In late December 1937, correspondent Hemingway was observing the Loyalists' drive to take the nearby town of Teruel. Also on hand was the Hungarian-born photographer Robert Capa, who was just beginning to make his reputation as one of the great war photographers of this century. Capa saw in Hemingway a promising commercial opportunity, and he was soon focusing his lens on the writer with an eye to marketing the results as a photo story.
The series of pictures began with shots of Hemingway in his hotel room in Valencia, making preparations to report on Teruel. It then progressed to the battlefront, where Capa captured him studying his notes, talking to Loyalist soldiers, and seeking respite from a brutal winter cold around a fire. Among the more striking images was this one showing Hemingway sprawled in the grass, helping a Loyalist to unjam his rifle. The picture spoke volumes about Hemingway's approach to war reporting. Never content to be strictly an observer, he liked being part of the action, and the more directly involved in combat he was the more exhilarated he became.