(b Medellín, 1875; d Medellín, 1923).
Colombian photographer. In 1892, aged 17, he set up his own photographic studio. He taught himself photography from books, because the town (which was accessible only by mule) had not yet produced a photographer who could have taken him as an apprentice. Medellín, which he never left, was the source of his inspiration. He photographed the town and the people, creating a unique document of a provincial town in South America in the late 19th century and early 20th. His photographs combined the close observation of documentary reportage with a poetic atmosphere. In 1895 he published his best-known photograph, a portrait of a cobbler on a street in Medellín.
Rodríguez lived almost completely cut off from the world, but he had his materials sent to him from Paris by Lumière and Guilleminaut, and he was aware of contemporary trends in photography, particularly pictorial photography, by which he was evidently influenced. Each of his photographs underlines the picturesque qualities of his native town. Because electric light was not available in Medellín until ...