Saturday, 25 March 2017

Alcalá de Henares: 1935 - 1970

Martin Santos Yubero was a Spanish photographer who worked as photojournalist in Madrid in the 20th century.

Autoportrait of Martín Santos Yubero

Those are some chronological data about his life:

1903 - He was born in Madrid.

1915 - He acquires his first camera (a box camera Kodak). It costs him 100 pesetas (about 0.60€) and he use it to take pictures of models in beauty contests.

1920 - He worked as a bullfight photojournalist.

1931 - The Second Spanish Republic began. New political times that Santos Yubero could catch with his camera.

1933 - He changes his large format camera for a 35mm one while he continued working as photojournalist (not only for bullfight events) for Spanish press.

1936 - The Spanish Civil War began, and Santos Yubero return to large format cameras to cover the conflict.

1939 - 1975 - After Spanish Civil War, Spain is ruled as a dictatorship.

1994 - He died in Madrid.

From February 15th to April 15th some of the pictures taken by Santos Yubero and his team are exposed in Alcalá de Henares. They are pictures related with the city that show the pass of the time along the 20Th century: through a republic (presided by Manuel Azaña, who was born in Alcalá de Henares) and a dictatorship.

Author: Martín Santos Yubero. Year: 1941. Place: University of Alcalá de Henares. Description: Soldiers in the National SEU council.
Source: Archivo Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid. Fondo fotográfico Martín Santos Yubero. Sig.038007_037.

Author: Martín Santos Yubero. Year: 1955. Place: Alcalá de Henares. Description: Cattle show.
Source: Archivo Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid. Fondo fotográfico Martín Santos Yubero. Sig. 013025_006.

Author: Martín Santos Yubero. Year: 1960-1970. Place: Alcalá de Henares. Description: Huertas St.
Source: Archivo Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid. Fondo fotográfico Martín Santos Yubero. Sig.023404_011.

Author: Martín Santos Yubero. Year: 1960-1970. Place: Alcalá de Henares. Description: St Bernard arch.
Source: Archivo Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid. Fondo fotográfico Martín Santos Yubero. Sig.023404_021.

Author: Martín Santos Yubero. Year: 1960-1970. Place: Alcalá de Henares. Description: Mayor St.
Source: Archivo Regional de la Comunidad de Madrid. Fondo fotográfico Martín Santos Yubero. Sig.023404_079.

I love that kind of pictures. Old photos showing known places several years before I met them.

The exposition has been a little small (only 21 images are shown), but it also has been interesting. I've seen there scenes of complicate political times, a nude train station (only rails on the sand), the 'Ecce Homo' hill watching how people of Alcalá lived his parties, cattle on the road, etc.

About photography, I like very much the composition of some of his pictures. Some times they have a large depth, with interesting vanishing points. I also like the dynamic range in old pictures. You can view in this pictures details in high and low lights, even in backlighting.

A nice exposition that you can view in Alcalá until April 15th.

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