lunes, 22 de agosto de 2016

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI: THE EMBODIMENT OF AMERICAN BASKETBALL



Two FIBA World Championships titles (Turkey 2010 and Spain 2014), three consecutive Olympic Games Golden Medals (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio do Janeiro 2016), five Championships of the NCAA with Duke University (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015), Basketball Hall of Fame Inducted in 2001, College Basketball Hall of Fame Inducted in 2006, two times National Coach of the Year in the United States (1986 and 1997), three times Naismith College Coach of the Year (1989, 1992 and 1999).



This is the impressive background of Mike Krzyzewski, one of the best coaches ever in the History of United States Basketball, who after a 11 years stage since he was named head coach of the USA national basketball team in 2005, has finished this period of his life with a golden brooch, beating Serbia 66-96  (a difference of nothing less than 30 points) in the final game of the Rio 2016 Olympic games basketball competition (with a stellar performance of Kevin Durant who scored 30 points) and winning the golden medal, his third victory in a row after previously prevailing at Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games basketball tournaments. 




© Text and Pictures: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

domingo, 14 de agosto de 2016

DUCATI´S HISTORICAL VICTORY AT THE AUSTRIAN MOTOGP 2016 GRAND PRIX WITH ANDREA IANNONE AND ANDREA DOVIZIOSO GETTING THE FIRST AND SECOND POSITION


                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

Ducati has attained an impressive victory at the Austrian MotoGP 2016 Grand Prix race held on the Spielberg´s Red Bull Ring (Austria) thanks to the great performance of its two official riders: Andrea Iannone (who has notched up his first ever MotoGP World Championship victory) and

                                    © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

Andrea Dovizioso (who has achieved the second position) riding on their 1000 c.c liquid-cooled, 90º V4, four-stroke, evo desmodromic DOHC and 16 valves (four for each one of the four cylinders) engined
                                                    © Ducati Corse

Ducati Desmosedici GP16 bikes delivering a power of 245 bhp and a top speed of around 365 km/h. along with Ducati Seamless Transmission to the six gears, clearly beating Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Marc Márquez.

Having begun from pole position, Iannone lost the lead to his Italian teammate Andrea Dovizioso, but managed to overtake him with 7 laps to go, finally beating him through a margin of 0.938 seconds, while Jorge Lorenzo, third on the podium, crossed the finishing line 3.389 seconds behind, followed by Valentino Rossi half a second later.

A key factor for Iannone´s victory was his tactical gamble of combining a Michelin Power Slick Soft tire at the front with a Medium one at the rear, while vast majority of the other riders (including Andrea Dovizioso) chose a medium-hard mixture.

Andrea Iannone led the race from scratch, but was passed by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) during the opening lap, though he soon recovered the first place, which he held until Lap 9 when Dovizioso overtook him.

From then on, as explained by the former great champions Mick Doohan, Angel Nieto and Casey Stoner (who were in the circuit watching the race on a monitor) both Ducati  Desmosedici GP16 bikes flew like aircraft on the tarmac of the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria), and toilsome attempts made by Jorge Lorenzo (who made a masterful double overtake early in the race while he fought for the lead) and Valentino Rossi to catch up with them were to no avail.

And finally, as aforementioned, Andrea Iannone took definitely the lead on the 21st of the race´s 28 laps, getting the best lap of the race with an extraordinary time of 1m24.561 seconds with four laps to go, before crossing the finishing line.

Gigi Dall´Igna, General Manager of Ducati Corse and the mastermind creator of the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 with which the Borgo Panigale firm has managed to get this amazing double podium with an extraordinary performance in terms of top speed, awesome acceleration in straight stretches, reliability and cornering which has beaten such world class MotoGP bikes as the 1000 c.c Yamahas YZR-M1 (Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi) and the 1000 c.c Honda RC213V (Marc Márquez). © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

This has been the 100th podium of Ducati throughout its history in MotoGP and the first victory following a win drought of six years after Casey Stoner nailed down the triumph at Phillip Island on October 17, 2010 riding a liquid-cooled four stroke desmodromic 90º V4 DOHC 800 cm3 Ducati Desmosedici GP10 delivering a power of 200bhp, a top speed of 310 km/h, featuring Termignoni exhausts and using a big-bang firing order for the first time since the Desmosedici changed from 990 c.c to 800 c.c capacity.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS VICTORY

The awesome dominance (Ducati also prevailed during practice and qualifying) exhibited by the two Ducati Desmosedici GP16 bikes during the race disputed on the Red Bull Ring circuit at Spielberg (Austria) and the final conquest of the first position by Andrea Iannone, with Andrea Dovizioso as runner-up is important and probably far-reaching for a number of reasons:

a) It proves that Ducati is in a position to win races competing against the best Japanese MotoGP 1000 c.c bikes and their riders, including Marc Márquez, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the three current foremost pilots of the Championship. And it speaks volumes about both Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso, who have strenuously worked until reaching this point.


b) The Borgo Panigale firm needed to offer this victory to the hundreds of thousands of loyal Ducati fans and Ducatisti all over the world.


                                      © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

                                      © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

 c) This is a triumph that has been sought since the 2015 season in which Ducati had a good year, obtaining eight podiums, including three consecutive second posts made by Andrea Dovizioso at the Losail Circuit in Doha (Qatar), the Circuit of the Americas in Austin (United States) and at the Termas de Río Hondo Autodrome in Santiago del Estero (Argentina) and a runner-up by Andrea Iannone at Mugello Circuit (Italy), albeit victory remained elusive for both of them.

Paolo Ciabatti, Ducati Corse Sporting Director from January 2014 and MotoGP Project Director at Ducati Motor Holding from January 2013. He is being another of the key figures in the Ducati MotoGP renaissance since 2015. He has amassed an experience of almost 20 years with Ducati since he was hired as Export Manager of Ducati Motor Holding in April 1997, having also performed a fundamental role during his tenure as SBK Program Director of Ducati Corse between January 1999 and April 2009, years in which Ducati won six World Championships of SBK (Carl Fogarty in 1999, Troy Bayliss in 2001, Neil Hodgson in 2003, James Toseland in 2004, Troy Bayliss in 2006 and Troy Bayliss in 2008). He makes with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali the directive binomium who is striving to the utmost after making Ducati win as many races as possible and the MotoGP World Championship again in one or two years more, © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

d) Throughout this year 2016, Ducati has made constant big efforts to win races, getting some very good results

- Best time at the Losail circuit (Qatar) MotoGP FP3 made by Andrea Ianonne with 1´54.639, beating Jorge Lorenzo (1´54.776), and Marc Márquez (1´54.835).

- Runner-up of Andrea Dovizioso in the Losail circuit (Qatar) MotoGP race, behind Jorge Lorenzo. This was a highly praiseworthy position for Dovi (2.019 after Lorenzo), because he had to fight with Marc Márquez 2.287) and Valentino Rossi (2.387), managing to beat them, overtaking Marc Márquez with a tremendous acceleration power at the end of the straight stretch before the last turn, and subsequently withstanding Márquez´s onslaughts. 

This weekend in Qatar at the beginning of 2016 season proved apparently the remarkable improvements made by Gigi Dall´Igna and the Ducati Corse Team as to the Ducati Desmosedici GP16´s reliability, aerodynamics and particularly its behaviour on cornering, with the long standing understeer in mid turns to hold its line and the simultaneous drop in grip resulting in speed decrease during turns that had hampered the MotoGP Ducatis in previous years having been almost utterly eliminated by the genius from Carrú.

- Third position of Andrea Iannone at the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas held in Austin (Texas), behind Mark Márquez and Jorge Lorenzo. 

- Pole position attained by Andrea Dovizioso for the Assen Circuit MotoGP Grand Prix in Netherlands.

- Third position obtained by Andrea Dovizioso at the Germany MotoGP race in Sachsenring.

And it must be remembered that Ducati had the second and third post in its hand at the Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) Moto GP race, when in the second-to-last turn, Andrea Iannone hit Andrea Dovizioso on trying to overtake him in a very risky manoeuver through inside, which brought about both riders falling on the ground when the second and third positions were secure for them, which prevented Andrea Dovizioso from getting 20 points and becoming second in the general standing of Moto GP 2016 at only one point from the first one.

Besides, it was very important for Ducati at that moment to place two riders on the podium. 

Davide Tardozzi, Ducati Team Coordinator of MotoGP from 2014. A man featuring a huge experience both as a bike rider and as a racing team manager, together with a deep insight about how exactly his riders think and their real needs. He took part in the first 1988 Superbike World Championship, winning five races on a Yamaha-powered Bimota motorcycle, winning the SBK national Italian championship that same year, a competition in which he would reign six more times, as well as becoming 750 c.c SBK European Champion in 1991. And after retiring from racing, he was highly successful as team manager of the Ducati Factory racing team throughout twenty years, winning eight Superbike World Championships working with the likes of Carl Fogarty, Troy Corser, James Toseland and Troy Bayliss, along with nine Superbike World Championships of constructors. Another of the key persons in the resurgence of Ducati in MotoGP. His hiring by Claudio Domenicali two years ago was a further smart decision taken by the Ducati CEO. © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

e) Therefore, this landmark victory scored by the Borgo Panigale firm at the Austrian MotoGP Grand Prix 2016 will undoubtedly be a great boost of morale not only for both pilots, but also for the whole Ducati Corse Team, whose mechanics, test riders, track engineers, Öhlins suspension technicians, telemetry data analysts, software and strategies managers, electronics engineers, vehicle dynamics engineers, etc, have worked very hard, and of course for Gigi Dall´Igna, Ducati Corse Manager and the world class engineer who throughout the three years after having been hired by Claudio Domenicali has been able to create an utterly redesigned Ducati Desmosedici for MotoGP, whose first model was the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 motorcycle with which a new desmodromic V4 era was born (as a matter of fact it showed to be capable to challenge the more established Honda and Yamaha machinery during 2015) and that Gigi Dall´Igna has steadily improved in every conceivable aspect until begetting the current Ducati Desmosedici GP16, a really state-of-the art 1000 c.c Moto GP bike making up the present Ducati technological pinnacle, with a wonderful 4 cylinder engine and 16 valves (four valves per cylinder) which has preserved the classic Ducati DNA regarding awesome top speeds, flawless working at incredibly high rpm, and tremendous acceleration power in straight stretches, but adding to them a much improved cornering (a side in which Japanese bikes are usually superior).

f) It confirms the wise decision and strategy implemented by Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO and a highly experienced engineer (he was among other creations one of the architects of the gorgeous liquid-cooled four-stroke Ducati Supermono 550 c.c bike featuring double overhead camshaft with four valves desmodromic single cylinder head, a prodigy of engine craftsmanship manufacture designed and made — along with the frame and other avantgarde technical solutions— by Massimo Bordi and Claudio Domenicali, in perfect symbiosis with a wonderful beauty of lines layout devised by Pierre Terblanche, Termignoni exhausts, Weber fuel injection, a power of 76 bhp at 10, 500 rpm and a top speed of 225 km/h, qualities which enabled it to win the Isle of Man TT Single Title in 1955) since he hired Gigi Dall´Igna in 2013, naming him General Manager of Ducati Corse.

Claudio Domenicali has fought tooth and nail to turn Ducati into a very competitive brand in MotoGP. 

A GREAT POTENTIAL OF FUTURE AND IMPROVEMENT

The intelligent decision of Claudio Domenicali hiring Luigi Dall´Igna in 2013 as a General Manager of Ducati Corse to significantly improve results in MotoGP World Championships and the support given to the world class Italian engineer by Claudio Domenicali himself along with Paolo Ciabatti and Davide Tardozzi letting him do things with the necessary time to develop an increasingly strong relationship between factory and track and particularly a full hearted involvement of every member of the Ducati Corse team searching for victories, has finally paid off, winning a race after three years of very hard work in which Dall´Igna has created two real Italian MotoGP thoroughbreds: the Ducati Desmosedici GP15 and the Ducati Desmosedici GP16

Ducati Desmosedici GP16, the masterpiece MotoGP bike designed by Gigi Dall´Igna, the day of its presentation at the Borgo Panigale Auditorium on February 23, 2016. It is the most powerful and fastest MotoGP motorcycle ever made so far. © Ducati Corse

the latter being the current technological spearhead of the Borgo Panigale firm which has just exhibited in the Red Bull Ring at Spielberg (Austria) a hitherto unknown level of power, incredible performance and reliability at top revving, a reference-class maximum speed in straight stretches and very good behaviour on cornering (the classical main drawback of Moto GP Desmosedici Ducati bikes until 2015).

But Ducati won´t count their chickens before they hatch or incur in any triumphalism, because in spite of this perfect weekend, they are fully aware that the profile of the Red Bull Ring circuit at Spielberg (Austria) is very adequate for the features and performance of the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 bikes, and the layouts of many other tracks of the MotoGP season are different, in the same way as the race circumstances, so obviously, a lot of work is still to be done and Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda, current leader of the MotoGP World Championship), Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Movistar) and Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Movistar) will probably keep on being the riders to beat in the competition, so chances are that Japanese bikes will go on prevailing in most of the remaining races of this 2016 year, though Ducati is in a position to clinch more victories in the rest of the present 2016 season.

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

As a matter of fact, the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 has already proved to be an exceedingly competitive bike in all kind of circuits and environments, even with changing atmospheric conditions within a same race, as happened in the Germany MotoGP Grand Prix at Sachsenring (with a first stage of rain and a subsequent one without it which brought about the appearance of dry stretches), where Dovizioso made a great race, particularly at the end of the contest, where he managed to spectacularly overtake Scott Redding in the slope of the 12th bend, finally attaining the third position on the podium.

It´s glaringly obvious that Gigi Dall´Igna has considerably reduced the distance with Honda and Yamaha regarding the possibilities of winning MotoGP races, and this deserves very big accolades for the Borgo Panigale firm, because Honda is with difference the most powerful bike producer firm in the world as to wherewithal of its own to invest on updated technology and R & D, aside from being by far the first motorcycle manufacturer on the globe with a production figure of 20 million bikes s0ld worlwide in 2015, while Yamaha, another giant of the Japanese industry, registered a sale figure of around 6,5 million motorcycles during the same year.

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza   

On its turn, Ducati sold 54,800 bikes during 2015 (an increase of 22%, delivering 9,683 more bikes than in 2014, with a distinctly foreseeable trend of new sales record every year in future)  and is a relatively small firm manufacturing its bikes in a mostly handcrafted way, with very beautiful designs, the best available assortment of components and great power, rideability and speed, embodied by yardstick models like the Ducati Monster, Ducati Multistrada 1200, Ducati Panigale 1299, Ducati Scrambler and others featuring superb V-Twin engines with desmodromic distribution, unsurpassed performance at high rpm and excellent mid torque.

In spite of being a firm with far fewer means than the Japanese more powerful firms of the MotoGP sphere, Ducati has become a very important power to be reckoned with in the races of this thrilling championship after three years of strenuous work implemented by the Ducati Corse Team to achieve this goal.

Andrea Dovizioso has reached a remarkable maturity, experience as a rider and will to improve results, and has already been on the brink of winning some victories, having attained a lot of runners-up and podiums during 2015 and 2016, while Andrea Iannone (who will be in Suzuki next year) has shown a very strong eagerness for victory and after having achieved some podiums and pole positions, has been able to reach this historical MotoGP victory for Ducati at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg (Austria).

But this is only the beginning of a long-term plan of between four and six years drawn up by Ducati Corse in late 2013 and whose fundamental aim is to win as many races as possible and above all to get the MotoGP World Championship in 2017 or 2018.

And in this regard, the hiring of Jorge Lorenzo (three times winner of the MotoGP World Championship) can undoubtedly be an invaluable reinforcement to rack up a title, without forgetting the increasing chances of Andrea Dovizioso to also win race, something he has boldly struggled for, particularly throughout 2015 and the first half of 2016 season.

Inevitably, a question arises: How is it possible that a relatively small motorcycle brand possessing much less cash-flow, far fewer means of all kind and a significantly lower quantity of employees than the big Japanese firms of the bike sector like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, etc, can be currently a real contender to win races in the MotoGP World Championship and probably get the title in one or two more years?

The answer is highly complex and easy at the same time.

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

- First of all, Luigi Dall´Igna´s immense talent has evidently infused boundless enthusiasm to the Ducati Corse team, in which all and each one of the members of the squad know exactly what they have to do and strive upon fulfilling their work as best as possible with maximum level of effort.

And this is a highly praiseworthy fact, because when Dall´Igna arrived at Ducati in late 2013, his first job was to understand the people of Ducati Corse, to weld together the group as a whole, adapting himself to it and subsequently to optimize the efficiency of each person working inside Ducati Corse Team, with a common aim: to significantly improve results in MotoGP World Championship races and take Ducati back to the path of victories, yearned for since the heydays of Casey Stoner (World Champion of MotoGP in 2007 with the extraordinary four-stroke Ducati Desmosedici GP7 800 c.c bike designed by the genius Filippo Preziosi, and whose four-stroke 4-cylinder desmodromic L engine used a gear-driving timing system ), Loris Capirossi, the mythical Troy Bayliss triumph at Cheste MotoGP circuit in Valencia after being offered a one-off entry by Ducati replacing the injured Sete Gibernau, etc.

- The utterly new Ducati MotoGP Project starting from scratch and resulting in the superb Ducati Desmosedici GP15 and specially the masterpiece Ducati Desmosedici GP16, has been a technical feat made by Luigi Dall´Igna, who renounced to a glorious career of almost ten years in Aprilia to manage the Ducati Corse Team with a colossal and very difficult task to tackle: the return of Ducati to the highest positions in the MotoGP World Championship and to create a wholly new highly competitive bike able to do it.

- And Luigi Dall´Igna has been successful through tremendous knowledge and experience on bike engines design and development, very hard work, tenacity, passion, love for the trade and ingenuity, the key factors that have traditionally turned Ducati into a first-rate brand of the motorcycle field since the times of Fabio Taglioni, Franco Farné, Massimo Bordi, Gianluigi Mengoli and many others.

A NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART DESMODROMIC V4 16 VALVE ENGINE AS A TECHNOLOGICAL PLATFORM

                                                     © Ducati Corse
                                                     © Ducati Corse

The Ducati Desmosedici GP16 is the most powerful and fastest MotoGP bike ever made, but its optimized features for MotoGP competition go far beyond the sheer incredible acceleration power in straight stretches, the flawless working at amazingly high revving (probably near 22,000 r.p.m) and the maximum speed attained (around 365-370 km h).

The performance of the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 on the corners has been very improved, with problems of understeering and grip reduced to negligible levels.

And the core of the motorcycle is a state-of-the-art very small and light 16 valve liquid-cooled, 90° V4, four-stroke, evo desmodromic DOHC, with four valves per cylinder, which is the benchmark of the competition in terms of power, acceleration in straight areas of the circuits and reached top speed, in addition to generate excellent mid range torque and a stunning ability to accelerate very well when it is necessary to exit a corner with a low gear.

Therefore, Gigi Dall´Igna has accomplished one of the greatest technical and mechanical tour de forces in MotoGP History, solving a myriad of conundrums and managing to create a much rideable Ducati MotoGP bike than the previous models before his arrival to the Borgo Panigale firm, simultaneously increasing very much the performance of the bike as to strength, acceleration power, highest revving and top speed inherent to 16 valve V4 Ducati bikes with desmodromic distribution, whose flagship before Dall´Igna´s coming to Ducati had been the unforgettable Ducati Desmosedici GP7 with which Casey Stoner won the MotoGP World Championship in 2007. 
Casey Stoner, twice winner of the MotoGP World Championship in 2007 (Ducati) and 2011 (Honda) and probably the most spectacular rider ever along with Kevin Schwantz and Valentino Rossiis performing throughout 2016 a very important role as a test rider for Ducati Corse, and thanks to his experience he can provide a huge assistance from the standpoint of the development and improvements in the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 and subsequent models.

Notwithstanding, Stoner (whose instinctive riding style and immense talent to get raw speed, ability to fit to changing conditions and uncommon ability to immediately feel what was happening in the bike were peerless) was the only man able to adapt to that philosophy of wild beast bike featuring an also very sophisticated V4 16 valves exceedingly powerful engine pushing the pilot as a missile, but which was rather complex to ride because of understeering and grip problems in mid turnings, something that would worsen during 2011 and 2012 MotoGP seasons together with the risk of fallings  when Valentino Rossi rode the 800 c.c GP11 and 1000 c.c GP12, so it was evident that wasn´t the best way to noticeably improve results.

It is very important to bear in mind that Luigi Dall´Igna is one of the most skilfull and experienced engineers in the world regarding the scope of designing and building engines for racing bikes of different capacities, and during his almost ten years tenure as a Technical and Sporting Director of Aprilia, he was the mastermind of such top-notch factory Grand Prix bikes as the two-stroke RSA 125 c.c and the RSA 250 c.c and above all the 1,000 c.c Aprilia RSV4 bike featuring a 65º V4 six speed with wet clutch and a state-of-the art extremely compact engine delivering a power of 180 hp for the standard version and 201 hp for the Superbike version, innovative in every way and the first four cylinder powerplant made by Aprilia, gleaning all of the possible information and experience gained with the two-cylinder Aprilia RSV1000 with the narrow configuration in V and searching for the maximum power feasible to beat their competitors with a new V4-cylinder layout.

The Aprilia RSV4 1000 c.c, whose project began in early 2006 and which was launched into market in 2009, anticipated the future of racing bikes and hyper sports bikes to be used on the racetrack, and was a highly succesful motorcycle, winning three Riders Superbike World Championships (Max Biaggi in 2010 and 2012 and Sylvain Guintoli in 2014) and four Builders Superbike World Championships (2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014).

Dall´Igna managed to get an outstanding compactness of engine, reducing the width of the heads to 250 mm when the common width of the other brands 4 in-line cylinder bikes was 400 mm, thanks to the narrow V configuration in thorough synergy with a highly sophisticated timing system layout chosen and the very low weight of the powerplant attained through the use of a monolithic base that utterly integrates the cylinder sleeves, whose surfaces were previously hardened with a galvanic treatment of a nickel matrix and silicon carbides. and the widespread use of very light components manufactured with the best existing and expensive materials like titanium, as well as boasting some other interesting technological solutions like a removable cassette type gearbox, a very advanced electronics with a Magneti-Marelli ECU whose mission is to control the ignition, the injection and the variable-height intake manifolds, it all complemented by a breakthrough "Ride by Wire" system controlling the servo-operated throttle bodies and three possible mappings that can be selected from the handlebar by the rider.

When in 1984 Honda made its extraordinary NSR500 bike featuring a two-stroke, liquid-cooled, 90º V4 500 c.c engine delivering 160 hp, with a single crank in which the firing order was evenly spaced and an electronically controlled exhaust power valve operating on each of the four cylinders, it was tuned up year after year, in such a way that in 1987 it was the most powerful motorcycle in 500 c.c competition. 

But in 1988 Honda had drawn from the NSR500 powerplant even more horsepower and compressed it into a very small band at the top of the revving range, so the bike became almost unrideable.

Therefore, preserving the powerband and being able to control the motorcycle turned into an almost impossible to solve task.

But Honda managed to do it in 1989, and its major achievement was to significantly tame the then brutal power and character of the NSR500 beast, while at the same time making it even faster and enabling Eddie Lawson to win the 1989 500 c.c World Championship.
Nevertheless, 27 years after that great accomplishment by Honda, the taming of the four-stroke Ducati Desmosedici GP16 attained by Luigi Dall´Igna has been a much more difficult to attain exercise of balance, a technical feat in the boundary of the impossible, because he has been successful preserving the brutal power, acceleration ability in straight stretches, impressive behaviour at the highest rpm, stunning top speed attain and simultaneously increasing very much the levels of rideability, mid-range torque and a very improved performance and reliability on cornering.

This means to practical effects the symbiosis between two philosophies: 

a) The great feeling of traction, safety on riding, top-notch aerodynamics through intensive wind tunnel work, big control on both the engine and the whole bike in general and the excellent steering geometry reducing the bias to lift the front wheel because of its bigger power inherent to the 1,000 c.c Aprilia RSV4.

b) The desmodromic distribution of the 90º V4 16 valve (four per cylinder) 1,000 c.c of the Desmosedici GP16, the most efficient system at the highest revving but technologically exceedingly complex and needing a very accurate and constant maintenance with highly precise positioning of the valves.

But the Desmosedici GP16 is an entirely Ducati machine, a very advanced evolution of the Ducati Desmosedici GP15, because its core and most important quality is its utterly new 1,000 c.c cutting-edge technology engine (different and far better than the already excellent one boasted by the GP15), delivering a power between 270-290 hp and a top speed of between 365-370 km/h. 

Moreover, a great work has been made on the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 regarding the thermodynamics and optimization of the combustion efficiency, along with an updated frame to optimize performance with Michelin´s new tyres and larger wheels of 17" (instead of the 16.5" ones of the GP15) to accomodate them, a revised direct electronic fuel injection boasting new butterfly throttle bodies and injectors, all of which is centrally controlled by the Ducati EVO 2 TCF (Ducati Throttle Control and Feddback system) and the DST EVO (Ducati´s Seamless Transmission) gearbox.


On the other hand, the GP16 also features specially made Akrapovic exhausts, aerodynamic winglets at the front to boost the motorcycle´s stability, a new twin spar aluminium frame, Brembo brakes, Ohlins suspension at the front and rear, etc, and a lot of work with the satellite teams has been done to better understand the common software ECU Magneti Marelli (sported now by all of the premier class bikes from the different brands) and its electronics, to be more and more competitive. 

Anyway, the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 hasn´t been the work of a single man, but of a whole team: the Ducati Corse, which is by far the most passionate bike racing squad in the world.

Marco Ventura, one of the most knowledgeable and experienced chief mechanics of the Ducati Corse Team. He has spent most of his life among bikes engines, because his father worked in Yamaha for almost three decades, so he has been in contact with motorcycle powerplants, garages and circuits since he was a child. He worked in Bimota for four years, then in Yamaha and subsequently in Ducati, where he began his activity in 2003, fulfilling a great work in the Ducati Xerox SBK Team, where within a few years he was Chief Mechanic of the rider Michel Fabrizio. Later on, he has been chief mechanic of Andrea Iannone inside the Ducati Corse MotoGP Team and technical manager of Team Ducati Corse Development. He´s also one of the teachers and instructors of the MTS (Motorsport Technical School) in collaboration with USAG (a top-notch Italian brand leader in the high performance professional hand tools sector since 1926 and which is currently the flagship of the Stanley & Black Decker Inc. multinational group as well as being technical partner and sponsor of Ducati Corse) for future motorcycle mechanics, providing them with highly professional tools and work on real racing bikes in a learning environment to give them the chance of reaching a high professional profile enabling them to integrate in motorsports teams.


Only the Ducati Corse mechanics, engineers and technicians have the very deep knowledge necessary to be able to take the desmodromic valve system controlling the cylinders to the scientific limits of the physically possible, solving a slew of huge difficulties which grow geometrically when engaging in its installation in a 90º V4 16 valve engine instead of a 8 valve V-Twin and make it much more rideable than before, thanks to a permanent contact among the different departments (engine department, electronics department, chassis department, telemetry department, etc), all of it under the global supervision of Gigi Dall´Igna.

And the Ducati Desmosedici GP16 is the basis for the future, with plenty of room for improvement, however good may be at present this milestone Borgo Panigale MotoGP bike.



© Text and Pictures: José Manuel Serrano Esparza

lunes, 25 de julio de 2016

A NEW PICTURE OF REFUGEES FROM CERRO MURIANO IN FULL FLIGHT MADE BY ROBERT CAPA FOUND: THE LEGEND OF THE HUNGARIAN PHOTOJOURNALIST OF JEWISH DESCENT INCREASES EVEN MORE

SPANISH


From 2009, the elapse of years is increasingly magnifying the figure of Robert Capa, considered to be the best war photographer ever, founder of Magnum Agency and a man who fought tooth and nail to preserve the photographers´ rights.

His exceptional reportage made to the refugees of Cerro Muriano on September 5, 1936, during their walking flight from the air raid by Francoist aircraft, across the village north exit, going ahead towards the Old Obejo Train Station and El Vacar, plodding in a real ordeal of 11 kilometers under a scorching sun during the afternoon of the aforermentioned day between around 15:00 h and 18:00 hours, with a temperature near 40º C and with a number of mothers and grandmothers being bound to take the babies in arms, is now even further enhanced,

80 years later, thanks to a photograph kindly sent to elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com by Frank Albrecht, one of the most important antiquariats in Germany, collector of original vintage copies and owner of Antiquariat Frank Albrecht in Schriesheim (Germany), an until now unknown image as to its authorship and location, made by Robert Capa with his Leica II (Model D) in a stretch of the old way Cerro Muriano-Obejo Train Station next to the Córdoba-Almorchón railway line, at roughly 3 km from Cerro Muriano village.

In my viewpoint, this is a superb photograph, made by Capa at point blank range from a slight right diagonal and at a distance of approximately 2 meters.


In this image we can see from left to right a woman clad in a rather worn peasant dress (full of stains and a burst seam visible from the waist down) featuring a small squares design and whose sleeves are rolled up, who is taking in her ams the youngest of her children, an approximately 1 year old little girl (who is wearing a small white garment with a set of buttons on her back), whose inner area of her knees she is grabbing with her right arm, while she holds her buttocks with her left hand to be able to keep an unstable balance, momentarily a bit reinforced by the right arm of the little girl, who is defensively clinging it to her mother´s neck the best she can.


Because of the getaway rush and the panic brought about by the explosion of the bombs inside the village, this woman has set off leaving Cerro Muriano with her clothes on her back, without even having any time to put a diaper on her exceedingly young daughter and fit her a pair of shoes.


The distressed countenance of the mother, who does fear for the life of her very young girl, is heartbreaking, and she is utterly focused on saving her little daughter as soon as possible, and Capa realizes it, getting the picture from within an incredibly short distance, whereas the mother is lost in fears, in such a way that she isn´t looking at the camera when Capa presses the shutter release button of his Leica II (Model D) with a Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 uncoated lens.

Two fingers of the little daughter can be seen hanging on the left of her buttocks, since the very young girl is already fairly tired and she hasn´t got stamina to raise her left arm and hand and clenching them onto her mother´s neck.


Capa is as always paying attention to the smallest details, taking fast decisions and capturing the most meaningful instants with a very quick shot and an amazing timing accuracy on shooting.

Five more people can be seen in the image:


- An around 9 years old boy, visible on far right of the picture, who is a son of the woman heading the group taking in arms her roughly 1 year old half-naked extremely young girl.

This boy is the nearest person to Capa when the photojournalist creates the image, but incredible as it may seem, he isn´t looking at the camera, but walking engrossed in thought and is captured unaware by the photojournalist.

He is wearing a long sleeved dark shirt, almost wholly open (surrounded on its top by a thick string with some knots in its centre), very tattered and lacking some buttons, and plenty of smudges are visible on the lower left half of the shirt, because at that time, working conditions in the countryside were wretched, with workdays between 12 and 14 hours from sunrise to sunset and minimal payments of sheer survival by affluent landowners possesing vast majority of the lands, along with a very shoddy diet, particularly regarding the absence of proteins.

A context in which besides, children usually worked in the countryside since they were six years old helping their families, and the lack of economical resources made that frequently (with the exception of Sundays) all the members of peasant families had to wear the same clothes and footwear every day (with the resulting accelerated spoiling of them), so mothers (who got married very young and often had their first child between 18 and 22), after the exhausting countryside chores, were bound to constantly wash the clothes, so the workday of the peasant women at this time was really of 16-17 hours and they finished frazzled, getting old from their early thirties.


- Just behind the approximately nine years old boy, appears an around 5 years old girl, who is his sister and is walking grabbing his brother´s right hand with her left one. She is wearing a short-sleeved dark vest.

And once again, in a stunning way, she isn´t looking at the camera, but advancing immersed in her thoughts and gazing out, in the same way as her elder brother, facing an uncertain future.


Capas´s shot is at the limit for not being detected, very fast, choosing diaphragm f/3.5 at full aperture and focusing on the mother being at the front and who is taking in arms her little daughter of roughly 1 year old, to turn her into the main character of the picture, leaving the background out of focus and making out in advance that the depth of field area of both the elder son and to less extent the middle age daughter who is grasping his borther´s hand, walking slightly behind him, is going to greatly coincide with her mother´s one.


- In the background and already out of focus, you can see another young mother wearing an entirely white dress who is taking in arms her very young son being approximately 1,5 years old with upper white colour attire, and whom the mother has had some time to hastily put him a diaper on and fitting him a pair of shoes.

This woman is holding his youngest son in a similar way to the woman leading the group, getting hold of the very young child in his right thigh with her left hand and grabbing his buttocks with her right hand, in an even more precarious equilibrium, with a risk of fall, for the fatigue has made that this around 1.5 year old child hasn´t the strength to hold onto his mother´s neck with any of his two arms and hands.


- Finally, in the middle far right area of the image, just behind the left shoulder and left ear of the around 9 years old boy walking before him (and who is the son of the young mother heading the group and taking her half-naked daughter grasped behind her knees and her buttocks), we can see the head and left shoulder of a similar age girl being 9 or 10 years old, walking in the background next to the other young mother taking in her arms his youngest son being around 1.5 years old wearing shoes.

This 9 or 10 years old girl is looking at the right of Capa and appears out of focus, in the same way as the woman with her youngest son whom she has been able to put a pair of shoes, who is marching abreast of her, being probably her elder daughter.

The picture is very interesting for different major reasons:

a) It proves for the nth time Capa´s gift for war photography, his impressive instinct, working speed and very quick taking of decisions when it came to tackling the selection of diaphragms and shutter speeds, the frames and above all, the compositively most interesting and meaningful elements, particularly the persons being innocent victims of war.

It´s a kind of image in which the image excellence from a technical viewpoint in terms of sharpness, contrast, direction and quality of light, etc, play second fiddle and what matters is to be in the right place at the adequate moment, to approach to the subject/s as much as possible, to choose the most defining instant to press the shutter release button of the camera going unnoticed and managing to get a good picture.

It is the dream of every full-fledged photojournalist: to become invisible just at the moment in which he is getting a good picture, and in this regard, Robert Capa has been without any doubt one of the foremost photographers in history, as is confirmed by this image, in the same way as in many others he made in Spain and scads of countries all over the world throughout his 22 years of career as a professional photojournalist until he stepped on a mine in Vietnam on May 25, 1954.


Capa is a true top-of-the line war photographer with a formidable natural flair to get pictures of war displaced people, who in order to create this photograph, approaches from the right and not in a perpendicular way, with great respect to the photographed persons, striving after not interfering with their march in so gruelling and dramatic circumstances, since they are human beings who have left behind their homes and all of their past.

Capa shoots almost at point blank range, from a distance of roughly two meters, surprising them without being detected at the moment in which he creates the image, something of extreme difficulty in a context like this, getting the picture from such a short range, taking advantage during his starting approach stage of the fact that the body of the approximately 9 years old boy nearest the camera, located on the right, prevents the mother with her around 1.5 years old youngest son wearing a pair of shoes and the boy walking by her (highly probably her elder son) from seeing him before getting the picture.

Additionally, Capa has also noticed, a few seconds before, that the woman leading the group is advancing hugely worried about the security of her half-naked roughly 1 year old daughter, so she is absorbed in her thoughts and isn´t looking at the camera, in the same way as the other mother being out of focus and taking in her arms her around 1.5 year old youngest son, dressed in a white garment and with a pair of shoes visible in the background, who is looking forward, and the boy in the background on the right with a rictus of fatigue and heat and who is looking at Capa´s right, without detecting him either.
                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

b) This extraordinary picture is a great example of the archetype of Leica photojournalistic image of thirties, forties and fifties, in which the focus isn´t 100% accurate (a side that has been thoroughly studied  by Michael Auer and explained in many of his lectures), due to the great working speed of the photojournalists with the smallest 24 x 36 mm format mirrorless cameras in history: the different screw mount Leica rangefinder cameras with Leitz lenses also boasting very small size and exceedingly low weight in proportion with the cameras and which were used throughout 30s, 40s and 50s (the golden age of photojournalism) with remarkable prowess by photographers of the caliber of Ilse Bing, Erich Salomon, Walter Bosshard, Alexander Rodchenko, Arthur Rothstein, André Kertész, Lotte Jacobi, Otto Umbehr "Umbo", Izis, Harald Lechenperg, Dr. Paul Wolff, Kurt Hutton, Balkin, E.P.Hahn, Felix H. Mann, Wolfgang Weber, David Seymour "Chim", Tom McAvoy, Agustí Centelles, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Werner Bischof, George Rodger, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Douglas Duncan, Peter Stackpole, Willy Rudge, Ed van der Elsken, Ludwig Schricker, Walther Bensen, Dr. Otto Steinert, Martin Muncaksi, Yevgeni Khaldei, Peter Magubane and others.

c) Aside from fixing in time the inhabitants of Cerro Muriano whom he dignifies and makes live in the collective memory, already in the XXI Century, during their flight from the village on September 5, 1936 to escape from the bombs of the Francoist aviation, the image sums up

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

the great operative symbiosis in Robert Capa´s hands between the Leica II (Model D) 35 mm rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses created by Oskar Barnack (a masterpiece of precision, whose tiny dimensions, lack of swivelling mirror, silk rubberized horizontal travelling mechanical shutter which is a wonder of engineering and begets an almost imperceptible noise, were the work of the German great engineer and mechanical expert in Leitz Wetzlar, Germany)

                                    © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

and the 4 elements in 3 groups modified Cooke triplet Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 non coated lens designed by Professor Max Berek, which yields an outstanding sharpness even at full aperture, though the  vignetting appears inevitably on the corners in the picture made at f/3.5 by Capa, enhancing even more the characteristic and beautiful vintage aesthetics inherent to the photographs of this time made with very low sensitivity black and white chemical emulsions which included large quantities of silver halides.

On the other hand, this photograph has been vertically cropped in his left area (it can be seen the lack of vignetting on the upper left corner of the image, which has to exist in the original 24 x 36 mm format negative Eastman Kodak Nitrate Panchromatic cinematographic with aspect ratio 2:3 and sensitivity Weston 32, equivalent to approximately ISO 40), including more air on the left, since Csiki Weisz, the darkroom expert and great friend of Capa in Paris who developed his rolls of black and white 35 mm film, used to make copies in photographic paper trimming part of the original image until rendering it in a 4:3 proportion or even sometimes 4:5 similar to the 4 x 5 " large format negatives, which were the aspect ratios that better matched the layout and pages of the best illustrated magazines of the time, without forgetting the frequent fact that when it came to providing the most prestigious publications, they often sent — however unbelievable it may seem nowadays — the original negatives of the pictures, which were a lot of times reframed and subsequently edited with the aforementioned aspect ratios to make the reproductions on the magazines pages.

elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com wishes to express its gratitude to Antiquariat Frank Albrecht Schriesheim (Germany) for the confidence placed on us, along with his sensitivity and grasping of the prominent significance of Robert Capa in the History of Photography.

© Text and Indicated Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza. Inscribed in the Territorial Register of the Intellectual Property of Madrid.

miércoles, 20 de julio de 2016

HALLADA UNA NUEVA FOTOGRAFÍA DE REFUGIADOS DE CERRO MURIANO EN PLENA HUIDA HECHA POR CAPA: AUMENTA TODAVÍA MÁS SI CABE LA LEYENDA DEL FOTOPERIODISTA HÚNGARO DE ORIGEN JUDÍO

ENGLISH


Desde 2009, el transcurrir de los años está agrandando cada vez más la figura de Robert Capa, considerado el mejor fotógrafo de guerra de la historia, fundador de la Agencia Magnum y hombre que luchó a brazo partido por preservar los derechos de los fotógrafos.

Su excepcional reportaje realizado a los refugiados de Cerro Muriano el día 5 de Septiembre de 1936 durante su huida a pie del bombardeo por parte de aviones franquistas, a través de la salida norte del pueblo, siguiendo hasta la antigua Estación de Tren de Obejo y El Vacar, caminando en una auténtica odisea de 11 km a pleno sol durante la sobremesa del mencionado día entre aproximadamente las 15:00 h y las 18:00 h, con una temperatura próxima a los 40º C y con muchas madres y abuelas teniendo que llevar en brazos a sus bebés, se ve realzada ahora, 80 años después, todavía más si cabe, gracias a la fotografía que amablemente ha enviado a elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com Frank Albrecht, uno de los anticuarios más importantes de Alemania, coleccionista de copias vintage originales y propietario de Antiquariat Frank Albrecht en Schriesheim (Alemania), una imagen desconocida hasta ahora en cuanto a su autoría y ubicación, hecha por Capa con su Leica II (Model D) en un tramo del antiguo camino Cerro Muriano-Estación de Tren de Obejo junto a la vía férrea Córdoba-Almorchón, aproximadamente a 3 km de Cerro Muriano.

La fotografía es en mi opinión soberbia, hecha por Capa a bocajarro desde una ligera diagonal derecha y a una distancia de aproximadamente dos metros.


En esta imagen se aprecia a la izquierda a una mujer ataviada con un vestido de campesina muy desgastado (repleto de manchas y un roto visibles de cintura hacia abajo), con diseño de pequeños cuadros y cuyas mangas están subidas, que lleva en brazos a la más joven de sus hijas, una niña de aproximadamente un año de edad (que lleva puesto un pequeño vestido blanco con botonadura a la espalda), cuya parte interna de las rodillas sujeta con su brazo derecho, mientras con la mano izquierda ase las nalgas de la criatura para poder mantener un precario equilibrio momentáneamente algo reforzado por el brazo derecho de la niña, que defensivamente se aferra como puede al cuello de su madre.


Debido a la precipitación de la huida y el pánico generado por la explosión de las bombas, esta mujer ha emprendido la marcha saliendo de Cerro Muriano con lo puesto y con gran rapidez, sin tener tiempo siquiera de poner a la jovencísima niña al menos un pañal y unos zapatos.


La expresión de angustia de la madre, que teme por la vida de su jovencísima niña, es desoladora, y está concentrada en salvar cuanto antes a su pequeña hija, lo cual es detectado por Capa, que hace la fotografía desde una distancia increíblemente próxima, con la madre absorta en sus miedos, de tal manera que no está mirando a la cámara cuando Capa aprieta el botón liberador del obturador de su Leica II (Model D) con objetivo Leitz Elmar 50 mm f/3.5 no revestido.

Se aprecian dos dedos de la criatura que cuelgan a la izquierda de sus nalgas, ya que la niña está ya bastante cansada y no tiene fuerzas para elevar el brazo y mano izquierda y aferrarlos al cuello de su madre.


Capa siempre atento a los más mínimos detalles, tomando decisiones de manera muy rápida y captando los instantes más significativos con un tiro rapidísimo y una precisión increíble de timing al disparar.

En la imagen aparecen también otras cinco personas:


- Un chico de unos 9 años de edad, visible a la derecha del todo de la fotografía, y que es hijo de la mujer que encabeza el grupo y lleva en brazos a la jovencísima niña de aproximadamente un año semidesnuda.

Este chico es el más próximo a Capa cuando éste crea la imagen, pero por increíble que pueda parecer, el chico no está mirando a la cámara, sino que camina absorto en sus pensamientos y es captado por Capa sin que se de cuenta.

Este muchacho lleva una camisa de manga larga oscura, casi totalmente abierta (rodeada en su zona superior por una cuerda gruesa con varios nudos en su centro), muy desgastada y a la que le faltan varios botones, y son visibles abundantes manchas en la mitad inferior izquierda de la camisa, ya que en aquella época, las condiciones de trabajo en el campo eran míseras, con jornadas de trabajo de sol a sol entre 12 y 14 horas y remuneraciones mínimas de mera supervivencia por parte de acaudalados terratenientes que poseían la inmensa mayoría de las tierras, así como una alimentación muy deficiente, especialmente en  proteínas, un contexto además en el que los niños generalmente trabajaban en el campo desde los 6 años ayudando a sus familias, y la falta de recursos económicos hacía que con frecuencia, con excepción de los Domingos, la totalidad de integrantes de las familias campesinas tuvieran que llevar la misma ropa y calzado todos los días (con el consiguiente rápido deterioro de los mismos), por lo que las madres (que se casaban muy jóvenes y a menudo tenían el primer hijo entre los 18 y los 22 años), después de las durísimas faenas en el campo, se veían obligadas a lavar la ropa a mano constantemente, además de tener que cocinar para toda la familia al menos dos veces al día, por lo que la jornada laboral de las mujeres campesinas de la época era en la práctica de unas 16-17 horas diarias y acababan extenuadas, envejeciendo rápidamente a partir de la treintena.


- Justo detrás del chico de unos 9 años de edad, aparece una niña de aproximadamente 5 años, que es su hermana y camina agarradando con su mano izquierda la mano derecha de su hermano. Viste camiseta oscura de manga corta.

Y de nuevo, de modo asombroso, no está mirando a cámara, sino que avanza absorta en sus pensamientos y con la mirada perdida, al igual que su hermano mayor y su madre, ante un futuro incierto.


El tiro de Capa es al límite para no ser detectado, muy rápido, eligiendo diafragma f/3.5 a plena abertura y enfocando sobre la madre que va en cabeza y que lleva a su hija pequeña de aproximadamente 1 año de edad en brazos, para darle todo el protagonismo posible dejando el fondo desenfocado y percibiendo por anticipado que el plano de nitidez tanto del hijo mayor como incluso de la hija mediana que va agarrada de la mano ligeramente detrás de él, va a coincidir en buena medida con el de su madre.


- Al fondo y ya desenfocados se aprecia a otra madre joven con vestido totalmente blanco que lleva en brazos a su hijo muy joven, de aproximadamente año y medio, con indumentaria superior de color blanco, y al que la madre ha tenido tiempo de ponerle unos pañales y los zapatos apresuradamente.

Esta mujer sujeta a su hijo más pequeño en una posición similar a la que encabeza el grupo, agarrando a la criatura de su muslo derecho con su mano izquierda y sujetando sus nalgas con su mano derecha, en un equilibrio aún más inestable y con riesgo de caída, ya que el cansancio ha hecho que este niño de poco más de un año no tenga fuerzas para agarrarse al cuello de su madre con ninguno de los dos brazos y manos.


- Finalmente, en el extremo derecho central de la imagen, justo detrás del hombro izquierdo y oreja izquierda del chico de unos 9 años de edad que va delante de él (y que es hijo de la mujer que encabeza el grupo y lleva a su bebé semidesnudo agarrado por detrás de las rodillas y de sus nalgas), se aprecia la cabeza y hombro izquierdo de una chica de edad similar, unos 9 ó 10 años, que camina al fondo junto a la otra madre que lleva en brazos a su hijo pequeño de aproximadamente año y medio de edad con zapatos.

Esta chica de unos 9 ó 10 años está mirando a  la derecha de Capa y aparece desenfocada en la imagen, al igual que la mujer con su niño pequeño al que ha podido poner zapatos, que camina a su altura, y de la que probablemente es la hija mayor.

Le fotografía es muy interesante por varios motivos:

a) Confirma por enésima vez el don para la fotografía de guerra, impresionante velocidad de trabajo y muy rápida toma de decisiones por parte de Capa a la hora de elegir los diafragmas y velocidades de obturación, los encuadres, y sobre todo, los elementos compositivamente más interesantes y significativos, muy especialmente las personas víctimas inocentes de la guerra.

Es un tipo de fotografía en el que la excelencia de la imagen desde un punto de vista técnico con respecto a su nitidez, contraste, dirección y calidad de la luz, etc, pasa a un segundo plano, y lo importante es estar en el lugar adecuado en el momento adecuado, acercarse lo máximo posible al sujeto/s, elegir el instante más definitorio para apretar el botón disparador de la cámara pasando desapercibido y conseguir hacer la foto.

Es el sueño de todo fotoperiodista de raza: volverse por así decirlo invisible, en el momento en que hace una buena fotografía, y en ésto, sin ningún género de dudas, Robert Capa ha sido uno de los más grandes fotógrafos de la historia, como queda demostrado en esta imagen, al igual que en muchísimas otras hechas por él en España y diferentes países por todo el mundo en sus 22 años de carrera como fotógrafo profesional hasta que pisó una mina en Vietnam.


Nos hallamos ante un fotoperiodista de guerra de altísimo nivel y un formidable instinto natural para la fotografía de damnificados por conflictos bélicos desde una insólita proximidad y con gran discreción, que para hacer esta fotografía se aproxima desde la derecha y no de modo perpendicular, con mucho respeto hacia las personas fotografiadas, intentando por todos los medios no obstruir su marcha en condiciones tan penosas y dramáticas, ya que se trata de seres humanos que han abandonado sus hogares y todo su pasado.

Capa realiza el disparo prácticamente a bocajarro, desde unos 2 metros de distancia, sorprendiéndoles sin ser detectado en el momento en que crea la imagen, algo de extrema dificultad en un contexto como éste, disparando desde tan sumamente cerca, aprovechando en su fase inicial de aproximación desde la derecha el hecho de que el cuerpo del chico de unos 9 años más próximo a la cámara ubicado a la derecha evita que la madre con su de aproximadamente año y medio de edad que lleva zapatos y el muchacho que camina a su lado (probablemente su hijo mayor) le vean antes de hacer la foto.

Además, Capa se ha dado cuenta también, pocos segundos antes, de que la mujer al frente del grupo avanza enormemente preocupada por la seguridad de su niña pequeña de aproximadamente 1 año de edad que va semidesnuda, por lo que está ensimismada y no mira a la cámara, al igual que la otra madre desenfocada con su hijo pequeño de alrededor de año y medio de edad, vestido de blanco y calzado con zapatos visible al fondo, que mira hacia adelante y el chico del fondo a la derecha con rictus de cansancio y calor y que mira a la derecha de Capa, sin detectar tampoco a éste.
                                    © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

b) Esta extraordinaria fotografía es un gran ejemplo del arquetipo de imagen Leica fotoperiodística de los años treinta, cuarenta y cincuenta, en la que el enfoque no es perfecto al 100%, (un aspecto estudiado en profundidad por Michael Auer y explicado en muchas de sus conferencias), debido a la gran velocidad de trabajo por parte de los fotógrafos con las cámaras mirrorless de formato 24 x 36 mm más pequeñas de la historia: las Leica telemétricas de montura de rosca con objetivos Leitz también de muy pequeño tamaño y peso en proporción con las cámaras y que fueron utilizadas durante los años treinta, cuarenta y cincuenta (la época dorada del fotoperiodismo a nivel mundial) con gran pericia por fotógrafos de la talla de Ilse Bing, Tim Gidal, Erich Salomon, Walter Bosshard, Alexander Rodchenko, Arthur Rothstein, André Kertész, Lotte Jacobi, Otto Umbehr "Umbo", Izis, Harald Lechenperg, Dr. Paul Wolff, Kurt Hutton, Balkin, E.P. Hahn, Felix H.Mann, Wolfgang Weber,  David Seymour "Chim", Tom McAvoy, Agustí Centelles, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Werner Bischof, George Rodger, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Douglas Duncan, Peter Stackpole, Willy Rudge, Ed van der Elsken, Ludwig Schricker, Walther Benser, Dr. Otto Steinert, Martin Muncaksi, Yevgeni Khaldei, Peter Magubane y otros.

c) Además de fijar en el tiempo a los habitantes de Cerro Muriano a los que dignifica y hace que pervivan en el recuerdo durante su huida del pueblo para escapar de las bombas de la aviación franquista, la imagen sintetiza

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

la gran simbiosis operativa en manos de Robert Capa entre la Leica II (Model D) telemétrica de 35 mm con objetivos intercambiables creada por Oskar Barnack (una obra maestra de precisión, cuyas diminutas dimensiones, ausencia de espejo basculante, obturador mecánico con cortinillas de seda engomada que es una maravilla de ingeniería y ruido casi imperceptible, fueron obra del gran ingeniero y experto alemán en mecánica de Leitz Wetzlar, Alemania)

                                     © José Manuel Serrano Esparza

y el objetivo Leitz Elmar de 4 elementos en 3 grupos y esquema óptico triplete Cooke modificado diseñado por Professor Max Berek, que consigue una notable resolución incluso a plena abertura, aunque el viñeteado aparece inevitablemente en la foto hecha a f/3.5, potenciando todavía más la característica y bella estética vintage propia de las fotografías de esta época hechas con emulsiones de blanco y negro de muy baja sensibilidad y que contenían grandes cantidades de haluros de plata.

Por otra parte, esta fotografía ha sido recortada verticalmente en su zona izquierda (obsérvese la ausencia de viñeteado en la esquina superior izquierda de la imagen, que ha de existir en el negativo original Eastman Kodak Nitrate Panchromatic cinematográfico formato 24 x 36 mm con aspect ratio 2;3 y sensibilidad Weston 32, equivalente a aproximadamente ISO 40), que incluye más aire a la izquierda, ya que Csiki Weisz, el laboratorista y gran amigo de Capa en París que revelaba sus rollos de película de blanco y negro de 35 mm, solía hacer copias en papel fotográfico recortando parte de la imagen original hasta dejarla en una proporción 4:3 o incluso 4:5 similar a los negativos de 4 x 5 ", que eran los aspect ratios que mejor se ajustaban a la maquetación de texto y fotos en las mejores revistas ilustradas de la época, sin olvidar el hecho frecuente de que cuando se trataba de las publicaciones más prestigiosas, se enviaban con frecuencia — por insólito que pueda parecer hoy en día — los negativos originales de las fotografías, que eran muchas veces reencuadradas y reproducidas con los mencionados aspect ratios en las páginas de las revistas.

elrectanguloenlamano.blogspot.com desea expresar su agradecmiento a Antiquariat Frank Albrecht Schriesheim (Alemania) por la confianza depositada en nosotros, así como su sensibilidad y comprensión de la obra de Robert Capa en la Historia de la Fotografía Mundial.

© Texto y Fotos Indicadas José Manuel Serrano Esparza. Inscrito en el Registro Territorial de la Propiedad Intelectual de Madrid.