"From Strasbourg to London – From Hübschmann to Hutton" | "Tender are the Nighthawks" | "Hola Chicas!"
Kurt Hutton, Sarah M. Lee & Anatol Kotte
The Leica Gallery Wetzlar presents exhibitions from Kurt Hutton, Sarah M. Lee and Anatol Kotte.
“People in themselves have got to mean something to the photographer before he will be able to produce a speaking likeness of them.”
A precise chronicler and sensitive portraitist, Kurt Hutton (1893–1960) is one of the most important pioneers of English photojournalism. After a short time as an assistant to Germaine Krull, he first opened a portrait studio in Berlin in 1921, but then began to work increasingly as a reportage photographer. A Leica provided him with the necessary flexibility and mobility for his photography. He began his career as a photo journalist in 1930 at the Berlin Dephot photo agency set up by Simon Guttmann. After emigrating to England in 1934, he changed his surname from Hübschmann to Hutton in 1937. He worked for Weekly Illustrated and as of October 1930 belonged to the first staff of Picture Post, founded by the legendary photo editor, Stefan Lorant, who had also emigrated from Germany. Until 1950 over 900 of his pictures series had appeared in Picture Post. Hutton moved to Aldeburgh in 1951, where he became the composer Benjamin Britten’s photographic biographer.
Kurt Hutton was born Kurt Hübschmann in Strasbourg on 11 August, 1893. 1911–1913 he studied Law at Queen’s College in Oxford. He served in the war up until 1918, after which he convalesced in St. Moritz, Switzerland. 1921 he married Margereta ‘Gretl’ Ratschitzky. After working as an assistant to Germaine Krull, he set up a portrait studio in Berlin. In 1934 he emigrated to London where he was a successful photo journalist. Hutton died in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, in 1960.
A special thanks goes to the Hulton Archive (Getty Images, London), whose support made this exhibition possible. The book Kurt Hutton: Pioneer of Photojournalism.
Huber, Umbach, von Schweinitz
The Leica Gallery Wetzlar present from 6 September until 20th November 2017 the exhibition 'Dieter Huber, Jens Umbach and Yvonne de Schweinitz'
Dieter Huber - STRIKE
“As an artist I also have the task of working on socially relevant subjects, of taking a look at the apparently insignificant, marginal and suppressed, reflecting it back to society with an aesthetically high-quality, contemporary and individual interpretation.”
Dieter Huber was born in Schladming, Austria, in 1962. He studied Set and Costume Design, and Theatre Painting at the Mozarteum College in Salzburg from 1980 to 1985. The artist is considered a pioneer of computer-generated art. His work always deals with socially-relevant content. Using different types of artistic techniques, his many series have been exhibited numerous times. Huber lives in Salzburg and Vienna.
Jens Umbach - Afghanistan
“I want to give viewers time to consider and reflect so that through the portraits they put the people in focus and not the war itself.”
Born in Homberg/Efze in 1973, Jens Umbach studied communications design at the University of Darmstadt, and moved to NYC. Free-lance photographer since 1999; he has been published in British Vogue, The New Yorker, London Telegraph Magazine, among others. He has also realised photo campaigns for IBM, Mercedes Benz and American Express. In addition to his commissioned work, Umbach always works on his own projects.He lives and works in Hamburg and NYC.
Yvonne von Schweinitz - Faces of Afghanistan
Born in Gdansk, and first growing up in West Prussia, Yvonne von Schweinitz (1921–2015) was the eldest child of Count Albert von Kanitz. In the 1930s the family relocated to Cappenberg via Berlin. She began working with press photographer Willy Pragher while studying Romance Philology and Art History in Freiburg in the 1950s. She was also working as a translator. Her first great voyage as a photographer took her to Morocco in 1 952. A year later she spent seven months in the Middle East. She married Victor von Schweinitz in 1957, travelling with him to Thailand and South America, among other destinations. Her photographic work has been rediscovered and extensively exhibited over the last few years.
“A photograph is the result of every past moment of the photographer’s life, both conscious and subconscious, which has made him the person he is at the exact moment he clicks the shutter.”
The US photographer’s picture stories are often enigmatic; yet, at the same time, the unusual compositions are fascinating. Considering the brightness of the California sun and the endless beaches that have left their mark on Diamond, it is hardly surprising that his images are im-bued with intense light phenomenon and water textures. In addition, a number of the pictures capture apparently chance moments of everyday urban life, whereby Diamond’s perception of his contemporaries is defined by a true delight in photographic experimentation – making a closer look often worthwhile. Taken in black and white with a Leica M6, what we notice in the White Noise series are the surprising details alongside graphic, rather abstract structures and surfaces of white space – at times the motif seems to nearly disappear. Diamond’s pic-tures are taken with the mindset of a documentary photographer. This, combined with an intu-itive cinematic style, allows him to create stark, uncompromising imagery: “I focus on true-life moments, and look for those rare instances that go beyond verbal description.”
The earliest photo in the series was already taken back in 1999 during a trip to India. Taken from a distant perspective, we see a coastline with two groups of four men each: the picture’s composition, however, is defined by the horizontal line created by the beach and the edge of the water. It is a very typical photo for the series that was primarily taken between 2005 and 2011. “I love the look of the white space and the way it makes the subject stand out in the middle of it all. That is the real focus. Subjects within a landscape awash in white light. The name White Noise seems very fitting.”
Born in Los Angeles in 1970, Jesse Diamond attended Cal Arts University where he trained as a musician and studied visual arts as a secondary course. Inspired by a trip to Africa in 1995, Diamond decided to concentrate entirely on photography. His professional photography career has been as diverse as his subject matter. In addition to individual artistic projects, he also works on assignment. In 2004, Diamond was selected as Fine Art Photographer of the Year by the International Photography Awards. In 2012 he co-founded eyeist.com, an online photography portfolio review service. Jesse Diamond is based in Los Angeles.
Winners and Finalists
Leica Oskar Barnack Award
French photographer Scarlett Coten was honoured with the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2016 for her series of photos entitled ‘Mectoub’. The winner of the Newcomer Award is photographer Clémentine Schneidermann with the photos of her project ‘The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest’.
The winner in the category ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award’ is Scarlett Coten who entered an impressive series of images with the title ‘Mectoub’. In her series, the French photographer shines a revealing light on the supposedly archetypal machismo of men in the Arab world. Her portraits draw the eye to the dichotomy between social conformity and personal desires. Scarlett Coten’s fascination for the various aspects of changing society in North Africa and the Middle East began in the days of the Arab Spring. Her images reflect a woman’s eye for composition that enabled her to capture extremely intimate portraits of the men she portrayed with her camera. With ‘Mectoub’, a play on words combining the Arab ‘maktub’, that stands for the inevitable in the sense of ‘It is written …’, and the French ‘mec’ a friendly slang expression for macho, Coten manages to take a subtle look beneath the veneer of traditional male roles of the Arab world. The winner of the main category of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award receives a cash prize of 25,000 euros and Leica M-System equipment to the value of a further 10,000 euros.
The ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2016’ goes to photographer Clémentine Schneidermann for her series with the title ‘The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest’. About a year ago, the Parisian-born photographer moved to the town of Abertillery in South Wales. She had already completed her studies in Newport and, in the course of a sojourn as photographer in residence, she began to document the way of life in the region. Although embedded in beautiful countryside, the region is burdened with immense economic and social problems. After the collieries were closed, the communities of the ‘Valleys’ of South Wales’ slid into a post-industrial crisis. Her project, ‘The Unbearable, the Sadness and the Rest’, combines the genres of documentary, portrait and fashion photography in extremely unusual ways. As the winner of the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award’ Clémentine Schneidermann receives a cash prize of 10,000 euros and a Leica rangefinder camera.
2016 is the first time that a further ten finalists have each been awarded cash prizes of 2,500 euros: Sadegh Souri, Stéphane Lavoué, William Daniels, Giulio Piscitelli, Vincent Delbrouck, Fulvio Bugani, Esther Teichmann, Guillaume Herbaut and Juan Pablo Bellandi.
For further information, please also see www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com
Leica Hall of Fame
“I think all the stuff on the street is a gift. But you only get it if you go out there every day.”
Without a doubt, Joel Meyerowitz belongs to the most renowned representatives of US street and colour photography. Like few others, he manages time and again to draw out surprising and often very curious moments from the tangled confusion of everyday life. Recognised in a fraction of a second, the motifs always appear as perfectly composed images, regardless of whether they were taken in black and white or colour. It was an encounter with Robert Frank in the early sixties – when Meyerowitz was working as an Art Director – that triggered his decision to become a photographer. Frank, who was already a famous photographer at the time, had been hired by Meyerowitz’s boss at the advertising agency to shoot photos for a booklet Meyerowitz had designed. After observing the great artist at work, Meyerowitz came to the decision to dedicate himself to street photography as well. Over the following years he took pictures on the streets of New York; this was where he found the perfect setting for observing life and people in the big city. After beginning in colour in 1962, Meyerowitz started to use black and white film a year later. The training he received in New York was further refined during a year-long journey throughout Europe in 1966/67. Many well-known pictures that belong to Meyerowitz’s unmistakable body of work were taken at that time in different countries and in many cities. In the years following his return to the US, colour became even more important for the photographer, and many of his legendary motifs are from that era. “I often think that the camera is a divining rod. It guides me! Because having it with me, in my hands, or on my shoulder, it is my license to see.”
Born in New York City in 1938, Meyerowitz grew up in the Bronx, studied painting and afterwards worked as an Art Director. He turned to 35mm colour photography in 1962, then discovered black and white, and finally came back with renewed commitment to the narrative richness of colour in 1972. New York City remained his favourite subject – from his early works in the sixties to the moving 9/11 motifs that were taken during the clean-up operations at Ground Zero. Meyerowitz lives and works in New York and in Tuscany, Italy.
Leica Hall of Fame
“Istanbul is my city. This is where I was born and grew up. And I’m still here.”
Painters, actors, photographers, musicians: during his long career, he has put together an impressive gallery of portraits of important artists and contemporaries; but for Ara Güler it was always Istanbul that was the star of the show. Without his pictures it would be virtually impossible to have the photographic impressions of Istanbul that we have today. Like no other, he has been documenting the bustle of the big city, as well as the hidden everyday life of the inhabitants of this metropolis on the Bosporus, capturing atmospherically-laden compositions with his Leica since the fifties. His images are symphonies composed of houses, shops, streets and bridges, as well as ships and clouds that repeatedly draw the viewer’s eye into the distance. Thus, Güler also became the chronicler of change, because Istanbul is also undergoing a transformation like few other cities, moving forward at high speed and with processes of change that are not always people-friendly. Consequently, his pictures reflecting the loss of old architecture and traditional lifestyles is all the more painful. It is not surprising that Turkey’s most significant photographer is known as a ‘visual historian’. Even more appropriate is his honorary title of ‘The Eye of Istanbul’.
Ara Güler was born in the Taksim district of Istanbul on 16 August, 1928, the son of a respected apothecary of Armenian descent. After studying economics, he decided to make himself a career as a photo journalist. After first working for an Istanbul newspaper, he was soon in demand -internationally. Güler and his Leica have photographed all over the world, producing reportages and assignments for the most renowned international magazines; yet it was Istanbul that always remained his endless reservoir of new visual discoveries.
Personal Best for Leica
“Pictures are for looking at, not for talking about.”
Elliott Erwitt is one of the world’s best-known photographers. His mostly black and white photos of famous people and memorable moments in contemporary history are regarded as modern photographic masterpieces. As a dog lover, he especially enjoys portraying his four-legged friends, and his fine sense of humor, reflected in much of his work, is his hallmark.
Born on 26 July 1928 in Paris as the son of Russian émigrés, Elliott Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan. In 1939 his family emigrated via France to the USA. As a teenager, Erwitt lived in Los Angeles, where he developed an interest in photography and worked in a photo lab. In 1948 he moved to New York City to study film making at the “New School for Social Research”. During this year he met the famous photographers Edward Steichen and Robert Capa. In 1951 he was called up for military service, where he was also able to do some photography.
It was not until 1953 that Elliott Erwitt started working for the independent photographers’ agency Magnum Photos, which had been founded in 1947 by the four photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour and George Rodger in Paris. A year later, Erwitt was already a full member of Magnum and served as its president from 1966 to 1969. During this time he worked as a freelancer for various magazines such as “Collier’s”, “Look”, “Life” and “Holiday”. He portrayed many celebrities including Marlene Dietrich, Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and even Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. In the years 1974 and 1980 he again acted as vice president of the Magnum agency.
The “Personal Best for Leica” exhibition bears testimony to the decades of friendship between the photographer and his Leica camera.
Faces & Places
“My theory is that you can see talent and vision in the eyes. That’s why they’re clearly at the forefront.”
Improvisation plays an important role in jazz – using the moment and being spontaneous. “This plan B is a central component,” Till Brönner explains. The trumpet player, singer and composer likes to set himself new challenges – and not only in music. His photography also frequently reveals his spontaneous side. “The shorter the session, the better the result. That means either intense preparation or a reduction to the essential.” Brönner focuses mainly on musicians or other artists that he encounters during his work playing jazz. Five pictures, ten at most – this is his approach to producing the black and white portraits that he takes after a performance, during a joint interview, at a dinner. The camera has become a constant companion when he is on tour. He uses it to capture anything he finds important. “A frame, a face without too much stuff or hair around it, inevitably draws the glance to the eyes. Even so, you still need to be able to recognize the person. I prefer if it’s ‘recognition at a second glance’, in which case, so much the better.” Nowadays, Brönner also gives the places he travels to a similar degree of concentration and intensity. He also considers it important that his street photography have no fixed style, but rather remain open to whatever comes along. “Street photography offers a wonderful contrast to portrait photography – here the observer, on the other side the person setting the scene.”
Till Brönner was born in Viersen in 1971. After receiving a classical training, he studied jazz trumpet at the Music School in Cologne. In addition to his international solo career, Brönner has been a Professor at the Dresden Music School since 2009. In 2014 TeNeus published his first, large photo book, titled Faces of Talent. Brönner lives in Berlin and Los Angeles.
Rolf Sachs - Camera in Motion: from Chur to Tirano
The exhibition “Camera in Motion: from Chur to Tirano” shows momentary impressions of the spectacular scenery of the UNESCO World Heritage Albula/Bernina railway journey.
At the end of 2012, Rolf Sachs began taking photos of the landscape elements of the Rhaetian railway line from the window of a moving train. Over the course of twelve months, he photographed building facades, trains and forests with his Leica S camera, documenting various scenes from different viewpoints. Despite the high speed of the train, the results are of extraordinary quality. Viewed singly, Rolf Sachs’ photos are snapshots that have captured a fleeting moment. Together, they reveal the inexorable passage of time as reflected in the speed of the journey and the changing of the seasons. Poised between abstraction and reality, they highlight the contrast between the object the camera focuses on and the passing scenery, which lends them a strong painterly component.
Rolf Sachs was born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1955 and studied in both England and the USA. Inspired as a young teenager by the art that surrounded him, he became an artist himself in the late eighties, working in photography, sculpture, set design and installation. Sachs is interested in everyday objects and their materiality, looking for the extraordinary and unconventional in them which he brings to light in a conceptual language in his multidisciplinary work.
The photos are available for sale (prices on request).
The photos are being exhibited together with the photo exhibition, the sculpture “gaudi”, a wooden sledge about four meters long from the series “Typically German?”. Drawing inspiration from the diversity of German culture, Rolf Sachs focused on “typically German” attributes for the solo exhibition “Typically German?” in the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne, interpreting them in a varied, subtle and sometimes tongue-in-cheek manner in the form of unusual objects.
Four viewpoints in contemporary photography
„STRUTH–TILLIM–MORTAGNE–GUINDANI - Four viewpoints in contemporary photography“ is a selection of four projects of the photographers Thomas Struth, Guy Tillim, Fred Mortagne and Stefano Guindani. They all worked with the mirrorless Leica SL.
Thomas Struth is known for his large-format conceptual series of museum interiors, architecture and nature. His most recent project comes as a surprise, as music is the central theme. The photos were taken during a music production in the concert hall of Marienmünster Abbey. Struth’s portrayal of the guitarist Frank Bungarten and sound engineer Werner Dabringhaus impressively communicates the atmosphere of concentrated musicians at work. The project is complemented by photographs of the Baroque interior of the abbey church. Again, Struth not only draws the attention of the viewer to the Baroque objects in the empty church, but also to the atmosphere of silence and concentration. Exploring the room with precision, he discovers the place anew with the details he has chosen to photograph, interpreting it with his photographic imagery. Very subtly, he thus illustrates the contiguity of music and images by thematizing composition, variation and interpretation as common constants.
Guy Tillim has focused intensely on urban landscapes for some time. His main interest is not so much the photographic subject, but the attempt to approach it without bias or prejudice. The resulting images are authentic because they neither depict clichés nor do they desperately try to avoid them. There is no easy way in to Tillim’s work. His pictures provide no clues for interpreting his subjects, the viewers have to find them out for themselves. Presented in diptychs, the work breaks the composition of the individual image, offering a view not of Tillim’s thoughts, but of what he can actually see in front of him – in the middle of Berlin.
Fred Mortagne, better known in the skateboarding scene as “French Fred”, is a unique phenomenon in skateboard photography. While most sports photographers concentrate on athletic performance and the most spectacular tricks, Mortagne creates a totally different perspective just by working in black and white. Mortagne, who began his career as a film maker, has developed the “Frangle” or “Fred Angle” technique for his videos: riding a skateboard himself, he accompanies and circles round his protagonists as if riding on a camera dolly. He looks for the special perspective in his photography, too, capturing flawlessly executed skateboard tricks (the elegance of movement counting more than the level of difficulty) against the background of dramatically composed architectural lines.
Stefano Guindani’s behind-the-scenes view of the world of modeling focuses on the job rather than the fashion. He often shows models with tired eyes, hair curlers, pulling faces or scurrying from the stage to the dressing room. “It’s becoming more and more important to take photographs backstage for several reasons,” says Guindani. “Some are commercial, i.e. to enhance the visibility of the products, and some are journalistic, to present the show. But most of all the aim is to get authentic photos of the models. Without any staging and posing.” His photos reflect his intuitive, seemingly almost involuntary approach. At times, structures blur and models’ heads and bodies dissipate. That lends the photos an aura of the sublime and transcendental.
JH Engström | Wiktoria Wojciechowska
Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2015
In his prize-winning series Tout va bien, Swedish photographer JH Engström portrays impressions in a wide range of styles that reflect his emotions – from scenes of birth to poetic shots of nature, all the way to surreal portraits. Engström spent his early career in Sweden and France. After working as an assistant for Mario Testino and Anders Petersen, and completing a photography degree in Gothenburg, he published several successful books and collected numerous international awards.
Born in Lublin, Poland, Wiktoria Wojciechowska used her Short Flashes series to capture Chinese cyclists in the cities of Beijing and Hangzhou on their way through incessant rain. Her spontaneous shots, which go unnoticed by their subjects, portray a range of authentic moments. Her work has also been displayed at several exhibitions and festivals and published in numerous magazines.
Flash by Lenny Kravitz
With his first photo show Lenny Kravitz makes his mark in a new arena of the creative arts.
During his childhood, Kravitz was enthralled by cameras, playing with them like toys instead of taking photographs. In recent years photographer friends taught him the fundamentals of photography by using a Leica. Intrigued by the possibilities, Kravitz began creating his own works, featuring close attention to the nuances and effects created by light. As he himself had been endlessly photographed by photographers, paparazzi, and fans—his perspective on aesthetics was decidedly unique. This thrilling show captures the essence of what it’s like to be a rock star who’s constantly in the public eye. The result: an intense exploration of the photographer and his subject.
“For my work on the S Magazine, I was given the opportunity to pull out all my creative stops. It’s not about normal fashion photography. Every picture aims to take the viewer on a unique journey.”
Enrique Badulescu belongs to the front line of contemporary beauty and fashion photographers. Expressivity and strong contrasts are part of his unique signature. “I love contrasts, not just of light and shadow, dark and light, but above all in colors.” His underwater work is legendary. For over twenty-five years, international labels such as Hermès have have trusted in his ability to create the perfect imagery to convey their brand essence.
For the S Magazine, Badulescu has given new interpretation to the spirit of the labels being presented. With boundless creativity and a broad palette of techniques, he gives unique expression to his perception of fashion, beauty and lifestyle. He creates motifs and series which captivate the viewer with their liveliness. Upon closer inspection, the figures in the images seem to communicate with the viewer. Movement is also a central feature of his work, which is why Badulescu prefers to photograph outdoors, with special emphasis on shore and underwater shots. He appreciates the unpredictability of the elements and their ability to break down any stiffness in the arrangements, and in doing so, bring a softer quality to the images. To ensure diversity in his work for S Magazine, he occasionally dispensed with color. “Black and white is very poetic. Looking at the images, you get the feeling that you’re watching an Antonioni film.”
In addition to being an expert with the S camera, Badulescu shines using analog materials and techniques. He creates collages and adds painted details, giving digital photography the human touch that it can otherwise lack. Improvisation is also key: Badulescu’s forte is to take chance situations, even mishaps, and speedily turn them into central features of his pictures. His playful, light treatment of concepts and materials allows him to continually dream up new visual pathways, new ways to portray a story. The series created exclusively for S Magazine are impressive testimonies of his talent.
Enrique Badulescu was born in Mexico City in 1961. He trained at the Bavarian State Academy of Photography in Munich. His international career began in the London music scene in the late 80s, when he worked for the British magazine The Face, and photographed the Rolling Stones. Shortly afterwards he was commissioned to do various album covers and was booked for his first campaign. His work has appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar. Badulescu lives in New York.
“I learned that I can take a picture wherever I can see one. With analogue photography I was often confronted with the limitations of the medium, but with the Monochrom I find I can go a step further.”
For decades, Ralph Gibson – master of shadows and elegant nudes – was convinced that digital photography would never measure up to analogue. The American photographer had been taking pictures with analogue Leicas since 1961. In 2013 he had a visit from Duncan Meeder, owner of the Leica Store Lisse/Henny Hoogeveen near Amsterdam, who made him a special offer: a Ralph Gibson edition of the Leica M Monochrom, as well as prints and a book – all photos taken with the camera. Gibson agreed to the proposal and a short while later was exploring the potential of a digital camera for the first time.
The Mono series taken with the M Monochrom emerged over the following months: the images were taken in ten different countries – a journey around the world in contrasting black and white. At a first glance there is no common thread between them: daily scenes on the street, abstract cut-outs, immaculate bodies. However, though often insignificant moments, the pictures capture an exciting interplay of lines, light and darkness, and come together in a harmonious whole.
Many years ago, the great André Kertesz said to Gibson, “A photographer must learn to photograph everything.” Gibson in turn commented in the foreword to the book, “Well, when one is fortunate enough to have such an advisor, perhaps it’s wise to obey.” The pictures in the series prove the point that it is, in fact, possible to photograph everything.
Ralph Gibson was born in Los Angeles in 1939. He studied photography in the US Navy and at the San Francisco Art Institute, and later worked as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank. In 1969, Gibson established Lustrum Press. Since then over 40 monographs of Gibson’s work have been published.
100 photographers – 100 portraits
“Photography is simply who I am. It is a gift I cherish. I will always be grateful to other photographers who have helped show me the way and to the people who permitted me to photograph them and allow me into their world.”
Portraiture is the royal discipline of photography. Since the early days of the medium, people have been fascinated by its capacity to reproduce a person’s features. The dialogue between the photographer and the one being portrayed can become an intimate moment of human communication. To ensure the desired result takes mastery and, above all, sensitivity on both sides of the conversation. Questions of self-expression, of similarity, of interpretation and of creative possibilities are an intricate part of every portrait photograph, and later on there is also the interaction between the viewer and the picture.
It is a known fact that few photographers like being portrayed themselves – they are obviously too used to the protection offered by standing behind the camera. Henri Cartier-Bresson’s reserve in front of other photographers was legendary. He much preferred to go unnoticed to being the centre of attention. He has this in common with many other prominent photographers, who all preferred looking through the viewfinder to posing in front of the camera.
This makes the gallery of pictures Claire Yaffa has put together of her colleagues over many years, all the more exciting. Even Henri Cartier-Bresson made an exception, allowing her to photograph him for her project. In fact, he allowed her to do it a number of times. With passionate interest and a sensitive feeling for the moment, Yaffa’s long-term project has become a veritable “who’s who” of great photography personalities. A look at the gallery quickly reveals the truth of Cornell Capa’s words when he said, “… fear not Yaffa, the photographs are beautiful and your images will remain.”
60 Years Leica M
“Shooting with a Leica is like a long tender kiss, like firing an automatic pistol, like an hour on the analyst’s couch.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
The camera is a key that unlocks the world. The Leica M, in particular, has opened up the door to capturing exceptional events and outstanding people. It adapts just as well to war zone photojournalism as to social reportage, to street photography as to poetic landscapes or tranquil portraits. Without a doubt, the Leica M is not just any camera. It is legendary, and for many it has become a collector’s item or a status symbol. It is so much more than just a dependable, precision instrument, because every photographer develops a unique relationship to his or her own camera. A Leica is both a discrete observer, a lightening speed accomplice and a trustworthy companion. It works perfectly day after day, and can also create a magical connection to the greatest photographers and most famous pictures.
Many of the photographs that have lodged themselves in our collective consciousness were taken with a Leica M: important world events as much as chance encounters of everyday life, portraits of prominent personalities as well as nameless strangers. In Magic Moments, we see Marilyn Monroe, Mother Teresa and The Beatles, but also anonymous travellers, children at play and fleeting passers-by. Each photo has its own imagery, so there are just as many clearly composed pictures to discover as puzzling perspectives. Whether black and white or colour, this jubilee selection of pictures taken over the last six decades, presents unforgettable moments captured in legendary photographs. An exceptional kaleidoscope of diversity and surprises – just like life itself.
Leica M: the unique rangefinder camera system was first introduced in 1954 with the M3, and since then the family tree has continued to grow; but, despite the transformation to digital photography, continuity was always more important than constant change. If a typical photographic style exists for the Leica M, it could be defined as ‘creative images that have emerged from the midst of life’, photographs that are touching, that tell a story, that offer insight into the world and into daily life; quite simply, photographs that renew the Leica M myth every day, with fascinating results, whether taken by important photographers or by others as yet unknown.
10 x 10 exhibition
The 10 x 10 exhibition is a project created to celebrate the centenary of Leica Photography. It presents contemporary photography that looks to the future while also linking closely to the past.
For Leica camera AG, the move to the Leitz Park in Wetzlar is a return to its roots and a step into the future with new headquarters. The Leica Gallery Wetzlar has also made itself a home here, and is inviting visitors to explore the constantly evolving facets of the world of photography. The gallery is inaugurated with the 10 x 10 exhibition, a project created to celebrate the centenary of Leica Photography.
It presents contemporary photography that looks to the future while also linking closely to the past: the idea was to pair ten contemporary Leica photographers in a creative dialogue with ten of the great masters of photographic history, resulting in ten pictures each. It was not about modelling the images on the works of the old masters, but rather about the new ideas that might emerge from the interaction with the existing works: an artistic exchange, an impetus, a convergence and a demarcation.
Waiting to move
Ciril Jazbec, winner of the 2013 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award for emerging talents with his photo series “Waiting to move”, focuses on the everyday life and the dying traditions of the Inupiaq Eskimos in Shishmaref.
Situated on an extremely narrow island off the north west coast of Alaska, the village is jeopardized by the climate change and the consequent rise of the sea level. To preserve the community, the inhabitants voted in 2002 in favor of a complete resettlement of the village to the nearby mainland. Ever since then they have been waiting for the American government to appropriate the funds necessary to finance the move. Ciril Jazbec’s emotional images capture the mood of waiting and at the same time record the solidarity of a small community between tradition and modern times.
The winner of the competition is Evgenia Arbugaeva from Siberia with her photo series “Tiksi”. The theme of the series is everyday Arctic life in the photographer’s home town.
Once a strategic military and science hub in the middle of the Siberian tundra, the port has long lost its air of importance. After the fall of USSR, when government stopped financing it's northern projects more then a half of population have left the town in search for a better future. In haunting and poetic images, the photographer evokes the fascinating beauty of the Arctic icescape and the people who live there. Her images are stark and without distracting detail, presenting everyday scenes of life in the harsh environment that show how the inhabitants come to terms with the permanent cold. Despite the harsh conditions, the photographer paints a very affectionate picture of her homeland and the images exude an almost fairy tale-like charm.
Last Days of the Arctic
This exhibition is entitled “Last Days of the Arctic” and features black-and-white photos from the photo book of the same name by the Icelandic photographer Ragnar Axelsson. They have shown fascinating icescapes with gigantic glaciers as well as impressions from the everyday life of the Inuits, who earn their living by hunting seals, whales and polar bears.
The photos were taken near Kangertittivaq, better known as Scoresby Sund, a fjord system on the East coast of Greenland. This is the home of hunter Hjelmer Heimeken. Hunting is iconic to his cultural history, and he feels a deep respect for nature and its creatures. The conditions between ice and snow are hard enough, but made even tougher by the effects of the climate change that cause cracks in the ice and can cost the hunter his life. Hjelmer knows that he is risking his life every time he ventures out on the ice. But for him, this is the natural cycle: if he takes something from nature, he has to give something back in return – even if it’s his own life.
Ragnar Axelsson, known as RAX, lives in Reykjavik and ranks among the most successful photojournalists in Iceland. Born in 1958, he has already traveled the whole world, but his passion is for the people in Nordic regions. His photographs tell stories of their life and survival in breathtaking natural surroundings. The pictures bear witness to the magnificence of the landscapes and the steadfastness of people in a natural environment endangered by climate change. Axelsson has already won many awards for his photo essays, including an “honorable mention” in the prestigious Leica Oscar Barnack Award competition.
Die gezeigten Aufnahmen sind mit der Leica M Monochrom entstanden und können käuflich erworben werden. Preisangaben sind auf Anfrage erhältlich.
On My Side of Town
This exhibition is by the French photographer Bénédicte Lassalle and is entitled “On my side of town”. The photos were taken in the 17th arrondissement of Paris, where the photographer lived for a long time. Fascinated by her environment, she has captured scenes and impressions of her everyday life, giving them an almost mystic character. This is because the views Bénédicte Lassalle presents are not a true-to-detail copy of reality.
Each picture is a photomontage combining an urban panorama with a nature photo. The trees with their labyrinth of branches, buds and leaves seem like a fine veil through which the viewer looks into the soul of Paris. As a result, the urban silhouettes take on a poetic beauty. The French capital looks like something out of a fairy tale – the ordinary exudes a special kind of magic.
Born in Provence in 1975, Bénédicte Lassalle now lives and works in the USA. She is a member of the French photographers’ agency Agence Revelateur (www.agencerevelateur.fr). Photography is her vocation. Her ambition is to create photo documentation that reflects artistic quality and the vision of the author. She finds inspiration for her photographic projects in objects of everyday life. Her work has won several awards and featured in many publications. The exhibition “On my side of town” (French title: Par chez moi) will also be shown in the Galerie Imagineo in Paris from September 5th to 28th.
The exhibited photos were taken with a Leica M7 and a Leica Summilux-M f/1.4 /50mm ASPH. lens. They are available for sale (prices on request).
James Whitlow Delano
Selling Spring - Sex Workers Series
The theme of the “Selling Spring: Sex Workers Series” exhibition is prostitution. The American photographer James Whitlow Delano took the photos in various countries, including Japan, China and Mexico. Fascinated by this sub-culture, he adopts an extremely discreet approach. After all, his reportage is a risky undertaking. He is under constant observation – by pimps, clients, the police and the prostitutes themselves. This means he has to work quickly and inconspicuously, so the black-and-white series is exclusively composed of snapshots – the viewer will not find any arranged portraits here.
Delano’s photos give us a backstage view of the sex industry. He is interested in the personal stories of the young men and women who do this job, as these stories are as varied as the motives that drive them to prostitution. Whether poverty, violence or hopelessness, every one of them has their own particular tragedy and deserves respect. The photographer shows the human beings behind the sex façade in an attempt to give them back part of the dignity they lost long ago.
Born in 1960, James Whitlow Delano is currently living in Tokyo. He has already worked in Asia for many years, mainly on long-term projects focusing on human rights, the environment and culture. His photographs, most of which are black and white, have been featured in magazines all over the world, such as the New York Times Magazine, Geo, Mare and Time Asia. He has already won many awards, for instance the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award, an honorable mention in the 2006 Leica Oskar Barnack Award and the Picture of the Year International Award.
The photos in the exhibition were taken with Leica M2 and M6 analog rangefinder cameras.
The “Elevated Perspectives” project comprises ten large-format aerial photos taken by photographer Nick Rains from a Cessna 172. In the year 2011, Rains spent roughly 12 months touring the South West of Australia to document the region from the ground. When he was given the opportunity to take photos from the air he was immediately delighted with the result.
Aerial photography may not be a new genre, but these photos never cease to lose their fascination due to the different perspective they offer. The viewer is given the chance to see the world with different eyes and discover it anew. Looking with a bird’s-eye view, the familiar environment becomes an adventure waiting to be explored.
Nick Rains’ career as a photographer began about 30 years ago, starting in Europe in the eighties and continuing in his home country Australia from 1990 onwards. His work has already been published all over the world in books, newspapers, calendars and magazines.
The exhibited photographs were taken with the Leica S medium-format system and 70 mm and 120 mm lenses, and are available for sale (prices on request).
Yan Kang Yang
The photo series “Tibetan Land” of the Chinese photographer Yan Kang Yang gives insights into the life of Tibetans, who have one of the most mysterious cultures in China. A key theme of the project is the strong power of faith. The way the Tibetan Chinese live out their faith and pray to Buddha even under the harshest conditions – sometimes at altitudes of 4000 meters – exerts a great fascination, which the award-winning photographer has captured in impressive images. The most striking feature of the black-and-white photos is the peace they emanate. The viewer clearly senses the deep-rooted affinity of the people with their religion, philosophy and culture.
Born in 1954, Yang began his career as a photographer for a small local newspaper. He exhibited his work for the first time in 1988. His first exhibition in Germany in 1992 led to a large number of international projects. In 2005, Yang’s photo report “Der lange Marsch zum lieben Gott” in GEO magazine earned him a Henri Nannen prize, an award honoring outstanding journalistic work, in the “Best Photo Reportage” category.
The displayed images were photographed with a Leica MP camera and Leica Summilux-M 1.4/35 mm lens and are available for sale (prices on request).
In his photo project “Culinary South Tyrol”, photographer Udo Bernhart takes the viewer on a culinary trip round Italy’s northernmost province. This is a region where nearly everything grows, a place where the easy-going Mediterranean lifestyle meets Alpine down-to-earthness.
And the cuisine, boasting a long list of award-winning chefs, combines the best of both worlds. Sometimes, however, it’s the plain delights that make the difference: bread from home-grown grain, wine from steep little vineyards or home-made fruit spreads. These products are made by people who live for their ideas. Only the best ingredients are good enough for them. The photographer has captured the culinary highlights in colorful pictures – a real treat for fans of German-Italian food – and shows the pride of all those responsible for their production. The Book “Südtirol kulinarisch” (Culinary South Tyriol) by Monika Kellermann, photographed by Udo Bernhart, was published by “Collection Rolf Heyne”.
Udo Bernhart has worked as a free-lance photographer and photojournalist for more than 35 years. Born and bred in the Vinschgau region and deeply rooted in the South Tyrolean landscape, his assignments have already taken him all over the world, for instance to Terra del Fuego, China, Alaska and Camchatka. His work has been featured in German and international magazines. As well as many photo reports, he has published over 60 photo books.
The photos in the exhibition were taken with a Leica M9. They are available for sale (prices on request).
Frank Hallam Day & Piotr Zbierski
Gewinner des Oscar Barnack Preises 2012
First prize highly prestigious photography competition, the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2012’, goes to US photographer Frank Hallam Day for his portfolio entitled ‘Alumascapes’.
Throughout his career as a photographer, Frank Hallam Day has concerned himself with many different aspects of the medium. Following numerous projects with a focus on political issues, his work has now increasingly turned towards exploring the relationships between man and the environment. For this, he shoots predominantly at night to reveal a suggestive and ambiguous side of the world. The latest example of this is illustrated by his winning portfolio ‘Alumascapes’. This photographic project shows the results of a month-long journey through Florida. In his images, Frank Hallam Day depicts the phenomenon of man and his environment in a unique manner and makes recreational vehicles (RV’s) – ultra-modern, high-tech and luxury homes on wheels – the brightly lit and dazzling stars of his pictures. They seem to be inextricably entwined in the jungle landscapes of Florida at night and appear as essential islands of security in a dark and hostile environment. They protect their owners with a feeling of safety and comfort in the lap of luxury. Of course, this form of escape no longer has much to do with the love of nature, relinquishing everyday luxuries or winding down. Frank Hallam Day’s images reveal that the relationship between man and the environment is more ambiguous than ever before.
Piotr Zbierski is the winner of the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award 2012’ with his portfolio ‘Pass by Me’.
‘Pass by me’, the winning portfolio, represents the culmination of a project on which Polish photographer Piotr Zbierski has been working for five years. In his long-term project entitled ‘White Elephant’, the photographer explores the expression of emotions and the question of to what extent they can alter reality. In this, he is particularly fascinated by chance encounters. His view of people in the role of an impartial observer, fleeting encounters with strangers – without prior knowledge of his subjects – enables him to see what is pure and essential: people and their entire world of emotions. In the words of Piotr Zbierski, ‘I chose photography because it lets me get very close to people. It is the only medium with a directness that lets me show the existence of the imagination in the real world.’ In his images, he concentrates on faces, gestures, the expression of feelings and relationships. His images have no pretension of being original, but instead are authentic. They depict scenes from the heart of life itself, captured at a wide variety of locations. The majority were shot on journeys through Eastern Europe and India. Although the portfolio appears to have a random structure at first sight, an underlying order and relationship exists between the images. Together they build an entirety and relate a story of happiness, memories and encounters characterised by the photographer’s own particular style.