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Gerda Taro
Gerda Taro
Gerda Taro

Gerda Taro

Country: Germany
Birth: 1910 | Death: 1937

Gerda Taro, a pioneering figure in the world of photojournalism, illuminated the harrowing realities of conflict through her lens. Born Gerta Pohorylle on August 1, 1910, in Stuttgart, Germany, she would later adopt the pseudonym "Gerda Taro" as she ventured into the tumultuous landscape of war-torn Europe during the 1930s.

Taro's journey into photography began as she fled Nazi persecution, seeking refuge in Paris. It was there that she crossed paths with fellow photographer Robert Capa, sparking a creative and romantic partnership that would shape both their lives and redefine the boundaries of photojournalism.

Together, Taro and Capa embarked on a mission to document the Spanish Civil War, a conflict that would serve as a crucible for their artistic and ideological convictions. Working under the banner of "Robert Capa and Gerda Taro," they captured the raw intensity of battle, immortalizing the struggles of Republican forces against the backdrop of Franco's fascist regime.

Despite the dangers inherent in their profession, Taro fearlessly ventured into the heart of the conflict, often disregarding personal safety in pursuit of the perfect shot. Her images exuded a sense of urgency and immediacy, offering a stark reminder of the human cost of war and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Tragically, Taro's life was cut short at the tender age of 26 when she was struck by a tank during the Battle of Brunete in July 1937. Her untimely death sent shockwaves through the world of photojournalism, serving as a sobering reminder of the risks faced by those who bear witness to history's most tumultuous moments.

Though her life was brief, Gerda Taro's impact on the world of photography endures as a testament to her courage, compassion, and unwavering commitment to truth-telling. Her images continue to serve as a powerful reminder of the human toll of conflict, inspiring future generations of photographers to wield their cameras as instruments of social change and justice.

As we reflect on the legacy of Gerda Taro, we are reminded of the profound significance of bearing witness to history's darkest chapters and the enduring power of images to shape our understanding of the world and ignite the flames of empathy, compassion, and solidarity across borders and generations.
 

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William Klein
United States
1928 | † 2022
William Klein (born in New York, New York, USA, on April 19, 1928) is a photographer and filmmaker noted to for his ironic approach to both media and his extensive use of unusual photographic techniques in the context of photojournalism and fashion photography. He was ranked 25th on Professional Photographer's Top 100 Most influential photographers. Trained as a painter, Klein studied under Fernand Léger and found early success with exhibitions of his work. However, he soon moved on to photography and achieved widespread fame as a fashion photographer for Vogue and for his photo essays on various cities. Despite having no training as a photographer, Klein won the Prix Nadar in 1957 for New York, a book of photographs taken during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Klein's work was considered revolutionary for its "ambivalent and ironic approach to the world of fashion", its "uncompromising rejection of the then prevailing rules of photography" and for his extensive use of wide-angle and telephoto lenses, natural lighting and motion blur. Klein tends to be cited in photography books along with Robert Frank as among the fathers of street photography, one of those mixed compliments that classifies a man who is hard to classify. The world of fashion would become the subject for Klein's first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, which, like his other two fiction features, Mr. Freedom and The Model Couple, is a satire. Klein has directed numerous short and feature-length documentaries and has produced over 250 television commercials. Though American by birth, Klein has lived and worked in France since his late teens. His work has sometimes been openly critical of American society and foreign policy; the film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum once wrote that Klein's 1968 satire Mr. Freedom was "conceivably the most anti-American movie ever made." Klein was born into an impoverished Jewish family. Klein graduated from high school early and enrolled at the City College of New York at the age of 14 to study sociology. Klein joined the US Army and was stationed in Germany and later France, where he would permanently settle after being discharged. In 1948, Klein enrolled at the Sorbonne, and later studied with Fernand Léger. At the time, Klein was interested in abstract painting and sculpture. In 1952, Klein had two successful solo exhibitions in Milan and began a collaboration with the architect Angelo Mangiarotti. Klein also experimented with kinetic art, and it was at an exhibition of his kinetic sculptures that he met Alexander Liberman, the art director for Vogue. In 1966, Klein directed his first feature film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? He has since directed many others, including the cinéma vérité documentary Grands soirs et petits matins, the 1964 documentary Cassius the Great, re-edited with new footage as Muhammed Ali, The Greatest in 1969, and the satires Mr. Freedom and Le Couple Témoin. A long time tennis fan, in 1982 he directed The French, a documentary on the French Open tennis championship at Roland-Garros. He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 1999. In 2012, Klein received the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award at the annual Sony World Photography Awards in recognition of his work in the field of photography.Source: Wikipedia
Édouard Baldus
France
1813 | † 1889
Édouard Baldus was a French landscape, architectural and railway photographer, born on June 5, 1813 in Grünebach, Prussia. He was originally trained as a painter and had also worked as a draughtsman and lithographer before switching to photography in 1849. In 1851, he was commissioned for the Missions Héliographiques by the Historic Monuments Commission of France to photograph historic buildings, bridges and monuments, many of which were being razed to make way for the grand boulevards of Paris, being carried out under the direction of Napoleon III's prefect Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann. The high quality of his work won him government support for a project entitled Les Villes de France Photographiées, an extended series of architectural views in Paris and the provinces designed to feed a resurgent interest in the nation's Roman and medieval past. In 1855, Baron James de Rothschild, President of Chemin de Fer du Nord, commissioned Baldus to do a series of photographs to be used as part of an album that was to be a gift to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a souvenir of their visit to France that year. The lavishly bound album is still among the treasures of the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. In 1856, he set out on a brief assignment to photograph the destruction caused by torrential rains and overflowing rivers in Lyon, Avignon, and Tarascon. He created a moving record of the flood without explicitly depicting the human suffering left in its wake. Baldus was well known throughout France for his efforts in photography. One of his greatest assignments was to document the construction of the Louvre museum. He used wet and dry paper negatives as large as 10x14 inches in size. From these negatives, he made contact prints. To create a larger image, he put contact prints side by side to create a panoramic effect. He was renowned for the sheer size of his pictures, which ranged up to eight feet long for one panorama from around 1855, made from several negatives. Despite the documentary nature of many of his assignments, Baldus was inventive in overcoming the limitations of the calotype process (described here). He often retouched his negatives to blank outbuildings and trees, or to put clouds in white skies; in his composite print of the medieval cloister of St. Trophime, in Arles (1851), he pieced together fragments of 10 different negatives to capture focus in-depth in a panoramic view of the interior space and also render detail in the brightly lit courtyard outside. He died in 1889 in Arcueil, France.Source: Wikipedia Baldus was one of the great calotypists of the 1850s, producing works of an unprecedented range and scale. He moved to Paris in 1838 to study painting alongside other future photographers such as Le Gray, Le Secq, and Nègre. He frequently retouched his paper negatives, adding pencil and ink, to add clouds or clarify details, then printing his own large-scale negatives. He was also adept at stitching several negatives together to re-create architectural views, most famously in his views of the cloisters of Saint Trophime. Famed especially for his depiction of architecture, Baldus not only documented the modernization of Paris but also traveled widely through France recording modernity and new construction - including new railways and aqueducts, as well as the building of the new Louvre. In 1851 the Commission des Monuments Historiques cited Baldus as one of the five best architectural photographers and he was commissioned to record the monuments of France for what became known as the Mission heliographic. His beginnings in photography are not well documented before his participation in the Mission héliographique, although it is known that he took photographs of Montmajour in 1849.Source: James Hyman Gallery "Everyone knows Mr. Baldus," a reviewer wrote in 1859. By the mid-1850s, Édouard-Denis Baldus was the most successful photographer in France and at the height of his career. He began as a painter, turning to photography in 1849 when paper negatives were just becoming popular. Throughout much of his life, he listed himself in city directories as "peintre photographe" (painter photographer), in reference more to his training than to his practice. In 1851 Baldus became one of the forty founding members of the Société Héliographique, the first photographic organization in the world. Baldus specialized in images of the landscape, architecture, and railways. In 1851 the Commission des Monuments Historiques (Historic Monuments Commission) asked Baldus to document architecture in France. These assignments, which were awarded to several photographers, were called missions héliographiques. In 1855 Baldus received his largest commission to document the construction of the Musée du Louvre. Photographic enlargements were not yet possible in the 1850s, so Baldus's photographs were contact prints from negatives as large as 10 x 14 inches. He often joined together several negatives to produce panoramas, creating images on an even grander scale.Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum
Roy Stryker
United Kingdom
1893 | † 1975
Roy Emerson Stryker was an American economist, government official, and photographer. He headed the Information Division of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) during the Great Depression, and launched the documentary photography program of the FSA. It hired photographers to travel across the United States and document people in different areas and settings as part of showing the state of people in rural areas in those years. Specific projects were conceived to help assess effects of government programs. He later worked several years on a documentary project for Standard Oil, established the Pittsburgh Photographic Library (PPL), consulted with other companies, and taught photo-journalism at University of Missouri. In his later years he returned to the West, living at last in Colorado. After serving in the infantry in World War I, Stryker went to Columbia University, where he studied economics. He used photography to illustrate his economics texts and lectures. At Columbia, he worked with Rexford Tugwell. When Tugwell became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Resettlement Administration, Stryker followed him. Tugwell and Stryker refocused the attention of the Resettlement Administration to document the problems of the heartland, and in 1935 Stryker became the head of the Historical Section (Information Division) of the RA. The RA was renamed as the Farm Security Administration, and Stryker set up the photo-documentary project. Stryker was a manager of the FSA's photographic project. The photographers involved attested to his skill in getting good work from them. He ensure that the photographers were well briefed on their assigned areas before being sent out, and that they were properly funded. However, Stryker has been criticized for his destructive editing, as he would sometimes physically deface negatives by punching holes in them. Stryker also made sure that mainstream publications had access to FSA photographs. This both helped focus public attention on the plight of the rural poor and set up the commercial careers of his photographers. Overall, from 164,000 developed negatives, some 77,000 different finished photographic prints were made for the press, plus 644 color images. Photographers hired by Stryker for the FSA included Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, John Vachon, Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Gordon Parks, John Collier, Carl Mydans, and Edwin and Louise Rosskam. During World War II, the photographic unit of the FSA was reassigned to the Office of War Information. It was used to produce what was essentially propaganda and disbanded after a year. At the same time, the US Congress disbanded the FSA. The holdings of the FSA's photographic unit were transferred to the Library of Congress. Stryker resigned from the government. He worked for Standard Oil in its public relations documentary project from 1943 to 1950, hiring some of the photographers he had worked with at FSA. In selecting photographers for projects at Standard Oil (SO), Stryker sought those who possessed what he described as an "insatiable curiosity, the kind that can get to the core of an assignment, the kind that can comprehend what a truck driver, or a farmer, or a driller or a housewife thinks and feels and translate those thoughts and feelings into pictures that can be similarly comprehended by anyone." Photographers on the SO project included, among others: Berenice Abbott, Gordon Parks and Todd Webb; as well as Esther Bubley, Harold Corsini, Russell Lee, Arnold S. Eagle, Elliott Erwitt and Sol Libsohn, who would later follow Stryker to his next project in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After suggesting topics he wanted to be documented, Stryker gave his photographers the freedom to pursue their individual approaches to their subjects. As with all his projects, Stryker was adamant that his staff understand their subjects and their context before going out on an assignment. From 1950 to 1952, Stryker worked to establish the Pittsburgh Photographic Library (PPL). In 1960, the collection was transferred to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. After leaving the PPL, Stryker directed a documentation project at Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. Thereafter, he accepted consulting jobs on occasion and conducted seminars on photo-journalism at the Journalism School of University of Missouri. Stryker eventually returned to the West in the 1960s. He died in Grand Junction, Colorado. The Roy Stryker Papers, including manuscripts, correspondence, and vintage prints from the Stryker-directed projects: Farm Security Administration (FSA), the Standard Oil (New Jersey) Co. and Jones & Laughlin Steel, are held in Photographic Archives, Archives and Special Collections, University of Louisville.Source: Wikipedia
Golnaz Abdoli
Iran/United States
1956
I was born in Iran and lived the first 18 years of my life there. The vivid memories of my homeland are its cold winters with snowcapped mountains, cars swerving on slippery roads, a small frozen pool, and me hoping that school would be cancelled; my mom preparing pomegranate for my siblings and I, and at the same time warming my hands with her warm breath. During the next forty years I enjoyed getting my degrees in Biology and Education in California, USA, raising my two children , and working in the field of education. I taught elementary school for 21 years. I picked up photography after I retired from teaching. I loved it immediately because it gave me a new voice to express myself and be creative. I found that photography and its many genres is a unique language with many dialects, and it can bring people from all over the world together. But now my love of photography has developed into a passion during the Covid-19 Pandemic. I appreciate it for helping me delve deep into my soul and understand myself better. During the lockdown photography has become my best friend and companion. Statement I approach photography of modern architecture as a visual puzzle that needs to be unravelled. My images are theatrical and mysterious. When I hold the camera, it awakens a sense of curiosity in me. I look up, ponder at the lines of steel coming together, light and shadow intertwining to form reflections, and I question how far into the space the lines travel, and the patterns repeat themselves. Reflections of outside buildings form mysterious forms and rhythms on the structural facade of modern architecture, inviting it to form a community with its surrounding. I appreciate the modern architecture for its beauty.
Wendel Wirth
United States
1966
Wendel Wirth is an American contemporary fine art photographer. Originally from New York City and Chicago, Wirth lives in the mountains of Ketchum (better known as Sun Valley), Idaho. She in interested in the space between minimalist art and photography, ultimately pushing the viewers attention beyond the subject matter and celebrating the most essential and elemental aspects of the photograph. Wirth is an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellow and is represented by Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho and Dimmitt Contemporary in Houston, TX. THIS IS THE PLACE THIS IS THE PLACE is a photographic exploration of minimalist art as found in the landscape of our fading farmland. Driving highway twenty through central Idaho, the ground stretches for miles, expanding space. The linear landscape feels curated. In the winter months, the muted horizon parades elemental forms; barns and grain elevators, cow houses, cowsheds, granges as they have been called. My mind, in its road trip haze, translates the landscape into fields of Donald Judd's concrete blocks. As a photographer, I flatten the plane, calling to mind Judd's woodblock prints. The structures fade into a cluster of modest rectangles. A perfectly centered horizon line juts from a singular form. Repetition, as found in minimalist art, is used to draw attention to the subtle details & linear interests. As I peer through my viewfinder, I am not only deeply engaged with form and texture, line, color and atmosphere, I am also contemplating the rate at which our farmland in disappearing. It is urgent for me to capture a place that historically has served as a source of health and ecosystem before it is gone. Through intersecting my obsession of minimalist art, photography and farmland, my intent is to inspire you to visually play in and to conserve this precious land. THIS IS THE PLACE I am telling you about.
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