Alberto Korda Prints
Korda, whose real name was Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, was born on 14 September 1928 in Havana, Cuba. He got his first taste of photography when he took his father's Kodak 35mm and began taking pictures of his girlfriend. Korda was the son of a railway worker, and took many jobs before beginning as a photographer's assistant. Korda began his career as a photographer who shot pictures at banquets, baptisms and weddings. He would run back to his studio to develop the film, then return to the event and sell his photographs as a souvenir. The quality of Korda’s work as a beginner was very poor; after a few months the image became blurry and the paper yellowed. When he opened his first studio, Korda had an opportunity to learn from his mistakes and to stop the yellowing process by using the right chemicals for the correct durations of time. In 1953, Korda opened his first studio with a photographer named Luis Pierce. Initially, Korda and Pierce took a variety jobs ranging from fashion to advertisements.
Most of the jobs were photographed by his studio partner, in order to keep their business going. It was the money generated by these jobs that allowed Korda to develop his unique style of looking at an image from another angle, different from the traditional photographer’s studios. It was this style that Studios Korda quickly became identified with achieving. In the early years, Korda was most interested in fashion because it allowed him to pursue his two favorite things, photography and beautiful women. Korda became Cuba's premiere fashion photographer. Korda disliked artificial lighting he said it was "a travesty of reality" and only used natural light in his studio. He was master of black-and-white photography who looked for perfect composition and framing. Korda had unique creative ambition that he used to rise above in style when compared to the unimaginative cultural perspective of traditional Cuban photography. This unique creativity turned the Korda Studio into something more than just a prosperous business; it became an art studio. "My main aim was to meet women", he once confessed. His second wife, Natalia (Norka) Menendez, was a well known Cuban fashion model.
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