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Gerda Taro, Storytelling and the Mexican Suitcase

She was an emigré publisher's assistant turned freelance photographer. Gerda Taro made a name for herself (literally, too) during her few years as a photojournalist, before her untimely death in 1937. Gerda Born Gerta Pohorylle into a Polish-German jewish family, as an adult she relocated to France in 1933, trying to make herself a living in trying times. Meeting migrant people like herself, working for anti-fascist newspapers, she utilized her skills initially in editorial work. Being a person of integrity and with a progressive personality, her friendship with writers and photographers like the other emigrés Ted Allan, Endre Friedmann and Dawid Szymin led her to work with photography as a storytelling medium. In her case intended as a way to shine a light on what was happening in the Spanish civil war (1936-39), and on the rise of fascism in Europe. This was the birth of documentary photography as we know it. the Contact Sheet Seeing photographs on a contact sheet can sometimes t
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Ghosts of Conflicts Past - Eritrea: the Passion of Photographer Göran Assbring

Swedish photographer Göran Assbring started documenting life, strife and civil war in northeastern African province Eritrea in 1974. The province Tigray in Ethiopia, which occurs in media reports daily, shares a border with Eritrea. Dictatorial and military rule has affected the peoples of this region since the ending of colonial rule by Italy. Göran Swedish freelance photographer Göran Assbring made it his task to tell the story of the Eritrean struggle for independence from the oppressive ruler Ethiopia. 1974-1983 he made numerous trips across the border of neighboring Sudan to photograph and gather information. The struggle was conducted by several fighting groups, sometimes based on ethnic affiliation, which consisted the opposition. In 1983 Assbring - travelling with soldiers and officials from the largest opposition group - was killed in an ambush. Back home he was survived by his wife and three children. He was buried in Eritrea, due to the dire conditions of transport and over

Historic Photos by Aho & Soldan

    I came across an old photobook from 1946. Actually it's a book of photos, to be precise. It was published in Swedish, titled 'Finland i bild'/'Finland in pictures.' The form is common enough, in the genre of 'picture book presenting a country/city.' The photos are really very good, mixing informative scenes from industry and modernist offices, with photos that are more intimate, like the ones above. The details - like the man's face seen through the other man's curved arm, and the fruit picking woman, below - reveal the photographers to be talented. These two could have traversed Finland with a 6x6 TLR each, meeting up people at staged settings, but no. These guys had the experience and integrity to really document what they see - and who! Heikki Aho and Björn Soldan were 'pioneers' of Finnish film and photography and ran a successful business starting in the 1920s. Aho's daughter also became a successful photographer from the 1940s

The Joy of Using the Zorki

I am now so accustomed to using viewfinder cameras that it feels entirely comfortable to mount my Canon FL lens to my neat M39 Zorki. Some user specs The shutter release! In all the camera models that I've used - and there must be 100 or so, since a lot of them pass through my hands intended for sale, but sometimes I like to own and use one for a bit before selling it - the Zorki's shutter release ("shutter button") is the best. There is some resistance when I press it - more so than in most cameras - but when the shutter is tripped there is never a hint of camera shake, ever. It's soo smooth. The execution of the exposure is like it's whisked through air. And the sound of the shutter curtains traveling past the film gate "chkloff"! It instills confidence. The sound is sort of heavy but there is no vibration from the movement so it gives me a peaceful feeling. The camera is weighty, so much so that it rests steadily in the hands. At the same time it

My Two Camera Month Project - June 2021: Balda Baldina & Halina 35X

Each month for a year I will use one pair of cameras, then next month switch to another pair. They are all fixed-lens compact cameras. I will use the same film stock in both cameras. Each month I will share my impressions from using the cameras, while showing the photographs I make. Part #2: June 2021 Film types: Fomapan 400 & Ilford Delta Professional 400 Oh, all right! I won't use the same film stock in both cameras this time! It's because these two are my last 400 ASA b&w films and the specs are similar. Another spec is Red Filter! I will expose both with red filters. The Halina at 50 ASA and Baldina at 100 (compensating for the light that the different filters block). It will be interesting to see if the results can be compared to orthochromatic films I intend to use later on in this project. I really like the 'colour' shifts that occur with that type of film (and in-camera photo paper). The ortho film and red filters block out certain colours, renderin