, and in 1996 he won the W, Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Scholarship for his extraordinary reportage on the dismantling of the iron foundry in Ózd made by him throughout nine years, and was lecturer in Documentary Photography at the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts between 1988 and 2000.


Kinky City by Pawel Jaszczuk, on sale at the booth of WestLicht Bookshop (Austria).

A fascinating photobook featuring 44 pages and 39 photos, product of the three years spent by the author between 2007 and 2010 submerging into the night life of Tokyo, searching for swinger clubs, special bars, private sex parties, etc, managing to gain the confidence of the people fulfilling their fantasies, performing a voyeuristic observer role and capturing with his Leica rangefinder and very high ISO black and white film the key ingredients of these contexts: the dominance and submission interactions, the fetish apparels of all kind and epochs mostly made with leather and latex, the creation of rather bizarre atmospheres, the instants of excitement and dither, the physical encounters, the pain and desire, the quest for the unknown and forbidden, the inconfessable dreams, the transcending of taboo boundaries ..., all of them elements far from the mostly rigid lives these persons have at their works in full daylight, when their attires and behaviours are rather different.

This is a special photobook including pictures often blunt, depicting reality as it is in this Kinky City night, a world apart in itself, and the experience can be a bit disturbing for some readers, but it is undoubtedly a work deserving accolades for its images often taken in extreme contexts, with the photographer plucking up courage and displaying a remarkable mental strength enabling him to get very good pictures as a beholder of actions, sometimes from a very near distance, immersing himself in the intimacy of developments and the unleashing of human most hidden passions.

Paweł Jasczuk works have been exhibited in different countries and published in a number of newspapers and magazines like The New York Times, the British Journal of Photography, GUP magazine, PHOTO and others, having also been bestowed the Lead Awards Portrait Photography of the Year in Germany.


Pilgrimage, an excellent photobook by the Russian photographer Ekaterina Solovieva at the booth of the Rodchenko School for Photography and Multimedia of Moscow (Russia), where she gets with her Leica rangefinder b & w pictures of Russian people taking part in popular processions or inside churches and in which she excels revealing their true personality and convictions.

Ekaterina Solovieva is a photojournalist and documentary film maker whose work is particularly devoted to social photographic projects and the coverage of the lives of common people living in different areas of the former Soviet Union.

She has made a number of exhibitions throughout Europe hitherto: Russian North (at the Gallery Go East of Hamburg) in 2007, Kamchatka, the Land of Vulcans (at the Gallery Go East of hamburg) in 2008, Group Exhibition Sony World Photography Awards (at Somerset House, London, UK) in 2011, Group Exhibition The Best of Russia (at the Vinzavod Center of Contemporary Art, Moscow) in 2012, Group Exhibition Light (at the Gallery Morgenland in Hamburg, Germany) and others.

And her portfolio " Black Crimea " with 12 pictures was published in Leica Fotografie International magazine on February 22, 2015.


Vienna Spots, a photobook by Carolina Frank, at the booth of Schule Friedl Kubelka für künstlerische Photographie (Austria).

LECTURE " INTAC INTERNATIONAL ART COLLABORATIONS: ARTIST´S BOOKS AS PROCESS " BY WALTER BERGMOSER AND PETER SRAMEK

It took place between 12:00 and 13:00 h of Sunday, June 21, 2015.












Two visitors (on the left of the image) at the booth of Peperoni Booksa Berlin based European reference-class publishing house created by Hannes Wanderer (its founder and director, on the right) in 2004 aiming at the production of illustrated books delving into contemporary photography with such acclaimed photobooks like It was a Grey Day by Gerry Badger, Heartland by Thomas Hoepker, Be Happy by Igor Samolet, Hong Kong Informal Seating Arrangements by Michael Wolff, In Tune Variations on an Orchestra by Julia Baier, Itoshima by Juliane Eirich, History of the Visit by Daniel Reuter, and others.

One of the key factors of the Vienna Photobook Festival is the deep knowledge of their trade and the experience featured by the professional booksellers who steadily solve the attendees doubts and advise them in every regard.


First edition 2014 of Martin Parr Looking at Books, featuring 64 pages and 22 photographs, edited in Zurich by Roger Eberhard, and designed by Alexandra Brun, at the booth of b.frank books (Switzerland), its publisher.


2D23D Photography as Sculpture Sculpture as Photography, at the booth of Ostlicht Galerie für Fotografie (Austria).

Edited by Verlag für moderne Kunst, Wien in 2014 and featuring 136 pages, it is the catalogue photobook about the exhibition 2D23D held at Galerie Ostlicht Vienna  between October 4th and November 26th, 2014 and curated by Rebekka Reuter (Chief Curator at Ostlicht Galerie) and Martin Guttmann (artist) that included works by Alfons Schilling, Peter Weibel, Nadim Vardag, Kerstin Cmelka, Will Benedict, Heimo Zobernig, Sonia Leimer, Michael Hakimi, Nora Schultz, Birgit Jürgenssen, Clegg & Guttmann, Christian Mayer, Michael Hoepfner and Friederike Pezold.


Limited signed print edition of the photobook Conversations by Rémi Coignet at the booth of The Eyes Publishing (France).


People in the Soviet World and in the Russian World, at the booth of the Association of Hungarian Photographers (Hungary).

A photobook by András Bánkuti, published in 2007 and dealing on the social, political and economical changes experienced between the last years of the former Soviet Union and the two next decades of Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and their influence on the civil population.

András Bánkuti is an awarded Hungarian photojournalist who in 1983 was bestowed the International Master of Press Photography by the International Journalists Association, and in 1993 won the Pulitzer Memorial Prize.

He´s currently the Editor-in-Chief of Digitalis Foto Magazin, one of the best photography magazines in the world and published bimonthly.

LECTURE " WHY MAKE A PHOTOBOOK " BY THE AWARD WINNING PHOTOBOOK DESIGNER FROM POLAND ANIA NALECKA

It took place between 14:00 and 15:00 h of Sunday, June 21, 2015.











LECTURE " ONLY ON PAPER " BY MICHAEL MACK

It took place between 15:00 and 16:30 h of Sunday, June 21, 2015.











Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza