Rangefinder

Views on the photographic universe by Erwin Puts

The girl with a Leica



Most Leica aficionados are familiar with the (iconic) picture of Rodchenko (Girl with a Leica) from 1934. Recently a book with the same title has been published in 2017, written by Helena Janeczec. It is about Gerda Taro, the friend of Robert Capa. She was a very good photographer herself, better even then Capa. She died in the Civil War in Spain. The story is simple. Capa got a second-hand Leica from a friend, but hardly used it. He gave the camera to Gerda, who used it all the time. Capa himself used the Contax camera and also had a Rolleiflex with him.
The Leica people stubbornly insist that the Capa pictures (the well-known “dying soldier” is one of them) were made with a Leica, which is not true. It is a fact beyond doubt that the D-day pictures were made with a Contax. The story behind these pictures is rather fascinating and AD Coleman is one of the main investigators to find the truth. It seems that the actual heroism of Capa is less impressive than the myth. And the poor guy in the darkroom did not screw up the rolls of films as is often claimed.
Even the dying soldier may be a staged scene. No one knows for sure.
The book about Taro is a very pleasant read. It seems to be available in Italian (the original) and in a Dutch translation, which I am reading.



raggazza



By the way:

All orders for my new book, the Leica Path, have been shipped.