Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Oh dear! A month since my last post. A lot has happened, not least having an absolutely filthy fluey cold, which my doctor today tells me has turned into a chest infection. Lots of lovely antibiotics. And I have no energy or get up and go. Work has been busy, but only in the sense of preparing bids and tenders, and training to do some professional market research to try and supplement the income...

In between, there seem to have been a few distinct bursts of photography, most notably a weekend in Berkshire and Hampshire early in the month built around my wife's birthday present to me, a day spent photographing in an artificial rain forest and organised by a company called "Wild Arena". I am still processing the images from the 8Gb of RAW files I generated, and more anon on that.

Today I just wanted to record my (belated) discovery of Gerda Taro, a brilliant photographer killed during the Spanish Civil War. Taro was the partner and lover of the now much more famous Robert Capa, but is now starting to be rediscovered. Killed by an accident with a tank during the battle for Brunete (where she was known as the "blond of Brunete", she was afforded a massive funeral and buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, with a statue by Giaciometti. Her photographs include some particularly fine studies of Catalans training during the Civil War, complementing Capa's images.

I discovered her today as a result of an article from The Digital Journalist, reporting on the conservation and recording of some "lost" negatives by Capa and Taro - as well some from "Chim" Seymour - and referring back to a story I had missed last year.

Like Dickey Chappelle, who I learned about as a result of Nanci Griffith's moving song, and Catherine Leroy, she seems to have been largely forgotten by recent history. Perhaps because war photography is an "unsuitable" job for a woman? Perhaps now her images will have the wider currency they deserve. How many other forgotten photographers are there I wonder?