viernes, 31 de mayo de 2013


Lisl Steiner inside the main hall of Elizabeth Kaiserin Hotel of Vienna on May 24th, 2013, at 10:50 h in the morning, ten minutes before going to Hartmann Brilliance Optik to start the display of her pictures in the elegant shop windows of the reputed spectacles and sunglasses shop.

Erich Hartmann, driving force of Hartmann Brilliance Optik Vienna, founder of the firm and an international authority in optics and manufacture of spectacles, sunglasses, contact lenses and a number of accessories made with horn, featuring an experience of more than fifty years in this scope and thirty as a director of Hartmann Brilliance since its opening in 1980. A self-made man who through very hard work of decades and a tremendous love for what he does, has managed to turn nowadays into one of the most important worldwide experts in this professional domain, achieving a flawless symbiosis between the most advanced technology available and well rooted craftsmanship working parameters, unabatingly spawning brainstorms and keeping a steady indefatigable struggle to attain his most important aim: to gain the full confidence of his customers and to utterly satisfy their requirements, by means of a very wide assortment of customized top-class eyewear products able to meet the highest quality and personal taste criteria.
Hartmann Brilliance Vienna and the renowned photographer Lisl Steiner have signed an agreement of collaboration through which some pictures of the famous photojournalist made in late fifties and sixties will be displayed in the shop windows of the elegant top-notch Hartmann Optik located in Singerstrasse, 8, Vienna (around two hundred meters from the Elizabeth Kaiserin Hotel, in the downtown of the Austrian capital), which is currently one of the most advanced centers in the world within the sphere of manufacture of ultralight and antiallergic horn-rimmed customized spectacles and sunglasses, contact lenses and other accessories, thanks to the outstanding know-how and expertise of Erich Hartmann (the creator of the firm in 1980) and its great team, producing a comprehensive range of products, made with painstaking perfectionism and belief in traditional craftsmanship, to such an extent that the shop has got its own workshop and offers a reference class standard of quality and style, steadily striving after fulfilling the wishes of its customers all over the globe, thanks to very deep knowledge, state-of-the-art optometric technology and a unique treatment of the horn as a natural material with gorgeous color schemes and patterns that can´t be artificially reproduced.

Lisl Steiner standing by the elegant façade of Hartmann Wien Optik Shop just after the installation of her pictures in both shop windows.

                                        © Lisl Steiner

One of the 12 " x 18 "  (30 x 45 cm) copies of Lisl Steiner´s pictures shown in the display windows of Hartmann Brilliance Optik. Lisl Steiner was one of the first photographers deeply penetrating the Brazilian Amazonas area searching for remote tribes, capturing a lot of natives in their original environment and living exactly as they did thousands of years ago. In this amazing image we can see an Amazonas river indian young woman in deep introspection, masterfully depicted by Lisl. On the other hand, the excellent Lisl Steiner´s copies exhibited in Hartmann Brilliance Optik were a great work made by the Vienna based painter Alicia Sancha, who departing from digital archives of Lisl´s images, enhanced them through the use of a special software, subsequently getting the enlargements on premium Hahnemühle Albrecht Dürer 210 g/m2 FineArt InkJet Paper in synergy with a professional Epson printer. 

One of Lisl Steiner´s pictures shown in the shopwindow of Hartmann Brilliance Optik in Vienna. 

Left shopwindow of Hartmann Brilliance Optik Vienna displaying six 12" x 18" (30 x 45 cm) copies of photographs made by Lisl Steiner during late fifties and sixties during her projects Children of the Americas and Ancient Tribes of the Brazilian Amazonic Jungle.

                                                      © Lisl Steiner

Another of Lisl Steiner´s photographs shown on the shopwindows of Hartmann Brilliance Optik in Vienna. This image was taken by Lisl in 1957 and depicts four shoeshine boys in Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro (Brasil). They had no childhood, and Lisl was living with their mothers (who were prostitutes) in favelas for some weeks. Image belonging to her Children of the Americas project.

Horn rimmed ultralight and antiallergic customized spectacles manufactured by Hartman Brilliance Optik Vienna. The level of huge precision and manual labour needed to make them required a lot of hours of handcrafted work in seamless synergy with groundbreaking machinery and the most updated optometric technology, craving for attaining a fundamental dual goal: to offer a perfectly corrected instrument and to emphasize each customer´s personality, adjusting the spectacles to his/her viewing habits. 

And along with Erich Hartmann, a master of his trade who directs the remarkable Hartmann Brilliance Optik Vienna, there´s a highly competent team made up by Ingrid Hartmann, Martin Dünser, Petra Gorbach, Julia Wieser, Romina Reichenpfader and Josef Kuruthukulangara, they all working in perfect coordination with Stephan Hartmann, a full-fledged artisan who runs the workshop and has a stunning gift for handling the highly innovative multilayer technology 

rendering the colours of the spectacles and sunglasses frames along with accessories made of horn brighter and more intense, simultaneously fostering the chromatic range, so customers can experience by themselves an unmatched price-performance ratio in frames, lens technology, quality of viewing and comfort, with boundless designs, colours and combinations matching each individual preference, since Hartmann Optik Vienna will find the right spectacle lenses for them according to their habits, light conditions, working places, leisure time activities, sensitivity to light, changes in vision, fatigue, visual acuity, eye coordination, etc, through exceedingly complete previous examination, as well as providing two great bonuses: 

a) A remarkable video centration system making possible the communication between eyes and spectacles and being able to accurately fix the most adequate parameters for the customization of the very thin spectacle lenses

b) The establishing of the diopter value of both eyes by means of the Zeiss i. Profiler, a revolutionary measurement device 

which is the core of a very innovative wavefront technology enabling to see more contrasts even during twilight, night conditions and on driving. This state-of-the-art contrivance is based on a new correction method with a complex and patented calculation system which optimizes to the utmost the choosing of the required lens thickness in reflected light using the wavefront analysis in order to wholly reduce any possible reproduction errors of the spectacle lenses and to increase the customer´s vision comfort, 

fulfilling a new experience in vision with colours richer than ever before, under any light condition, without any reflexes or irradiations, with stunning sharpness and rich contrast, because the machine boasts an integral automated system that compensates the higher order aberrations and measures in seconds the customer refractive condition, the corneal topography, the wave front aberrometry and the auto keratometry readings, which results in an exceedingly accurate and very customized i. Scription, in such a way that potential glare and decreased vision under dim light and at night are reduced to negligible levels. 

In addition, this great refractive technology is particularly peerless calculating the axis and astigmatic power, and yields the benefit of going far beyond the usual 0.25 diopters accuracy of lenses, because this contrivance enables to manufacture lenses with an accuracy of 0.01 diopters, featuring 25 times more precision than other methods. And besides, Hartmann Brilliance Optik Vienna has a relationship with Dr. Wolfgang Radner, eminent Professor of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of Vienna (Austria), who also collaborates offering expert advice and professional treatment.

Lisl Steiner walking by the very nice façade of Hartmann Brilliance Optik Vienna, while Erich Hartmann attends some customers. The wisely thought tasteful and spruced up minimalist art nouveau inner store space is a real treat for the eyes, with everything oozing a passion for detail and exquisite handicraft items, together with a well proved ability for designing and shaping creation at the highest level of quality, comfort, style and duration, it all complemented by a great and personalized treatment to customers, who first and foremost are true friends.

Copyright Text and Pictures: José Manuel Serrano Esparza






domingo, 26 de mayo de 2013



The Leica IIIa used by the great Alfred Eisenstaedt (the most influential photojournalist ever and one of the best photographers in history) to capture his famous image of the V-J Day in Times Square on August 14, 1945 has been sold for 114,000 euros during the 23rd Camera Auction held at Westlicht Schauplatz für Fotografie in Vienna (Austria) on May 25th, 2013.

Front view of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa VJ-Day with later Leitz Summitar 5 cm f/2 and VIOOH finder Number 60637 with the lower area of a picture of him taken by Bill Shrout a few hours before he got his famous picture of the sailor and the nurse kissing in Times Square.

The Kiss worldwide famous picture taken with the Leica IIIa Number 238716 by the legendary Master of Photography Alfred Eisenstaedt in Times Square, New York, on August 14, 1945 during the celebration of V-J Day. 

Front view of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa with a later Summitar 5 cm f/2. Mounted on the hotshoe can be seen the original VIOOH finder number 60637.

Face up image of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa VJ-Day with Summitar 5 cm f/2 and VIOOH finder.

Aerial back view of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa V-J Day with Summitar 5 cm f/2 and VIOOH finder.

Back area close-up of the original VIOOH finder Number 60637 of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa V-J Day.

Aerial front view of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa V-J Day with Summitar 5 cm f/2 and VIOOH finder. Eisie had previously used on this camera a one prism VIDOM finder which he didn´t like because it showed a reversed left to right image  and had to be adjusted each time he made a vertical shot, so in late 1939 he changed to a VIOOH finder, which has two prisms in the eyepiece and meant a significant improvement, since it was much easier to use on featuring lateral correction.

Front view close-up of original VIOOH finder number 60637 of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa V-J Day. The quality of the mechanizing and thouroughness of manufacture, following very stringent craftsmanship parameters are simply gorgeous. Those were the times.

Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa VJ-Day with its leather strap.

View from top of Alfred Eisentaedt´s Leica IIIa VJ-Day with Summitar 5 cm f/2 and VIOOH finder.

Coated 7 elements in 4 groups and ten blades Leitz Wetzlar Summitar 5 cm f/2 Number 658134 lens of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa V-J Day. The mechanizing ot the chromed brass of the lens and specially the painstaking finishing of the narrow knurled focusing ring are really superb. 

Diagonal left view of the original VIOOH finder of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa V-J Day.

Top view of Alfred Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa VJ- Day. The very beautiful VIOOH finder with its superb construction and an amazing level of accuracy are a good example of the great manufacturing precision and use of the best noble metals that have been a hallmark of the legendary German photographic firm.

From scratch, it was clear that the auction of the Leica IIIa rangefinder camera used by Alfred Eisenstaedt to get the famous picture The Kiss in Times Square on August 14, 1945 during the celebration of V-J Day, would bring about very high bids, because of many different factors, among which highlighted that it was Eisie´s camera, that the 35 mm Kodak Super-XX black and white film negative 

rated at ISO 200, exposed at 1/125 sec and f/8 which captured the worlwide known image was inside this rangefinder Leica IIIa Number 238716 camera when this exceptional photojournalist, the most influential ever, took it in Times Square on August 14, 1945 (the 35 mm roll film was developed in D-76 for twenty minutes at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and the image published on page 26 of Life magazine August 27, 1945 number), and the not so known fact that amazingly, forty eight years later, in 1993, this Genius of Photography made the Clinton family portraits at the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha´s Vineyard (Massachussets) with this same camera, using only one 35 mm film spool!. 

And certainly, the  strong expectation that Eisentaedt´s Leica IIIa had previously generated, resulted in a tremendously disputed fight by discerning buyers, with some remarkable moments of bidding war, something frequent when items of this level are put on sale. 

Bearing in mind that the camera was not a limited production model or prototype, but made in great quantities (91,887 chromed units and 800 black ones manufactured between 1935 and 1948) and fetched a very high hammer price of 114,000 euros in Westlicht auction , it says very much about the immense prestige of Alfred Eisenstaedt as a photpojournalist and his gigantic figure

                                          © Claire Yaffa

Alfred Eisenstaedt inside his apartment/office on the 28th floor of the Time & Life Building in Manhattan. Claire Yaffa, a friend of his during three decades until the Master of Photojournalism died in 1996, made him this picture in mid eighties, and could realize that the genius Eisie had got thousands and thousands of prints of the pictures he had made during his career inside yellow cardboard boxes, and thanks to his prodigious memory he knew exactly the location of each one, also remembering with lavish detail the year and circumstances in which he got them.

in the History of Photography, since among many other things, this extraordinary photographer was the flagship in the golden era of photojournalism, 

making 92 Life magazine covers, 2,500 assignments and more than one million images.

The estimate price initially appearing in Westlicht catalogue for this historical camera was between 20,000-25,000 euros, and after an opening bid of 12,000 euros, in the twinkling of an eye Eisenstaedt´s Leica IIIa reached the figure of 
26,000 euros, 

quickly evolving into a full-fledged contended battle among bidders from all over the world.

Offers were soaring once and again.

It was apparent that this camera had become an exceedingly coveted item, so bids went on rising beyond 75, 000 and 80,000 euros,

until the figure of 95,000 euros was reached, producing moments of great thrill inside the auctions hall of Westlicht Schauplatz für Fotografie, and in spite of the pressure, the auctioning table of the auction (with the auctioneer Niki Schauerhuber, Jonny Glanz and Olivia Coeln) controlled the situation at every moment with outstanding professionalism and experience.

There were some inevitable seconds of stress, and finally a bid of 114,000 euros (premium included) was the  winner, and the attending audience burst into applause.

Copyright Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza



La Leica IIIa con la que el gran Alfred Eisenstaedt (el fotoperiodista más influyente de todos los tiempos y uno de los mejores fotógrafos de la historia) captó la famosa imagen del Beso en Times Square, Nueva York, el 14 de Agosto de 1945 durante la celebración del Día de la Victoria sobre Japón y el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, ha sido vendida por 114.000 euros durante la subasta celebrada el 25 de Mayo de 2013 en la Westlicht Schauplatz für Fotografie de Viena.

Vista frontal de la Leica IIIa VJ-Day con Leitz Summitar 5 cm f/2 y visor auxiliar VIOOH Número 60637. Al fondo se aprecia la zona inferior de la fotografía que le tomó el reportero de Life Bill Shrout pocas horas antes de que Eisie captara su famosa fotografía del marinero y la enfermera besándose en Times Square, New York.

La famosa fotografía El Beso tomada con la Leica IIIa Número de Serie 238716 por el legendario Maestro de la Fotografía Alfred Eisenstaedt en Times Square, Nueva York, el 14 de Agosto de 1945, durante la celebración de la victoria sobre Japón y el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Vista frontal de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt con objetivo Summitar 5 cm f/2. Montado sobre la zapata de accesorios puede verse el visor auxiliar original VIOOH Número 60637.

Vista boca arriba de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt con Summitar 5 cm f/2 y visor auxiliar VIOOH.

Vista superior trasera de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt con Summitar 5 cm f/2 y visor auxiliar VIOOH.

Primer plano de la zona superior y trasera del visor auxiliar original VIOOH Número 60637 de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Vista frontal superior de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt con Summitar 5 cm f/2 y visor auxiliar original VIOOH. Eisie había utilizado anteriormente sobre esta cámara un visor auxiliar VIDOM de un único prisma que no le gustaba, ya que mostraba una imagen invertida de izquierda a derecha y tenía que ser ajustado cada vez que hacía una fotografía vertical, por lo que a finales de 1939 lo cambió por un visor auxiliar VIOOH de dos prismas, que supuso una notable mejora, ya que aportaba corrección lateral, por lo que era mucho más fácil de usar.

Primer plano frontal del visor auxiliar original VIOOH Número 60637 de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt. La calidad del mecanizado del metal así como su precisión de fabricación son simplemente soberbios, siguiendo muy estrictos parámetros artesanales de producción con controles de calidad enormemente exhaustivos.

Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt con Summitar 5 cm f/2, visor auxiliar VIOOH y correa de transporte realizada en cuero.

Vista superior de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt con objetivo Summitar 5 cm f/2 y visor auxiliar VIOOH montado sobre la zapata de accesorios.

Leitz Wetzlar Summitar 5 cm f/2 Número de Serie 658134 revestido, compuesto por 7 elementos en 4 grupos y 10 palas de diafragma acoplado a la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt. El mecanizado del noble latón cromado y en especial el esmeradísimo acabado y precisión del estrecho aro de enfoque moleteado son ciertamente excelentes.

Vista diagonal izquierda del visor auxiliar original VIOOH de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt. Tanto su belleza como el altísimo nivel de perfección del bruñido de sus superficies metálicas son verdaderamente encomiables.

Vista superior de la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt. El bellísimo visor auxiliar original VIOOH con su soberbia calidad constructiva y un asombroso nivel de precisión son un buen ejemplo de la gran precisión de fabricación y uso de los mejores metales nobles disponibles que han sido uno de los rasgos distintivos de la legendaria empresa fotográfica alemana.

Desde el principio, se constató con claridad que la subasta de la cámara telemétrica Leica IIIa usada por Alfred Eisenstaedt para obtener la famosa fotografía El Beso el 14 de Agosto de 1945, durante la celebración del Día de la Victoria sobre Japón y el Final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, daría lugar a pujas de gran cuantía, debido a muchos factores diferentes, entre los que destacaban el ser una de las Leicas usadas por Eisie durante su trayectoria profesional, el hecho de que el negativo de película de blanco y negro de 35 mm Kodak Super-XX ASA 200 

expuesto a 1/125 seg y f/8 que impresionó la mundialmente célebre imagen estaba dentro de esta Leica IIIa telemétrica Número 238716 cuando el excepcional fotoperiodista, el más influyente de la historia, la captó en Times Square el 14 de Agosto de 1945 (siendo el carrete de película de 35 mm revelado en D-76 durante 20 minutos a 20º C  y publicada la imagen en la página 26 del número de la revista Life del 27 de Agosto de 1945) y el aspecto menos conocido de que asombrosamente, cuarenta y ocho años más tarde, este Genio de la Fotografía hizo los retratos de la familia Clinton en la galería Granary de West Tisbury en Martha´s Vineyard (Massachussets) con esta misma cámara, ¡usando un solo carreta de 35 mm!.  

Y ciertamente, la muy fuerte expectación que la Leica IIIa de Eisensatedt había provocado con anterioridad produjo una lucha tremendamente disputada por parte de los expertos compradores que deseaban con fervor adquirirla, lo cual generó varios relevantes momentos de bidding war, algo frecuente cuando se ponen a la venta artículos de inmenso valor fotográfico e histórico.

Es importante tener en cuenta que aunque la Leica IIIa de Alfred Eisenstaedt no fue un modelo de producción limitada o prototipo, sino que fue fabricada en grandes cantidades (91.887 unidades cromadas y 800 lacadas en negro entre 1935 y 1948), alcanzó en la subasta de Westlicht un precio final de 114.000 euros, lo cual indica muy claramente el inmenso prestigio de Alfred Eisenstaedt como fotoperiodista y su gigantesca figura 

                                          © Copyright Claire Yaffa

Alfred Eisenstaedt trabajando en el interior de su apartamento/oficina en la planta 28ª del edificio Time & Life en Manhattan. Claire Yaffa, amiga suya durante tres décadas hasta la muerte del Gran Maestro del Fotoperiodismo en 1996, le hizo esta fotografía a mediados de los años ochenta, y pudo constatar que el genio Eisie tenía miles y miles de copias en papel de las imágenes que había realizado durante su carrera guardadas en cajas amarillas de cartón, y gracias a su prodigiosa memoria, sabía con exactitud la ubicación de cada una de ellas, recordando también con todo lujo de detalles el año y las circunstancias en las que las había obtenido.

en la Historia de la Fotografía, ya que entre otras muchas cosas, este extraordinario fotógrafo fue el buque insignia durante la época dorada del fotoperiodismo, 

con 92 portadas en la revista Life, 2.500 reportajes y más de un millón de imágenes producidas.

El precio inicial estimado que aparecío en el catálogo de Westlicht oscilaba entre 20.000-25.000 euros, y tras una puja inicial de 12.000 euros, la Leica IIIa de Eisenstaedt alcanzó la cifra de 26.000 euros en un abrir y cerrar de ojos, 

que desembocó rápidamente en una enconada batalla entre pujadores de todo el mundo.

Las pujas aumentaban su valor una y otra vez.

Era evidente que esta cámara se había convertido en un muy codiciado objeto de deseo, por lo que las pujas continuaron incrementando su valor a ritmo vertiginoso, superando los 75.000 y 80.000 euros,

hasta que se llegó a la cifra de 95.000 euros, produciéndose momentos de gran emoción dentro de la Sala de Subastas de la Westlicht Schauplatz für Fotografie, y a pesar de la presión, la mesa de subasta formada por Niki Schauerhuber (Director de Subasta), Jonny Glanz y Olivia Coeln controló la situación en todo momento, haciendo gala de una notable profesionalidad y experiencia.

Se sucedieron algunos segundos de inevitable enorme stress, hasta que finalmente resultó ganadora una puja de 114.000 euros, momento en el que el público asistente prorrumpió en aplausos.

Copyright Texto y Fotos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza