Juan di Sandro (1898-1988) is considered as the father of photojournalism in Argentina. Di Sandro worked for La Nación for most of his career, collaborating with them until 1976.
Di Sandro broke away from the stuffy, fixed still frames common to the late 1800s and opened up his style to life and movement and metaphor. He is said to have pioneered Argentine field photography, dedicating his professional life to capturing current events.
The Italian-Argentine is best known for his aerial shots in which he captures city life from new angles. He often took photos from small planes to achieve this, and is regarded for his ability to control shot lighting from afar with exquisite precision.
During his early years, Di Sandro frequented art circles in Buenos Aires and was inspired by the delicate work of peers like Gustav Thorlichen, Hans Mann, and Eduardo Colombo.
His most emblematic photo is “Llegada de Plus Ultra,” (1926) which is said to represent Argentine national identity of the twenties.
Di Sandro is also famous for his 1937 photos of major avenues in Buenos Aires, including Av. 9 de Julio and Av. De Mayo, as well as the era’s well-known store El Coloso– of course, all shot from above. His portrayal of these recognisable city spots in new and profound ways excited the public and continues to distinguish him as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. His focus on political happenings would allow him to work successfully in the field for over forty years.
Di Sandro worked with a Speed Graphic camera that his European contemporaries used. He later moved to a Rolleiflex that produced 6x6cm negatives. He is set apart from many of his peers because he never worked with a 35mm film camera, a tool that dominated the field internationally after WWII. Instead, he kept an older, luminous style that distinguished him from many photojournalists who moved to advanced shutter speeds and film types.
He received an award from the president of La Nación for his work at the first Photojournalism Summit of the Buenos Aires Press Circle in 1942.