The People of Gibraltar
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Photos


Gibraltar was very much a military fortress in Joseph Porral’s day and restrictions on the subject matter available to the professional and amateur photographers alike were strictly enforced by the British Authorities.  In 1887 - and then again in 1895 - laws prohibiting civilians from sketching or taking photographs without the authority of the Governor came into effect. Anybody caught red-handed would be arrested without warrant and cameras and photographs confiscated. Even as late as 1913, Baedeker was strongly advising its travelling readers on this:
Visitors (to Gibraltar) should not leave the main paths without permission, and they are forbidden to take photographs or to make either drawings or notes when near the fortifications. Foreigners are never allowed to see over the fortifications.
In essence it meant that most photographers of the era were forced to concentrate on views that had already been done to death by others - and Porral it would seem was no exception. Generally I think I am safe to assume that photographs identified with a “JP” logo were in fact taken by Joseph Porral. However, there are several other photos missing this logo but are nevertheless credited to him - very often I suspect incorrectly. I have nevertheless included them. 

Photos with logo






Taken the same day, top with logo, bottom without - but almost certainly taken by Porral - bottom copy held by the Gibaltar National Museum



The Illustrated London News engraving was surely copied from a photograph taken by Juan Porral - a Gibraltarian professional who had a shop in Engineer Lane. He was, in my opinion just as good as other photographers of his era but for some reason has rarely been acknowledged as such.

The question is – was the News pic taken from a second photograph by Porral . . . or did the artist change the direction of the boat in order to avoid paying copyright? The picture incidentally was used in a full-page article on the Utopia tragedy which happened on the 17th of March 1891 – 11 days before publication.







Photos without logo credited to Joseph Porral












1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Introduction
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Carte de Visite
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Postcards
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Tangier
1860 - Joseph Porral - Gibraltar Photographer - Algeciras