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D 7,50 € NL B L 8,70 € I 8,80 € UK 6,90 £
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L E I C A F O T O G R A F I E I N T E R N AT I O N A L
Mathieu Bitton Anatol Kotte Charles March Tom Munro
An exploration on Trust By Jess Bonham and Anna Lomax
Lfi 4. 2018
LEICA. DAS WESENTLICHE.
p o rt f o l i o l e i tz pa r k III
F / s to p
1 4 0 | t h e wa i t i s ov e r 1 1 6 | L e i c a St e a lt h
The third section of the Leitz Park officially opens in June. We take a first look at the new World of Leica – from the overall design concept to architectural details and the new Leica Museum
Leica introduced another special edition of the M Monochrom in New York in March. Designed by Marcus Wainwright the all black camera is known as the ‘Stealth Edition’
P h oto
122 | SL lenses
We had to wait a long time, but finally the Apo-Summicron SL 75mm and the Apo-SummicronSL f/2 90mm Asph were made available for a test run
1 4 8 | F e s t i va ls From 2 July to 23 September, 2018, the organisation team will be presenting the 49th edition of Les Rencontres d’Arles
Tom Munro, from the Tokyo72 series (2014)
132 | Museum Leica
150 | Exhibitions
The opening of the Leitz Park III is drawing closer: an opulent twovolume book dealing with the new Leica factory museum’s collection offers a first glimpse
Lee Miller at the Heptworth Wakefield in Yorkshire, Diane Arbus in Washington, Martin Schoeller in Rotterdam, Harold Feinstein in Paris and Henri Cartier-Bresson at the ICP, New York City
Bruce Davidson 6 | L e i c a H a ll o f Fa m e
He photographed for Life magazine, became a member of Magnum, and always looked for and found his own personal perspective. A homage
Anatol Kotte 3 8 | P r oy e c to H a ba n a
Extremely high performance, even at wide-open aperture: the Apo-Summicron-SL lenses
Choreographer and catwalk trainer Jorge González poses in Havana: a grandiose setting with a sparkling protagonist
Tom Munro 5 4 | 72 To kyo
Sleepless in Tokyo: the British fashion and celebrity photographer spent three days exploring the streets of the Japanese capital
152 | books New publications by Kacper Kowalski, Samantha Dietmar, Carl de Keyzer and Guillaume Simoneau 1 5 3 | L e i c a G a ll e r i e s Leica Galleries around the world – a programme overview. Including Gideon Mendel, Bogdan Konopka, Hellen van Meene and Bruce Davidson 154 | my picture In Ghuangdong, François Fontaine captured an image that combines the China of yesteryear with the China of today
72 | da r k e r t h a n b lu e
Between hope and struggle: the intense black and white portraits of Afro-Americans will be on display at the Park in of 15 photos. June, 2018 Light. Motion. Moment. The Leica SL is Leitz the camera forWetzlar, capturingas special Its
154 | imprint
autofocus technology is among the fastest, and its revolutionary EyeRes® viewfinder provides complete control over each picture. Every time. Its 24 MP CMOS full frame sensor guarantees exceptional picture quality over the complete ISO range – from 9 2 | G L EANN BADRAI G 50 to 50000. Discover the power of the moment at leicasl.com.
In a remote valley on the Scottish island on Jura, the
British photographer produced expressionist landscape LEICA SL. Fast. Direct. Mirrorless. images, reminiscent of paintings
Cover: Bruce Davidson, Lefty showing his tattoo, Brooklyn Gang, NYC 1959
3 Photo shot on Leica SL from the series “Parkour Motion”,lFI © Ben | Franke
L FI G a ll e r y
Wa r n i n g ! C o n s t r u c t i o n s i t e ! n e w L o o k a n d n e w f e at u r e s
Well-arranged, informative and with a user-friendly design: the LFI Gallery has had a makeover
The LFI Gallery’s layout has been given a full makeover, while the upload process has been optimized and further possibilities created for mobile devices. The new homepage and userfriendly interface guide you through the gallery and its various areas. The photographer’s personal space has also benefitted from a new design, with a complete redevelopment of the upload module. It speeds up the process of uploading and describing pictures, and simplifies the application for the Leica Master Shot. In addition, the maximum data size has been increased to 15 megabytes per photo. Finally, this new version of the gallery offers more flexibility and fun when using mobile devices. Upload your pictures, set-up and sort albums, submit a picture for the Leica Master Shot – this can now all be done with your tablet or smart phone. Explore the new gallery, be inspired by the best photos, and show the LFI photo editors your greatest pictures! lfi.gallery
“I felt that my mission in life was to make visible what appears to be invisible and I do that as someone who is blind and comes into a world and suddenly begins to see.” Recognising the unique manner in which he has communicated this life mission in photos, Leica Camera is honouring the US photographer, Bruce Davidson – who turns 85 years-old in September 2018 – by inducting him into the Leica Hall of Fame on 15 June 2018. We offer our sincere congratulations! 4 |
To m M u n r o “The geishas were not staged. Of course there’s no guarantee of seeing geishas, not even in Tokyo. We were walking down the street and fortunately saw a group of them. Altogether, we probably spent five minutes with them and moved on.” When Tom Munro was in Tokyo in 2014, he used his free time to return to the beginnings of his photographic career: to high contrast street photography. He just photographed everything and anyone that attracted his eye – like these geishas.
Charles March has always tried to do something to get himself between the camera and the subject – adding an emotional mystery, a personal interpretation of a feeling for a place. The landscapes that he has taken are deliberately not highly detailed. They are also not traditionally photographic, as the exposure is long and the camera is not still, but instead is lurched in a series of rapid movements, defined by the nature of the subject itself – opening up an opportunity for personal expression.
Photos: © Vasco Trancoso, © Emily Davidson, © Xavier Muniz, © Uli Schneider
B r u c e Dav i d s o n
PER FEC tI
LEICA. DAS WESENTLICHE.
Leica M10 The Camera.
Discover how we have once again redefined our devotion to quality and perfect craftsmanship. 60 years of rangefinder expertise, 11 years of digital M-Camera development, and invaluable feedback from dedicated M-Photographers have inspired us to create the slimmest digital M of all time: the Leica M10. With an improved rangefinder, increased performance, and now featuring an ISO setting dial on the top plate, this latest addition to the Leica M-System – the world’s most compact, full-frame digital camera system – embodies the essence of M-Photography. Find out more at m10.leica-camera.com or ask your Leica dealer. LEICA M-SYSTEM. Inspiration Sehen.
L e i c A H a ll o f f a m e
Bruce Davidson has an unerring eye â€“ critical, sensitive, empathetic and always respectful towards those he portrays. Today his work is considered one of the most important photographic witnesses of the USA. In honour of his oeuvre, Leica will now be inducting Davidson into the Leica Hall of Fame.
Bruce Davidson’s photographs have long been established among the most important reportages and statements of everyday life in the USA. Whether Brooklyn Gang, East 100th Street, Subway, or The Dwarf, the photographs always manage to move the viewer. Yet, what is it about the photographer’s images that makes them so timeless? Is it an apparent, spontaneous randomness, or that incredible proximity he gains to his protagonists? Davidson is an exception among photographers. His style is inimitable, yet his typical signature is difficult to describe. Perhaps it is his commitment to a very personal perception of reality, a curiosity towards certain subjects, and the tenacious way he reckons with a theme over the long arc of time. He is certainly not a typical photo journalist working for daily papers; rather, his sensitive series of portraits offer the viewer amazing insights into otherwise closed milieus. The basis for this is an interest in life and an open approach to the environment, with trust and respect, that creates the necessary constancy in Davidson’s work, and defines him as one of the leading representatives of humanistically-inclined photography. His ability to show the necessary acceptance of those he photographs is consistently evident in his picture series and it is this understanding that allows for the immediacy of the images, without making the photographer himself a relevant and visible factor in the motifs. This mixture of proximity and distance, curiosity and nonchalance, documentation and a very personal perspective and involvement, are important ingredients in Davidson’s imagery. The viewer is captivated, even today, and yet, even so, the secret recipe that makes up the many facets of his pictures is still not fully revealed. Maybe this is the decisive factor that explains why his work merits constant attention.
In September, Bruce Davidson cele– brates his 85th birthday. He can look back over 75 years of his life’s work, because he began taking pictures when aged just ten! He still remembers the magical moment, when he first witnessed the photographic development process in his friend’s darkroom. He purchased his first camera and his mother allowed him to set up his own darkroom in the cellar of their house. Thus, the path to photography was predestined at an early age. It was while studying at the renowned Rochester Institute of Technology, that Davidson discovered the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson: when he first laid his hands on a copy of The Decisive Moment, the photo book published one year earlier. Shooting with a 35mm Contax, he now, of course, also had to have a Leica, the same camera Cartier-Bresson used to create his seminal work. Davidson purchased his first Leica, an M3, in 1954; the year he started the BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Following that, a term of service in the US Army took him to Europe, and Paris, where he met Cartier-Bresson – who was to become his mentor and also friend – and where he also photographed further significant series. As of 1957, Davidson was living in New York City and working freelance for Life magazine. In 1958 he became the youngest associate member at Magnum, and a year later was promoted to full member. The photographer had long ago decided never to work as a full-time employee or only as a commissioned photographer. He much preferred to freely develop his own themes, dealing with them over a longer period of time. Membership in Magnum offered him optimal conditions: he not only received encouragement and recognition, but also support and practical suggestions for new projects. Above all, these personal connections created an important network for his work. For example, Sam Holmes, the photo archivist at Magnum’s New York branch, suggested that Davidson should visit the Clyde →
Page 6/7: Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 9: Bengie is annoyed and angry; Helen’s candy store, on 17th St. and 8th Av. Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 10/11: Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 12: Coney Island. Cathey fixing her hair in a cigarette machine mirror. Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 13: A girl observes a couple making out during a cellar party. Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 14/15: On the beach at Coney Island. Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 16/17: On the promenade at West 33. Street, Coney Island: Junior, Bengie, Lefty. Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 18/19: Brooklyn Gang. New York 1959 Page 20/21: The Black Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery. Alabama 1965 Page 22: Arrest of a demonstrator. Damn the Defiant!, Birmingham, Alabama 1963 Page 23: In the prisoner van. New York 1962 Page 24: Martin Luther King during a press conference. Birmingham, Alabama 1963 Pages 25, 26/27: New York 1962 Pages 28, 29: Los Angeles 1964 Page 30: Women’s bowling on green. London 1960 Page 31: London 1960 Page 32/33: Mining community, Wales 1965 Page 35: London 1960 Page 36: Jimmy Armstrong. The Dwarf. Palisades, New Jersey 1958
Photos: ÂŠ Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos
B r u c e D av i d s o n was born in Illinois on 5 September 1933. He began photographing at age ten. In his final high school year he won the Kodak National High School Photographic Award in ‘animal photography’. 1951–1954 he studied at the Rochester Institute of Technology; lab assistant at Eastman Kodak; in 1955, studied at the Yale University School of Design, with Josef Albers and Alexey Brodovitch. Final year dissertation becomes first publication in Life magazine.
Quotes: Circus, Steidl 2007; Brooklyn Gang, Twin Palms Publishers 1998
Full member of Magnum in 1959. 1960 in England and Scotland. First solo exhibition in 1963 at the MOMA, New York. Growing interest in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1966, began East 100th Street long-term project. In 1980, acknowledged colour essays about the New York subway. Numerous awards and exhi– bitions. Bruce Davidson lives in New York.
mag nu m photo s.co m BOOKs : (selection) Bruce Davidson
(Aperture, New York 2016); England– Scotland 1960 (Steidl, Göttingen 2014); Subway (Steidl, Göttingen 2014); Circus (Steidl, Göttingen 2007); Time of Change (St. Ann’s Press, Los Angeles 2002); Brooklyn Gang , Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe 1998)
Beatty Circus. Holmes was not only an amateur trapeze artist, he also knew very precisely how effective a white tent could be as a backdrop for exciting photo-journalistic motifs. When Davidson arrived however, he opted for another subject entirely. He was not interested in the stars of the circus or in a particular routine under the big top, but rather discovered Jimmy Armstrong, a dwarf clown. Davidson recalled the first encounter with Armstrong: “There was a cold drizzle on that afternoon when I first saw the dwarf. He was standing alone outside the tent smoking a cigarette. His distorted torso, normal-size head, and stunted legs both attracted and repelled me… He stood there pensively in the privacy of his inner thoughts.” The pictures that followed are typical Davidson, offering insight into the man’s life, showing his work and role as an entertainer, a dwarf clown, but also as the man behind the mask, whose loneliness and isolation is revealed with great respect and sensitivity. In just one picture (left page), the photographer manages to summarise the tragedy of the man’s life. This ability confirms once again Davidson’s early maturity and life experience, which allowed him to photograph such unusually concentrated series. This is equally clear also in the following series about the youth gang known as the ‘Jokers’, which was to become famous under the title Brooklyn Gang. Davidson came into contact with the group through a social worker; but as trust was established it became increasingly clear that the series did not deal with problem youths and their apparent social deficits, but rather with the portrait of a new generation. The pictures are less about the ‘gang’ phenomenon, and more about revealing what it means to be a teenager in New York in 1959. “I soon realized that I, too, was feeling some of their pain. In staying close to them, I uncovered my own feelings of failure, frustration, and rage,” says Davidson in a quote from Brooklyn Gang. By offering them a feeling of attention and understanding, he managed to get the youths
to expose their private lives to him. This resulted in a series that is vital and direct, while also giving the impression of having arisen quite by chance. The pictures are defined by a precise composition, that also shows a definite sense for detail. That Davidson has produced a unique portrait of a generation, is all the more obvious when looking back from today’s perspective. The significance of Davidson as a chronicler of an age becomes particularly evident in the US Civil Rights movement images that defined his work in the sixties. The racist conflict in the southern states shocked him, having grown up in the mid-west and living mostly in liberal New York. With the personal experience that he gained during numerous trips and reportages, his work became increasingly political. The historic value of his images is incalculable and was not immediately recognised: it was only in 2002 that his commitment was fully documented in a photo book: Time of Change: Civil Rights Photographs, 1961–1965. Davidson’s work represents cultural and societal history, while also revealing the personal evolution of a photographer. Fortunately, in recent years a large portion of his body of work has been published in numerous photo books. In much the same way as the beginnings of his photographic journey were influenced by icons of photography, Davidson’s own work is today an inspiration for countless photographers. Bruce Davidson will receive the Leica Hall of Fame Award in June, in combination with an exhibition to be held at the Leica company headquarters in Wetzlar. Leica AG has been calling outstanding photographers to the Leica Hall of Fame from time to time over the past seven years. With Davidson, the award goes to a photographer whose work has touched the world, and may even have changed it a bit. Congratulations! Ulrich Rüter
Anatol Kotte P r oy e c to H a b a n a
Nuclear ecologist, catwalk guru, fashion choreographer: Jorge González is the protagonist of Anatol Kotte’s latest project. Brimming with colour, the series captures the Let’s Dance judge in the vibrant city of Havana.
In Germany he is a star, in Cuba relatively unknown. Jorge GonzĂĄlez on a balcony in Havanaâ€™s Old Town
Jorge’s father, 96, in one of his son’s flamboyant outfits – while Jorge retreats into the background
Cementerio Cristóbal Colón, Art Deco and a rooftop against a clear-blue sky – Havana’s visual and architectural charm makes for an extraordinary backdrop. Kotte used additional lighting in every shot
High heels and eye-catching outfits are Jorge’s trademark – most of them were tailor-made by his friend, designer José Bénédi
“I don’t like half-measures,” Kotte explains. Everything is organised with precision, from the lighting to the background all the way to orchestrating the scene. The actual photographs usually take very little time
A n at o l Ko t t e Til Schweiger, Angela Merkel, Rihanna – the photographer became widely known for his portraits of actors, politicians and celebrities. His passion for the art of portrait photography is also reflected in the name of his studio in Berlin: Capitis is Latin for ‘head’. This is where he captures people in all their facets – usually working in black-and-white, using striking contrasts. Kotte steers the light like a pilot controlling his plane: with the utmost focus and precision.
a nato l kotte .co m LFI -O nl i n e .D E / B log : Behind the Scenes Ex hi b i t i o n : September 2018
Capitis Studios Berlin, capitis-studios.de Equipment: Leica S007 with Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 Asph, Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 Asph, Summicron-S 100mm f/2 Asph
The catwalk is a precarious place. A platform for accomplishment or failure. One fall, one twisted ankle: Game Over. Jorge González moves on the narrow stage as if he had never done anything else. Bouncing and dancing in 20cm heels – a born performer with the balancing skills of a tightrope artist. He was the catwalk trainer at Germany’s Next Top Model, has choreographed fashion shows and is a long-standing jury member on the German TV show Let’s Dance. A flamboyant character in colourful, glittering jumpsuits who can turn any walkway into a stage. The Malecón – Havana’s stone promenade that stretches along its coastline – is no exception. This is where German photographer Anatol Kotte created his latest series, starring Jorge González. Red outfit, silver high heels, the foaming waves of the Atlantic, cumulus clouds in the background – a picture straight out of a dramatic film. For two weeks they worked on the project, mixing haute couture with the crumbling backdrop of Havana’s Old Town quarter. Jorge owns more than 100 tailor-made outfits, of which Anatol Kotte selected 30 for this shoot. They are magnificent, colourful and dazzling – rather like the Caribbean island itself. “The concept behind these images was this: what would it be like if Jorge had stayed in his home country, but had still become the Jorge he is today?” Kotte explains. And so he set out to capture the Cuban-born entertainer – who studied nuclear ecology in Bratislava before settling in Germany – in everyday situations around Havana: on the street, in a barber’s shop, on a dilapidated rooftop, in the rehearsal studio of the National Ballet. While they may seem incidental, these scenes have been meticulously orchestrated. The photographer reveals that, prior to creating any image, he imagines a frame within which he then allows himself to work completely spontaneously. All aspects of the shoot were prepared with the greatest care. Kotte chose his backgrounds in line with
each outfit, before placing his protagonist within these premeditated scenes. Almost like an object in a room, the subject blends into his surroundings, the colours of his clothes merging with the colour schemes of his environment. The effect is akin to a framed picture in which no isolated aspect is allowed to stand out. Instead, every scene is an aesthetic synthesis of contrasts, colour tones and forms. The entire series was shot with the Leica S – Kotte calls it his ‘little tool set’. Its precision and speed make it perfect for working unobtrusively, as well as for spontaneous changes in location – a useful trait in a place such as Cuba, where you can never be quite sure whether a shoot will go ahead. In these unsettled times of transition and embargo, you might well find yourself standing outside the locked doors of a planned location. Kotte found his Proyecto Habana an extraordinary experience: exploring a country full of contradictions – the joie de vivre of the people and the dismal economic situation, American cars and socialist school uniforms, beautiful fabrics and crumbling buildings – in the company of a six-foottwo Cuban in high heels. As the resulting images show, the photographer skilfully utilised these juxtapositions in his work. In one scene we see Jorge at Havana’s Christopher Columbus cemetery. It is one of the few black-andwhite pictures in this series. Over a million people – from firemen to writers and revolutionaries – have been laid to rest in this vast, 56hectare burial site. One of the stones is engraved with a German name: Albert Eppinger worked in Cuba as a commissioner for companies such as BASF und Mercedes, and was a co-founder of the famous Miramar yacht club. He was Kotte’s great-grandfather. For the photographer, this journey to Jorge’s homeland was also a journey into his own ancestry. Katja Hübner
Tom Munro 7 2 TOKYO
The concept is simple: 72 hours in Tokyo, little sleep and lots of activity. In this project Tom Munro presents a series of photographs that are the result of serendipity and his schooled eye.
Originally on assignment to direct a tv commercial in the Japanese capital, Tom Munro, widely acclaimed for his fashion & celebrity work, decided to stay longer in Tokyo. With little sleep and lots of activity accompanied only by his two Leica cameras and an assistant, he wandered through the streets of Golden Gai, went to the park at night and to the fish market at 5 in the morning. Like the many photographers before him, Munro turns to high contrast black and white photography
â€œI met with Anna, a dancer, as a potential collaborator. Being an artist herself, Anna appreciated and understood the creative process precisely. She put her trust in me, I put my trust in her and we went on an explorative journey together.â€?
â€œI am not a historian, I have not studied Japanese culture at length. There is a traditional side of Japan which I was keen to document, but also the contrast of a more modern Japan and how human social values have changed, as they have in most corners of the world.â€?
â€œIf you look at the works of Japanese photographers 72Tokyo certainly draws reference from and pays homage to that genre. I also drew inspiration from film, art, or just life as I see it. In part it is a celebration of the female form.â€?
â€œI took pictures everywhere, from taxis to my hotel room. I wanted to channel the visual overload I experienced.â€?
T o m M UNRO One of the most renowned fashion and celebrity photographers today, Britain’s Tom Munro started his career at the Parsons School of Design in New York City in the late 80s. He has also produced films and TV commercials for exclusive brands. Since the year 2005 Munro has worked as a contributor for MEAK (Medical Educational Aid to Kenya), a registered British charity. tomm u nro.co m LFI -O nl i n e .D E / B log : Slideshow with further pictures from the series ex hi b i t i o n : 72Tokyo curated by Carrie
Scott opens at The Store X, 180 Strand, London WC2R 1EA, on 16 May and will run through to 3 June 2018. Opening hours will be Tuesday — Saturday from 10am to 6pm. Equipment: Leica S2 with
Summarit-S 35mm f/2.5 Asph
LFI: What aspect of photography is most important to you? The spontaneity of photography has always appealed to me. In contrast, I found the process of painting very time-consuming and intense. I’m too impatient. Photography is a much more rapid experience and more conducive to my own personality. You are very successful in the field of fashion photography. Isn’t it hard to present yourself in a different manner? It’s about the evolution of my journey as a photographer. I have put myself in positions where I am able to evolve, where I see new things. I studied photography at Parsons School of Design in New York where I did a lot of street photography, chasing people up and down 5th Avenue. You usually have a large crew and a client in the background. Did this work feel like a liberation? The 72Tokyo series certainly was very liberating. I was pushing myself. I wanted to challenge my own creativity. Continually exploring and stimulating oneself is an important aspect of being a photographer. Was it hard for you to give up the control of having a fixed set and to trust the moment? Since I started my career I never wanted to be pigeonholed solely as a studio photographer, nor solely a location photographer. I enjoy all of it. If you continue to evolve the work follows and speaks for itself. In the end it’s all about creating lasting images. How did you choose what to photograph in Tokyo? I was in Tokyo for the first time. I took pictures of what I was attracted to. Everybody’s attracted to different things, so it’s extremely personal. The entire piece is about self-expression. About what I saw, what I felt, what I heard, what I smelled. An overload of the senses. It was a chaotic, frenetically fast-paced experience. I knew that I had very limited time to be there.
In a city with such a rich culture like Tokyo, how did you avoid falling into clichés? As a photographer one draws inspiration from many things, but one also builds an image bank over the years which one almost subconsciously draws from. I drew inspiration from the clichés. Especially in Tokyo where photography has played such an important part of its artistic depiction of the city and its culture. What did you know about Japanese culture and how did you perceive it when you were there? I’m not a historian, I haven’t studied Japanese culture at length. I wanted to cover the antagonisms of light and darkness as well as old and new. How did you find your protagonist? I met with Anna, a dancer, as a potential collaborator. Being an artist herself, Anna appreciated the creative process and understood it precisely. She put her trust in me, I put my trust in her and we went on an explorative journey together. How did the collage come about? I always wanted to do something with the pictures and found myself tearing them in pieces and sticking them back together, or layering them. The ‘collage’ evolved and as it took shape I realised it was truer to my own experience in Tokyo. Only the collage created the same kind of pace that I experienced in 72 hours. Do you plan on expanding the project to different cities? I am planning a series of 72 projects. After the experience of the 72Tokyo series, I definitely intend to submerge myself in other cities, countries and cultures. I already know where I want to go, but I am not ready to share the details yet. (laughs) Interview: denise Klink
LeicA M | Q
Mathieu Bitton Da r k e r t h a n B l u e
Mathieu Bitton’s raw black and white pictures reflect the everyday life of Afro-American citizens caught between hope and struggle. At the same time, he gives the hand – a body-part that rarely gets so much photographic attention – an effective stage.
Lines, wrinkles, markings – Mathieu Bitton sees hands as an expression of a person’s character
The pictures in Darker Than Blue are dedicated to every day, big city life. With contrast-rich images, the project reveals the role of black people living in big cities in the USA and in the Bahamas
Bitton describes his series Darker Than Blue as “a tunnel vision time machine where the past is in harmony with the present – good or bad, happy or sad.” Just as long as his passion for photography, for the beauty of this world, and for the black community remains, so too will he continue with the project
“Black and white goes deeper, appears stronger, is pure energy” – the M Monochrom is one of Bitton’s favourite cameras. It allows him deep insight into the soul of the person he portrays
Bittonâ€™s pictures often reflect an intimate proximity to the protagonists. As a result the images frequently capture a deep beauty in everyday situations
The mimicry of the people in Darker Than Blue can be seen as defining a distinctive imagery. Bitton wants to take pictures before they can become staged
For Bitton there was always a symbiosis between music and photography. Clockwise from the top left: the hands of Melvin van Peebles, Danny Ray, Gary Clark Junior, Herbie Hancock, Lenny Kravitz and Trombone Shorty
The hand of music producer Quincy Jones with a ring that once belonged to Frank Sinatra. Sinatra bequeathed it to him as a sign of friendship
M at h i e u B i t t o n Bitton is one of the most undisputed representatives of his craft. After spending his childhood in Paris, he moved to the United States when he was 14 years old â€“ first to Los Angeles, then New York four years later. His passion for art and music led him to photography. Bittonâ€™s oeuvre includes portraits, nudes and travel photos, though he has lost his heart to concert photography.
With his 1970’s song We People Who Are Darker Than Blue, Curtis Mayfield gave a strong voice to the civil rights movement in the United States. The name of Mathieu Bitton’s current project is reminiscent of Mayfield’s protest song and follows the line of the singer’s heritage. However, it is not protesters who are at the centre of Bitton photographs: Darker Than Blue focusses on the every-day life of AfroAmericans, passersby in metropolises from New York City to Los Angeles, and in the Bahamas. With quiet dignity, Bitton’s portraits lift his protagonists out of the anonymity of the masses, and awaken memories of the on-going struggle for independence and equality. As far as Bitton is concerned, naturalness is the first commandment. For the photographer, it is always important that no one poses in front of his camera. “People appreciate this type of photography,” he explains. “Even though in 99 percent of the cases, people want to pose, I prefer to capture the moment that comes immediately beforehand.” Because Bitton works with digital, he is able to show the results to his subjects right away. They are nearly always delighted and find it hard to believe that in the future, their portraits will be exhibited in galleries around the world. In his early years, Bitton’s aesthetic sensitivity was defined by Dadaism and Surrealism, inspired by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Tristan Tzara. However, in 1986, when he was 13, seeing soul-legend Prince play in his hometown of Paris, opened up a particular fascination for music and its role in the black community. A short while later he would come into close contact with it: after moving to the USA when he was 14, Bitton found his way into show business. Because of Bitton’s discreet approach as a photographer, he was appreciated in the field, documenting life on tour with the likes of late-night talker
Dave Chappelle or rock legend Lenny Kravitz, and many other pop culture icons of style. In contrast to the colourful life on stage, Darker Than Blue makes use of a discretion that is practically analytical: the photographer draws intense character studies of Afro-American citizens, asking the question about what might be hidden below the surface. Bitton’s passion for music is not only noticeable in the title of his project: a large part of the images are portraits of celebrities from the music scene, such as Gary Clark Jr., Herbie Hancock, and producer Quincy Jones. Quite unconventionally, Bitton draws attention to the musicians’ hands, photographing them during concerts, performances or regular photo shoots. For example, the photo of Quincy Jones shows a ring bequeathed to him by Frank Sinatra in memory of their friendship. In many cases, Bitton considers that hands are expressive and tell more than faces do, because hands are key to revealing the achievements, the work ethics and, in fact, the life of the person being photographed. Hands as a mirror of the soul – at first, this rather unusual approach to portrait photography challenges the viewer’s cognitive ability. It is soon obvious however, that each hand has its own story to tell: from the tough and rugged hands of a worker, to the finger and wrist jewellery of prominent figures, Bitton has photographed dozens of hands, revealing himself as a meticulous observer of his surroundings. Of course, his favourite camera, the Leica M Monochrom, serves him well in this regard. Black and white photography is timeless, as Bitton often likes to exclaim. “Black and white goes deeper, appears stronger. It’s pure energy. There are times when I even wish that my eyes would see in black and white!” The Darker Than Blue project was not even planned as such says Bitton. “When I was putting together my first exhibition of nudes at the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, I thought about it for a long time and finally came to the conclusion that this kind of exhibi-
tion was not what I was looking for. When I then browsed through my archives, the idea for Darker Than Blue was quasi unveiled before my eyes. It was as though my subconscious had put the project together.” As though of its own volition, Darker Than Blue transforms the everyday into something enthralling, and as a result, is more political than one might at first imagine. Bitton sees the project as a time machine with tunnel vision, where the past and present harmonize, regardless of whether good or bad, happy or sad. While the pictures he takes in front of big concert stages capture fleeting moments of euphoria, Darker Than Blue takes a cautious look behind peoples’ at first inconspicuous-seeming façades, with timeless images that sketch an overall picture of a society at the beginning of the 21st century. The reactions of the viewers justify his approach: many visitors to the exhibition thought that they were seeing pictures from the fifties and sixties. Bitton considers this one of the best compliments he could be paid. After the images were seen in Los Angeles and other cities in the US, they finally reached European shores this year, where they will be exhibited at the new section recently built at the Leitz Park in Weztlar, when it is inaugurated on 15 June. This does not however, mean that the project has now been completed. Just as long as Mathieu Bitton’s passion for black and white photography, for the beauty of this world, and for the black community remains, so too Darker Than Blue will continue to evolve. Danilo Rössger
math ie u bitton .f r LFI-On lin e .DE/B log: Mathieu Bitton, One Photo — One Story Equipment: Leica M Monochrom246 with Summicron-M 35 and 50mm f/2 Asph as well as Noctilux-M 50mm f/1; Leica Q, Summilux 28mm f/1.7 Asph
GLEANN B A D RAIG
Jura is one of the most untouched places in Scotland. Its Glen Batrick valley (Gleann Badraig) is a perfect place for British photographer Charles Marchâ€™s expressionistic images to catch the spirit and soul of this wild island landscape â€“ images that are reminiscent of the very first photographs ever taken.
“These images are not meant to be an accurate portrayal but more a bundle of feelings and impressions - a series of sketches if you like…”
“The Jura photographs are very different from most people’s idea of what photography is and does.”
â€œEssentially the impulse to simplify drastically and yet at the same time to reveal is what lies at the creative root of this series of photographic images.â€?
â€œThese uninhibited images by Charles March in one sense represent a return to the 19th century Romantic tradition.â€?
â€œThe photographer is taking full advantage of the freedom to edit and alter what the camera records.â€?
“The editing takes place in the very act of making the image. The camera does not stay still. It is moved like a painter’s brush.”
“There are, it seems to me, two historical influences at work. One, the more immediately obvious to British eyes, is the later work of William Turner – what Turner himself described as his ‘colour beginnings’.”
â€œAnother comparison that suggests itself is with traditional Chinese and Japanese ink painting.â€?
This new series of digital images offers, as is not unusual in the recent work of Charles March, a meditative approach to what has been seen and experienced in nature. The Glen Batrick valley (Gleann Badraig) on the Isle of Jura, Scotland, is very remote and as the photographer tells us: “These abstract images are not meant to be an accurate portrayal but more a bundle of feelings and impressions – a series of sketches if you like, which hopefully, when they are seen together, give the reader a strong sense of the spirit and soul of this extraordinary and untouched landscape.” The Jura photographs – if one can call them that, because they are very different, thanks to their lack of any kind of literalism, from most people’s idea of what photography is and does – seem to operate in the same way, taking full advantage of the freedom to edit and alter what the camera records in order to do so. Sometimes the editing takes place in the very act of making the image. The camera does not stay still. It is moved like a painter’s brush. There are, it seems to me, two historical influences at work. One is the later work of William Turner – what Turner himself described as his ‘colour beginnings’. In these works, using watercolour, Turner took full advantage of the – literally – liquid qualities of his medium to represent evanescent effects of weather. It is noticeable that many of these watercolours, for example a set showing A Clear Sky Above a Landscape, often exist in series, just like the photographic works brought together here. Their effect is essentially cumulative. Another comparison that suggests itself is with traditional Chinese and Japanese ink painting. This impulse, to simplify drastically and yet at the same time to reveal, is what lies at the creative root of this series of photographic images. Several observations
spring from this comparison. One is a realisation of how much ideas about what photography is and does have changed during the comparatively few years since photography became at once challenged and dominated by the computer. Photographs, which appeared as an entirely new way of making images in the second quarter of the 19th century, were at first valued for their absolute literalism in comparison with other traditional methods of image-making. This in spite of the fact that what is now thought of as being the very earliest of all photographs, a landscape image looking out of his bedroom window made in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, bears a certain haunting resemblance to the landscapes one sees here. At the start of the Modernist epoch, in the hands of photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand, the photograph became increasingly re-cognised as a legitimate means of subjective self-expression. A whole series of technical advances followed. Photographic literalism was no longer essential to making photographic works that could be regarded as being, without apology, works of visual art on the same level as images made by other much longer established methods. The new digital age, however, brought with it another set of surprises. Some of this was due to the fact that the computer had made it much easier to conquer any remaining problems of scale. These uninhibited images by Charles March in one sense represent a return to the Romantic tradition of the 19th century. Unsurprisingly, since he is in fact as British as William Turner, to whom I have already referred. They also stem in part from the current of influence from Japanese art, first felt in Europe in the second half of the 19th century, after Commodore Perry’s visit forced Japan to enter into relations with the West. Most of all, however, they are an uninhibited tribute to the power of the computer, not as an inventor in its own right, but as an enabler, which has empowered artists to think and see in new ways. edward Lucie-Smith
Charles March Charles March began his professional career as an apprentice to the film director Stanley Kubrick. In the 1980s he launched a career in still life photography and worked on many renowned advertising campaigns at the time. In 2012, he publically exhibited his Nature Translated series, which was followed by his internationally-acclaimed shows Wood Land, Abstract and Intentional and Seascape. ch arle s march .com exh ibition : The pictures illustrated here form both part of an exhibition, opening at the Palazzo Borghese in Rome on the 24th May, as well as a book, which is a collaboration between the photographer and the Scottish poet Ken Cockburn. 25 May — 30 June 2018, Galleria del Cembalo, Palazzo Borghese, Rome Book: Charles March: GleaNN Badraig. 96 pages, 60 colour images
39 × 27,5 cm, English, Distanz Verlag Equipment: Leica SL with Vario-Elmarit-SL 24–90 mm f/2.8–4 Asph
f/ s top – S t e a lt h e d i t i o n – SL l e n s e s – M u s e u m l e i c a –
75 mm AN D 9 0 M M FO C AL LENGTHS o n t h e l e i c a s l: PUTTING THE APO -SU M M I C RON LENSES TO THE TEST
T h e S t e a lt h E f f e c t S t e a lt h E d i t i o n
In March 2018, Leica introduced another limited edition camera to the M series – an ultra-discreet version of the M Monochrom with controls that subtly glow in the dark. Many photographers would be thrilled if this was available as a serial model.
On 10 March 2018, a camera from the Leica 0-series was sold at the Westlicht Auction in Vienna for 2.4 million euros – turning this particular model (serial no. 122) into the world’s most expensive camera. The previous record holder was also a Leica (no. 116) from the same series, which had been auctioned at Westlicht on 21 May 2012 for 2.16 million euros. Ernst Leitz manufactured the famous Leica 0-series (or ‘Null-Serie’) from March to July 1923, in preparation for the Lei(tz) Ca(mera), which was subsequently released in 1925. Of the twentyfive units believed to have been made in this preliminary production run, only three seem to have been preserved in their original condition. The auction in Vienna illustrates yet again that 116 |
the significance of Leica Camera AG goes beyond its current product catalogue, and also extends to the collectors’ market, which, in addition to extremely highend sales such as those cited above, also offers plenty of pre-owned gems in the region of 1000 euros and below. While extremely rare pieces, or cameras that used to belong to famous artists, will always fetch the kinds of sums few budgets will be likely to accommodate, you can generally expect to find well-preserved serial models for the post-inflation equivalent of their original RRP. This not only highlights just how well Leica cameras and lenses hold their value, but also shows that those who appreciate the unique charms of vintage optics are able to pursue their passion for a
comparatively small outlay – considering that virtually any lens can be adapted to your modern camera system (see LFI 3/2018, page 98). M s pe c i a l e di t i o ns.
Leica are of course aware of the brand’s commercial value – as well as the fact that collectors are attracted by two quite different factors: the enthusiasm for an iconic brand, and the desire to find a good investment opportunity. In this case, both considerations are addressed at the same time: limited editions of Leica M cameras and lenses (mostly from the current product catalogue) are introduced on a fairly regular basis, though usually no more than twice a year. In March 2018, it was the Stealth Edition of the M Monochrom246; in the years before, we
saw editions such as the redanodised M262, the M-P ‘grip’ by Rolf Sachs, the M-P Titanium Set, or the M-P Correspondent designed by Lenny Kravitz. Special-edition lenses have included the red-anodised Apo-Summicron 50mm f/2 Asph. In 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Leica Historical Society of America prompted the release of an Apo-Summicron 50mm f/2 Asph, which was designed in the style of the Summicron 50mm f/2 originally introduced in 1954. The production volume of these limited editions rarely exceeds three hundred units. →
Its unobtrusive appearance counts as one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Leica M. Designer Marcus Wainwright set out to emphasise this trait
As with most special editions of the M series, the Stealth version differs from the serial model not in terms of its technical parameters, but its unique exterior design. An especially matte paint and the deep-black leather trim create a perfectly clandestine appearance
Marcus Wainwright, designer of the Leica M Monochrom Stealth Edition, explains: â€œI get very stressed by frilly paraphernalia, I am obsessed with function.â€?
Inlaid with luminescent paint, the main engravings of the Stealth Edition camera and lens emit a subtle, greenish glow in the dark
The M-P Correspondent designed by Lenny Kravitz (2015): 125 units were distressed by hand, making each model a genuine one-off
The Leica M-P ‘grip’ by Rolf Sachs (2016): Unusual materials and an eye-catching choice of colour give the camera a unique look
The M-P Titanium Set (2016): Controls and plates are fashioned from titanium, while the lens bodies are treated with an anodised titanium finish
N e w lo o k. In terms of technical specifications, Leica’s special-edition cameras and lenses tend to be identical to their serially produced counterparts – what sets them apart is their exterior design. For the M-P Correspondent designed by Lenny Kravitz, the black-paint finish of the camera and its two lenses was artfully treated to reveal patches of the brass surface underneath; each of the 125 units looks slightly different. In the case of the M-P ‘grip’ by Rolf Sachs, the Swiss artist replaced the camera’s customary leather trim with a nubbed, bright-red rubber material; the engravings on the camera body, operating elements and lens were also inlaid in red. While the eye-catching M-P ‘grip’ reflects design traditions spanning from Surrealism (Meret Oppenheim’s Breakfast in Fur sculpture springs to mind) to Pop Art, there are some special editions that could easily pass for serial models. These include the M-P Titanium Set, for example – featuring a camera body made almost entirely of titanium, with two matching, titanium-finish lenses. The same goes for Leica’s most recent offering: conceived by Marcus Wainwright, founder of the fashion label ‘rag & bone’, based in New York City, the M Monochrom246 Stealth Edition would undoubtedly make a very popular serial model. “Leica personifies the pursuit of perfection in an object whose whole mission in life is to perform a function,” Wainwright (who is a Leica photographer himself ) explains. “I love the
fact that it just doesn’t change. It’s just constant updates of a perfect design and has such a singular sense of purpose. It doesn’t need to look good. It happens to look good, simply because it’s such a pure object. Leica cameras do what they’re supposed to do and nothing else, and that’s beautiful.” With this premise, Wainwright set out to take a great concept to yet another level. Both the camera body and its Summicron-M 35mm f/2 are finished in the darkest possible black: a matte and scratch-resistant paint was used in order to achieve the perfect stealth effect, while the deep-black body trim made from full-grain leather offers a safe grip despite its smooth surface. The main engravings on both camera and lens have been inlaid with a white, luminescent paint. This not only creates a striking visual counterpoint, but also means that the controls emanate a greenish glow in the dark. The result is a harmonious ensemble that is deeply rooted in the minimalist design philosophy of the Leica camera. The only drawback is that, as it is a limited special edition, owning a Stealth will only be the privilege of the very few. But this is no reason for despondence: after all, the concept of the display-free M60, which was released as a special edition to mark the legendary rangefinder system’s 60th anniversary, wasrevisited two years later in the serially produced M-D. Bernd Luxa
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T h e L e i c a f l e x SL LFI — 50 Years Ago
T h e L e i c a f l e x S L wa s r e l e a s e d i n 1 9 6 8. T h i s wa s t h e i n i t i a l ov e rv i e w o f i t s f e at u r e s , p u b l i s h e d i n L FI 3 / 1 9 6 8 .
Compared with the existing Leicaflex, the new Leicaflex SL offers the following improvements: Selective light metering (SL) through the lens The angle subtended by the measuring area is one sixth of the field angle of whatever lens is used in the camera. The measuring area is identical with the measuring area of focusing; both can therefore be seen in the viewfinder. The exposure meter with double photo-resistor gives readings of the highest accuracy, even at low temperatures – and also allows for additional extension with close-ups. It is coupled with the shutter speed and iris diaphragm setting, which offers a free choice of the shutter speed/lens stop combination. A depth-of-field button allows observation of the image field during stopping down. Very bright viewfinder image for sharpness control in the entire viewfinder field. The central measuring field with tetragonal microprisms permits rapid and critical focusing. Vibration-free hinged mirror and fully automatic iris diaphragm mechanism, therefore best utilization of the sharpness performance of the lenses. Interchangeable lenses from 21mm to 560mm focal length in bayonet mount. Focusing bellows preserving all the advantages of the automatic iris diaphragm and exposure measuring, with 100mm Macro-Elmar f/4 special lens for close-up photography.
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Fac e to Fac e SL lenses
In a previous issue, we explored the new 75mm and 90mm Summicron-SL lenses from a technical angle. This time, Jürgen Holzenleuchter gets hands-on and puts both lenses through their paces.
The two new, short tele lenses for the SL are almost identical in size and weight. Both are significantly more compact than any of the SL system’s previous lenses
In LFI 2/2018, we examined the technical specifications of the new Apo-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 Asph and its 90mm counterpart (two more Summicron lenses, with the shorter focal lengths of 50 and 35mm, will be added to the SL’s portfolio later this year). The first lenses released for the SL were dedicated to pushing the boundaries of technology and achieving the highest possible levels of imaging performance; practical considerations, such as compactness or weight, were of secondary concern. With the new Apo-Summicron lenses, however, the latter points were prioritised – though it is needless to say that the image quality remains absolutely superb. By deciding on a maximum aperture of f/2, the developers were able to keep the construction much more compact – making the lenses far more manageable in practical application. With regard to the depth of field effect, Leica have pointed out that the lenses’ exceedingly sharp rendition even at open aperture, which emphasises the distinction between in-focus and outof-focus areas, largely emulates the imaging results achieved by a faster lens. When designing the two Apo-Summicron-SL lenses, Leica also dedicated a great deal of thought how to further enhance the SL’s autofocus performance. This resulted in the introduction of the Dual Synchro Drive, which enables the extremely fast, electronically synchronised movement of two separate lens elements.
While M lenses, for example, are focused by shifting specific lens groups or (in the case of a full-system focus) all elements simultaneously, the dual focus of the Apo-Summicron-SL range merely moves two elements, weighing only around 10 grams each. This allows the camera’s autofocus, whose performance is based on the contrast metering of the image sensor, to work with even greater speed and accuracy. m o m e nt o f t ru t h.
But in the end, a lens is not defined by how its technical specifications come across on paper, but on the merit of its real-life capabilities. So we handed both new Apo-Summicron-SL lenses to photographer Jürgen Holzenleuchter, who used them to create a reportage at the manufacturing workshop for Hanika guitars (www.hanika.de) in Germany’s Franconia region. Holzenleuchter made a conscious commitment to shooting the project exclusively with the SL and its two Summicron lenses – leaving his customary Leica M at home. In the end, he was impressed by the results he was able to achieve. Of course, every photographer approaches new equipment in their own way, which is why it is always interesting to know where they are coming from. Holzenleuchter usually works with the →
This portrait was taken with the 75mm Summicron-SL at open aperture, generating a very pleasing progression into blur
This image was also shot with the Apo-Summicron-SL 75 mm f/2 Asph, this time at f/4 and a shutter speed of 1/160s. Even with a slightly stopped-down aperture, the lens offers a crisp in-focus rendition and a beautiful bokeh
All images on this page were taken with the 75mm (left and top: aperture f/2; below: aperture f/4). Closing the aperture does not increase sharpness, but the transition into blur continues to be very gradual
The Apo-Summicron-SL 90mm f/2 Asph features the classic focal length for portrait photography, which allows for slightly more distance from the subject whilst still delivering a natural-looking perspective. These images were taken with a wide-open aperture
Even in smaller spaces, such as this manufacturing workshop for Hanika guitars, the Apo-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 Asph lets you emphasise specific picture elements whilst still maintaining a natural perspective. Left: Apo-Summicron-SL 75mm with aperture f/2; right: with aperture f/2.5
Photos: JĂźrgen Holzenleuchter
Two portraits, shot with the aperture wide open: the left image was taken with the Apo-Summicron-SL 90mm, the one on the right with the Apo-Summicron-SL 75mm. The rendition of the 75mm is a tad more natural, while the 90mm lens offers a slightly more emphasised focal plane. However, the differences are very subtle, and largely a matter of personal taste
Leica M, and tends to favour shorter focal lengths. For a reportage of this kind, he would normally most likely have set out with a 28mm and a 50mm lens. Perhaps this explains why he used the 75mm Apo-Summicron more often than its 90mm counterpart. “Most of the time, I’d rather take a few steps forward than switch to a longer focal length,” is how the photographer describes his working style. So for this project, he had to adjust his usual approach – which he managed in no time at all, as we can see in the resulting images. out in the field. It was not long before the conversation turned to the SL’s autofocus, which Holzen-
leuchter had come to appreciate for its excellent speed, reliability and unobtrusive operation. Almost all of the images in this series were taken using autofocus – only on a few occasions did the photographer find a reason to choose his own manual settings. This is all the more remarkable, considering that it was Holzenleuchter’s frustration with the unreliable autofocus performance of his previous (highend) mirror-reflex cameras that initially prompted him to embrace the Leica M. Especially when shooting portraits, being able to truly rely on the SL’s autofocus felt very reassuring. “Despite the fact that the 90mm, in particular, gener-
With their compac t s i z e a n d fast, h i g h - p r e c i s i o n au to f o c u s, the 75 and 90mm A p o -S u mm i c ro n SL l e n s e s o p e n up a host of new a p p l i c at i o n s f o r SL P h oto g ra p h e r s.
ates an extremely shallow depth of field at open aperture, practically every frame came out well,” Holzenleuchter explains. “When I did similar projects with my previous mirror reflex cameras, at least 40 percent of my autofocus shots ended up as rejects.” The photographer also praised the very discrete focusing noise – though this was less of a deciding factor on this particular project, considering that his subjects are depicted wearing ear defenders in a busy workshop space. The compact size of the two lenses, however, presented a very noticeable advantage throughout the process. “Compared to any previous SL lenses, they are →
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You may have to look at their engravings to tell the 75 and 90mm lens apart, as they were designed to be identical in size and weight – this allows the photographer to control either focus ring completely intuitively
The 75 and 90mm Summicron-SL lenses turn the Leica SL into a very manageable camera
significantly smaller, and very pleasant to use on the camera. But,” the photographer adds with a smile, “they’re still a long way from my M lenses.” As for the lenses’ imaging performance, the pictures certainly speak for themselves. “The sharp rendition
of both lenses is beyond reproach. In the case of portraits, you can practically see every pore, even if you’re shooting wideopen – so it’s almost a bit over the top.” However, these are minor details that can easily be ironed out in post-processing – which is far better
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than struggling to make insufficiently sharp images appear in-focus. Leica’s lens design concept of using impeccable focus rendition to create a shallower depth of field – thereby giving the impression that the image was taken with an even wider aperture – does achieve the desired effect, though it is quite subtle. When working with the 75mm Summicron, Holzenleuchter never yearned for the maximum aperture of the 75mm Noctilux-M – pointing out that, when shooting portraits with the Noctilux “you almost have to weigh up whether you want your subject’s eyebrows or their eyelashes to be in focus. To have both, you’ll have
to stop down.” This shows that there are times when top technological performance, however impressive, might exceed what you actually need in most situations. What is definitely relevant in practice, however, is the transition from sharpness to blur, and thereby the aesthetics of the bokeh. Modern lenses do not have the best reputation in this regard, with frequent descriptions of harsh bokeh effects that are a far cry from the creamy rendition that characterises vintage optics. In this case, however, both the 90mm and (perhaps even more so) the 75mm Apo-Summicron-SL lenses offer a soft progression into an aesthetically pleasing blur.
75mm versus 90mm. This brings us to the differences between the two Apo-Summicron-SL lenses. In terms of performance, they are essentially equal – in other words: neither of them revealed any weaknesses in practice. Aside from, obviously, their respective focal lengths and the resulting angle of view, the Summicron-SL lenses are also distinguished by the style of images that they generate – so that choosing between them is largely a question of what the shooting situation requires, as well as a matter of personal taste. Portraits taken with the 75mm Summicron-SL tend to appear more natural and less stylised, while those shot with the 90mm version
can come across as slightly more technical and harderlooking. This is only partly due to the 90mm’s even shallower depth of field; nor can it be attributed solely to the slightly better contrast rendition illustrated in the 90mm’s MTF charts. Instead, this difference arises from the culmination of all these characteristics, the angle of view, and the fact that the subject is captured close-up without being aware of it. Certainly for Holzenleuchter, the 75mm was his personal preference. “When I bought my first M6, there was only the legendary, but very expensive Summilux-M 75mm f/1.4, which I couldn’t afford at the time. But this focal length really
does give you very naturallooking results.” However, this should not detract from the equally impressive qualities of the 90mm variation. Those in a position to own both the Apo-Summicron-SL 75mm f/2 Asph and its 90mm counterpart are extremely fortunate – as both lenses add new possibilities to the SL system that have not been available before. Not only are they specifically designed for portraits and narrower angles of view without creating any visible distortion of perspective, but – thanks to their compact size and fast, reliable autofocus – these are also the most user-friendly SL lenses introduced to date. holger sparr
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museum leica b o o k p r e s e n tat i o n
The official opening of Leitz Park III is just around the corner. Lars Netopil shares a first preview of his photo book, dedicated to the holdings of the new, on-site factory museum.
The third building complex of Wetzlar’s Leitz Park, which will be inaugurated on 15 June (see page 136), also encompasses a new factory museum, which initially opens its doors with a preliminary showcase – the exhibition Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography. Curated in 2014 by Hans-Michael Koetzle, the showcase originally marked the 100th anniversary of the invention of the Leica. Now the presentation, which has been touring venues around the world, is set to return to its roots in Wetzlar. Lars Netopil has compiled an exhaustive volume to illustrate what future visitors to the Leica Museum can look forward to discovering. The Leica expert and historian, who also owns a Leica Store for vintage and contemporary cameras in 132 |
Wetzlar’s Old Town, has published several books within his field in the past. For this endeavour, his well-established team has documented the treasures to be displayed at Leica’s factory museum. The book was designed by David Pitzer, the over 600, mostly largeformat photographs were created by Wolfgang Sauer. Titled Museum Leica, the two-part volume will be introduced at the opening of Leitz Park III. Netopil has also been appointed as a consultant for Leica’s archives and the new museum. Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority stakeholder and COB of Leica Camera AG, was planning a new approach to showcasing the company’s archive a long time before this third construction phase of Leitz Park had even begun.
Excerpts from Museum Leica by Leica expert Lars Netopil: all images featured on these pages are taken from this publication
The task of restructuring the archive’s holdings was entrusted to Günter Osterloh – the now retired, former director of the Leica Akademie, who had invited Netopil to join his team. The archive has had a long and sometimes difficult history (more on this in the interview with Lars Netopil overleaf ). However, in the course of these recent efforts, its contents have been extensively replenished. Among the most important new acquisitions is the Rolf Fricke collection from Rochester. The long-time Kodak employee, who always maintained close ties with Leica, accumulated one of the greatest Leica collections in the world. Now his efforts can finally take their place in the new Leica Museum, and on the pages of Museum Leica. →
Photos: Wolfgang Sauer
The crown jewels of the new Leica Museum: the ‘Liliput’, also known as the ‘Ur-Leica’ – Oskar Barnack’s original Leica prototype (below); Leica prototype no. 3 (centre); and a prototype of the Leica I with lens revolver (top)
Top left: a Leica MS, made for the U.S. Navy. Top right: the Leica ABCDE, a preliminary study for the Leica R (late seventies). Left: the development series for the special-edition Leica M60, released to mark the 60th anniversary of the M system. Below: prototypes (1953) of the first M camera, the M3, which was introduced in 1954
LFI: Mr. Netopil, the third section of Leitz Park in Wetzlar opens its doors on 15 June. Among the ensemble of buildings constructed on this former entrenchment site, is the new Leica Museum. You are a consultant for the company’s Historical Archives division, which oversees the museum. Do you think that 10 years ago, anyone could have imagined a future in which this museum existed? Lars Netopil: The Leitz company had a factory museum from around 1963 onwards. To this day, the exhibits we have retained from that time bear the inventory signature of Siegfried Rösch, who initially instigated the project. After the splitting-up of Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH that led to the founding of Leica Camera as a separate company, the archive underwent several changes, not all of them positive. One of the lowest points was undoubtedly the sale of numerous exhibits – including significant pieces – in 2003, due to the company’s economic troubles. At that point, it was extremely doubtful that
Leica Camera would even survive. Certainly nobody was thinking in terms of building a new museum. However, this was also the time when ACM invested in the company, initially as a minority stakeholder. This formed the basis for the almost unimaginable success story that unfolded over the course of the following years. The historical archive and the museum are two different divisions that are almost inseparably interlinked with one another. However, the archive is not in charge of the museum: our responsibility is to provide a collection from which the museum’s organisers and curators are able to compile selections at their own discretion. To begin with, the museum will host the exhibition Eyes Wide Open! which was originally designed to mark the 100th anniversary of the Ur-Leica. The museum itself will subsequently open in 2019. What can you tell us about this venture, that holds such great significance for the company? I think it’s wonderful that Hans-Michael Koetzle’s
highly successful Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography exhibition is finally coming to Wetzlar. It has been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors around the world, and I’m quite sure Wetzlar won’t be its final stop. The interior space of the new Leica Museum lends itself perfectly to this large-scale exhibition, and the show is sure to be a highlight of the inauguration programme for Leitz Park III. Even visitors who have previously seen Eyes Wide Open! at another venue will still find this experience more than worthwhile. It is certainly a museum-quality exhibition, not least as it really does document the course of history. 100 Years of Leica Photography is Leica history in its truest form, because the images transport emotion – which is Leica’s core essence. Looking at the vintage prints, you palpably feel the age of the material. And, of course, they are complemented by some specifically selected hardware exhibits from different eras of Leica photography. Eyes Wide Open! beautifully illustrates that you do not have
to show countless technical devices in order to convey the history of Leica in a powerful and successful presentation. So the way I look at it, is that the museum does indeed open in June 2018, with a special showcase that spans the entire exhibition space. After Eyes Wide Open!, there will be a changeover of exhibits – that’s how I would phrase it. How would you describe the existing archive from which the museum’s curators can make their selections? Even as far back as the planning stage of construction Phase II, the concept of a ‘World of Leica Camera’ kept coming up. It was always clear that, all being well, the subsequent, third construction phase would include an architectural solution that caters for the archive as well as a museum space dedicated to illustrating Leica’s history. Today, the collection in the museum’s archive once again reflects the company’s position as a global brand with an extremely meaningful history. Fortunately, the UrLeica has always →
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remained in the company’s possession – nobody dared touch it, even in the most difficult times. It represents the core exhibit of the Leica factory museum. A number of other significant pieces from the company’s early years in Wetzlar have also been retained. Over the past few years, Leica have acquired a number of collections, specifically in preparation for the new factory museum. These new acquisitions for the museum have also included private collections, among them the extraordinary camera and lens collection compiled by Rolf Fricke. Can you tell us something about the collector himself?
Rolf Fricke counts among the earliest collectors of Leica cameras, lenses and accessory items. He is also a founding member of the Leica Historical Society of America and the Leica Historica Association. When he was a student, he met Günther Leitz in Midland, Canada, and became a friend of the family – as well as developing a close involvement with the Leitz company and its products. His subsequent career, working for Kodak in Rochester, New York, meant that he spent his entire working life in the photography industry. In his professional capacity, Fricke also had frequent dealings with Leitz in Wetzlar. Thanks to his earlier connections with
leading, sometimes already retired, Leitz employees, he had built up a real network here in Wetzlar that allowed him to get hold of some very rare and exciting pieces. Over the decades, this evolved into a globally significant collection. Rolf Fricke and Leica Camera are delighted that these exhibits will now be part of the new factory museum. Which other facets of the museum’s holdings are especially noteworthy? One particularly exciting example is the collection of Elcan sample lenses, which the factory had retained for documentation purposes. In 1952, Günther Leitz established the Elcan manufacturing site in Midland,
Canada. Its intended purpose was to enable the final assembly of components shipped from Wetzlar, in order to circumvent the US import charges that normally applied to German products. However, within a short space of time, the site evolved into something of a high-tech centre – especially in the field of lens development and construction, with its own optical engineering department (overseen by Dr. Walter Mandler). A number of famous lenses – for example, the Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 or the Noctilux-M 50mm f/1 – were developed in Canada, and for a long time were manufactured exclusively at the Midland plant. This high level of competence
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also led to special commissions, including from the US military. Again, this resulted in the production of lenses which are now highly coveted in collectors’ circles, such as the Elcan-M 66mm f/2. The existing company still retains the name ‘Elcan’ (which originally stood for Ernst Leitz Canada) to this day, but it no longer produces Leica lenses. Long after the last Noctilux 50mm f/1 made by Elcan had been delivered to Leica Camera in Solms, the Canadian →
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site still contained an impressive archive of samples of virtually every Leitz Canada product ever made. It seems very fitting that these exhibits have now been brought to Wetzlar to complete the archives of the factory museum. How will the new museum affect the Family Tree of cameras and lenses that is currently displayed in the foyer of the Leica main building? Will it be moved into the museum?
photo: Terje Abusdal
Top left: a Kochmann Korelle with Leitz-Elmar lens. Top right: Nagel’s deluxe version of the Pupille camera with Leitz-Elmar lens. Below: an employee’s product suggestion, the ‘Leica Box’ (1950s)
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The Leica Family Tree has become something of an institution. It was already displayed in the administrative building of the Ernst Leitz GmbH (now Wetzlar’s New City Hall), and is famous around the world – also in the form of a popular wall-poster. In Leica’s former headquarters in Solms, the installation was remodelled and set up in the foyer. When the headquarters moved to Wetzlar in 2014, the Camera and Lens version of the Family Tree was developed. It was high time to create a display that shows the cameras side-by-side with their corresponding lenses. After all, the exceedingly high imaging performance of its lenses significantly con-
tributed to the success of the Leica camera. So, naturally, the Family Tree will continue to play an important role even after the third section of Leitz Park has opened its doors. While the Family Tree installation shows Leica’s technical evolution within the context of serially produced models, the museum is perhaps more centred around particularly unusual discoveries, such as our extensive collection of prototypes, to name but one example. Your new book, Museum Leica, presents hundreds of gems spanning more than 100 years of camera history. Will future visitors be able to see all of these exhibits at any given time,
or will different selections be displayed on a rotational basis? The new Leica Museum is not intended to merely showcase optical devices. Our aim is to convey the history of Leica on an emotional level. Of course, this also includes the display of technical hardware exhibits. However, what makes repeated visits to the Leica Museum worthwhile for the viewer is the chance to see topic-related presentations that explore individual themes, which we will offer in the form of continuously changing exhibitions. This also means that some exhibits will only be displayed on specific occasions or within the context of certain themes. As with my previous publications,
Museum Leica has been consciously designed as a standard photo book, which is intended to give visitors an insight into what kinds of experiences the new factory museum will have to offer when the first exhibition, Eyes Wide Open!, has ended. Interview: bernd Luxa
Museum Leica: 672 pages, over 600 large-format colour illustrations, two volumes in slipcase, English, German Book launch on 15 June 2018 as
part of the opening of Leitz Park III
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22.02.2017 12:06:11 Uhr
â€œA p l e as i n g s e n s e o f u r b a n i t y. â€? L e i t z Pa r k III
Since 2014, the nerve centre of Leica Camera AG is once again based in Wetzlar. Now the third section of the impressive Leitz Park complex is about to open its doors.
When optical engineer Oskar Barnack pressed the shutter of his Liliput – now known as the ‘Ur-Leica’ – for the first time in 1914, Wetzlar became the birthplace of a new era in photography. For a long time, the German city was known primarily as the seat of the Imperial Supreme Court, where Goethe himself had completed a fourmonth internship. By the end of the 19th century, however, Wetzlar had become synonymous with the world-
The third construction phase is complete – epanding the Leitz Park premises with a hotel, new factory museum, the CW Sonderoptic production plant and an office tower
famous optical instruments made by the Ernst Leitz company. This product line, especially microscopes, eventually included the Leica camera, whose serial production started in 1925. The company relocated to the neighbouring city of Solms in 1980, and for many years it seemed as though
Leica’s history in Wetzlar was firmly relegated to the past. But life can be full of surprises: in 2007, construction for Leitz Park I started on the outskirts of Wetzlar. The 18 squarekilometre expanse was once an entrenchment field, and continued to be used by the army until the late 20th century. On completion, Leitz Park I became home to the companies Viaoptik and Uwe Weller Precision →
Below left: View of Leitz Park II; below right: The hotelâ€™s forecourt can be accessed by carcomfortably; top: Leitz Park III brings to mind an attractively designed urban space
Engineering – whilst Leica went on to prepare for the second construction phase of Leitz Park: a new company seat for Leica Camera AG. Re t ur n to Wetzla r. Designed by Frankfurt-based architects Martin Gruber and Helmut Kleine-Kraneburg, Leitz Park II encompasses Leica’s production facilities along with offices, an exhibition space and a Leica Store. When the building was completed in 2014, Leica Camera AG moved back to Wetzlar – 100 years after Oskar Barnack finished the prototype of his first camera. It also marked the company’s return to the very cradle of today’s Leica Camera AG, because it was in Wetzlar that Carl Kellner founded the Optical Institute in 1849, which Ernst Leitz joined and eventually took over. Very early on in the site development process, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, majority shareholder and COB of Leica Camera AG, pursued the concept of creating not just a manufacturing location, but a ‘World of Leica’. This ambition has now been fulfilled with the completion of the third ensemble of buildings: Leitz Park III comprises a boutique hotel, a prestigious office tower, the production facilities of Leica’s sister company CW Sonderoptic, and the Leica Building with the new factory museum. The architectural design of this third instalment shows a departure from the rectangular and circular geometry that defines the two previous sections of Leitz Park. Dr. Kaufmann explains: “Picture yourself on holiday in Montalcino or Siena. You find yourself in a city where every street leads up to a central square, with inviting buildings whose shapes are not rectangular, but correspond with the shape of the square. In essence, the design of Leitz Park III aims to offer a pleasing sense of urbanity.” Focus on Photog ra p hy. The
core theme of Leitz Park III is also reflected in the new Arcona Living Ernst Leitz Hotel. Comprising 129 rooms,
Both the Arcona Living Ernst Leitz Hotel with its 129 rooms, apartments and suites, as well as the adjacent Weinwirtschaft Restaurant are distinguished by a cohesive design concept
apartments and suites, the hotel follows a cohesive design concept that extends into architectural details. Most prominent, of course, is the abundant and thoughtfully curated display of prints by famous Leica photographers, which honours classic masters such as Peter Cornelius and Joel Meyerowitz as well as a new generation of talented artists,
such as Matt Stuart and Fulvio Bugani. Some 250 images by more than 60 photographers are exhibited throughout the building. The adjacent Weinwirtschaft Restaurant not only serves select wines, but also features a show kitchen and summer terrace, while an additional outdoor space (accommodating up to 300 people) is available for seminars and special events. An in-house gym and sauna area complete the experience– making it seem all the more astonishing that the same →
A touch of Italy in Wetzlar: The layout of Leitz Park III echoes methods of urban planning in the Renaissance era
With the inauguration of Leitz Park III in June 2018, the vision to create a ‘World of Leica’ becomes a reality – eleven years after the first ground was broken for the construction of Leitz Park I
Architectural visualisations: © Michael Kisselbach / www.kiframes.de
grounds contain a global manufacturing facility. The existing exhibition space in Leitz Park II only allowed for a relatively limited display of historical and contemporary cameras, without being able to convey the full extent of Leica’s long and influential history. Consequently, the new Leica Museum will count among the most significant new spaces within Leitz Park III. Its presentations will explore the full spectrum of Leica’s history, focusing on everything from microscopes to cameras and sports optics. To begin with, however, the venue will host the special exhibition Eyes Wide Open! 100 Years of Leica Photography (more on this in our interview, starting on page 132). The Leica Building will house not only the new factory museum, but also the Historical Archive, the Leica Akademie, a photography studio and a new Leica Store. During the inauguration festivities, the Store space will be entirely dedicated to an exhibition of works by photographers such as Mathieu Bitton (more on his project Darker Than Blue on page 72), Ray Barbee and Tine Acke. Esse nt ial Valu e s. Located amidst the urban atmosphere of Leitz Park III, the production plant of CW Sonderoptic epitomises the aesthetics of industrial functionality. It is the first of the new buildings to be occupied: the staff are already on site, producing high-end cinematic lenses that bear the Leica seal. Founded by Dr. Kaufmann in 2008, CW Sonderoptic has already achieved renown. In 2015, the movie Birdman – which had been filmed with the company’s Summilux-C lenses – won four Oscars, including Best Cinematography. The CW Sonderoptic engineering team not only gained worldwide attention, but was also honoured with the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Award – often referred to as the ‘Sci-Tech Oscar’.
The striking office tower will house various companies local to Wetzlar, as well as the administration of Leitz-Park GmbH. On the ground floor, an development division will work on innovative new Leica products
The tallest building on the Leitz Park grounds is the new office tower, which will provide workspaces for a variety of businesses. In line with Leica’s style, the five-storey building looks impressive without ever appearing ostentatious. Along with companies local to the Wetzlar area, the office tower will also house the administration of Leitz-Park GmbH. The ground floor, however, will be dedicated to the conception of new Leica products – though any projects that are underway are currently kept tightly under wraps. Equally forward-thinking is the company’s dedication to sustainability: previously applied concepts for the Leitz Park, such as underground geothermal tubes and photovoltaic panels on the roofs, have once again been implemented, making the complex almost entirely self-sufficient.
T ru e v i s i o n. When Dr. Kaufmann purchased the entrenchment field more than ten years ago the ‘World of Leica’ was no more than an ambitious concept. Now his vision is about to become a reality. Leitz Park III consolidates research, fine-art photography, culture and high-end tourism into a unique experience that will attract visitors and photography enthusiasts from around the world. The opening celebrations take place from 15 to 17 June 2018. While the first two days are dedicated to invited guests, clients and press representatives, the grounds will be open to the public on Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00. An estimated 10 000 visitors are expected to use this opportunity to explore, discover and enjoy everything the premises have to offer. Over the years, Leica Camera AG have significantly contributed to the development of Wetzlar as a business location, and Leitz Park III is sure to draw even more attention to the historical city and surrounding region in the federal state of Hesse. It will be interesting to see what other exciting prospects this may attract in future – there is certainly still plenty of space for expansion on the Leitz Park grounds. danilo rössger
p h oto
Photo: © Jane Evelyn Atwood
– b o o k s – E x h i b i t i o n s – f e s t i va l s – Awa r d s –
The most well-known and distinguished photo festival in the world will, once again, bring together the international photo community under the sun of southern France. Director Sam Stourdz and his team will be presenting the 49th edition of the Rencontres d’Arles Festival, from 2 July to 23 September 2018. In a confused world full of wars, cyborgs and the unpredictable USA, Arles looks into the past in sections such as America Great Again with Robert Frank’s Sidelines and Raymond Depardon’s USA 1968–1999, as well as
Run comrade, the old world is behind you about the 1968 riots in Paris. In the Augmented Humanity section, the festival organisers try to draw conclusions for the future; this is where Matthieu Gafsou’s H+ series about transhumanism and body modification, and Jonas Bendiksen’s The Last Testament series suggest dystopian future scenarios. In the Dialogues section we find works by Jane Evelyn Atwood and Joan Colom – who in 20 year intervals portrayed people in similar ways in Paris and Barcelona respectively –
exhibited opposite each other. As special festival guests, the Palais de Tokyo and the Opéra National de Paris, two cultural icons, are given the opportunity to present their perspectives on photography. The renowned Prix Pictet that honours environmental and societal photography will be celebrating its ten-year jubilee in Arles with an exhibition of all the former winners and during a ceremony at the Théâtre Antique, announcing the theme for the next competition cycle. www.rencontres-arles.com
L e s R e n c o n t r e s d ’A r l e s
Photos: © William Wegmann, © Raymond Depardon, © Paul Graham, © Candida Höfer
Bac k to t h e f u t u r e
Clockwise from the far left: Jane Evelyn Atwood Pigalle, Paris, France 1978–1979; William Wegman Casual, 2002; Raymond Depardon Manhattan, New York, 1981, Paul Graham New Orleans, from A Shimmer of Possibility, 2003–2006; Candida Höfer Elbphilharmonie Hamburg; Herzog & de Meuron, Hamburg VIII, 2016
Diane Arbus S m i t h s o n i a n Am e r i c a n Art Museum
6 April 2018 — 21 January 2019 Photo: Diane Arbus, A woman with her baby monkey, N.J. 1971
Lee Miller T h e H e p w o r t h Wa k e f i e l d, Y o r k s h i r e
Man Ray met Lee Miller in Paris at the end of the twenties, she was his student and muse. He took nude photographs of her: brightly overexposed, the head blurry but her torso in focus. A dream-like, surreal being who should really be included in the world of the surrealists. The Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain exhibition is dedicated to the time the American spent with the artistic movement that thrived in the London of the late thirties. Because of political developments, many artists had moved there, like Max Ernst, Paul Eluard, Leonora Carrington, and they turned Great Britain into a centre for Surrealism. The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery states, “The exhibition will tell the story of Surrealism in Britain through Miller’s lens, focussing on the artists she knew, photographed and exhibited alongside.” Collages, sculptures and paintings by Eileen Agar, Salvador Dali and Henry Moore are presented next to Miller’s photographic works. In one of her pictures we see an amputated female breast served on a plate, with a knife and fork beside it. The surrealists, predominantly men of the 19th century avant-guard, were known for fragmenting the female body, presenting it as an erotic fetish. With her own particular images, Lee Miller exposes that perspective. 22 June — 7 October 2018, Photo: Lee Miller, Nude bent forward (thought to be Noma Rathner), Paris, France, 1930
HAROL D FEINSTEIN G a l e r i e TH i e r r y B i g a i g n o n , Pa r i s
Feinstein describes his pictures as “a small sampling of photographic journeys bearing witness to the beauty and mystery of this human life”. In Graciously Yours, 21 photos depicting New York’s life and citizens from 1966 to 1988, are on exhibit in Paris. 24 May — 31 August 2018 Photo: Harold-Feinstein, Window Washer, 1974
M a rt i n Sc h o e l l e r nederlands Fotomuseum, R ot t e r da m
Stark white lighting and a mere seventy centimetres between the lens and the tip of the subject’s nose: Martin Schoeller’s close-ups are well-known. Almost like a meeting in person, his pictures allow the viewer to get very close to the person being portrayed. Once an assistant to Annie Leibovitz, Schoeller says: “A photographic closeup is perhaps the purest form of portraiture, creating a confrontation between the viewer and the subject that daily interaction makes impossible, or at least, impolite.” For the first time in the Netherlands, Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Nicholson, Angelina Jolie appear in Big Heads, an exhibition by the Munichborn photographer at the Nederlands Fotomuseum. In addition to celebrity portraits, the twins series Identical and the Female Bodybuilders series will be on display. 19 May — 2 September 2018 Photo: Martin Schoeller, Barack Obama, 2004
Photos: © Lee Miller Archives, England 2018. All rights reserved; Smithsonian American Art Museum; Museum purchase. © The Estate of Diane Arbus; © Harold Feinstein, courtesy Galerie Thierry Bigaignon; © Martin Schoeller; © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos
In 1969, the photographer began working on the only portfolio she did in her lifetime: A box of ten photographs would become iconic following her death in 1971. Whether circus performers, curious neighbours or people living on society’s edges – Diana Arbus captured the unusual.
H e n r i C a rt i e r Bresson ICP, N e w Y o r k
Robert Capa called the book “a bible for photographers”: The Decisive Moment by Henri Cartier-Bresson is the subject of an ICP exhibition in New York. The show details how decisions made by the collaborators in this major project – including CartierBresson, French art publisher Tériade, American publisher Simon and Schuster and Henri Matisse, who designed the book’s cover – have shaped our understanding of CartierBresson’s photographs. The display reveals how the title of the book became legendary, while also being Cartier-Bresson’s motto: the book first appeared in French with the title, Images on the Run, but was changed for the English edition. The decisive moment became a symbol for when to press the shutter, a global meme for that perfect instant when all the elements of an image – people, background, excerpt and composition – are in harmony. Containing vintage silver gelatin prints, first-edition publications, periodicals and correspondence, the exhibition pursues the fact that the title of a book also came to describe an artist, offering a glimpse into the realisation of a complete body of artistic works, which stands like a monument in the heavens. 23 May — 2 September 2018; Photo: Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Decisive Moment (Simon & Schuster, 1952), Behind the Gare St Lazare, Place de l’Europe, Paris, France, 1932
Kac p e r Kowa l s k i OVER
D. P. R . KOREA G RAND TOUR
The new book from the Belgian-born (1958), Magnum photographer is unusual. The format is quite particular, and the photographic content offers a surprising insight into an isolated country. North Korea is currently considered the country with the most restrictive political system in the world. In fact, it is hard to believe that a photo journalist like de Keyzer was allowed to do a free reportage in the country. Yet, in 2015 he was able to take a 42-day trip photographing around 200 places. This privilege was granted to de Keyzer thanks to an agency that specialises in travel, but also supports humanitarian and cultural projects of foreign aid organisations. Officially, the photographer was commissioned to shoot images for the agency’s homepage. De Keyzer had to submit to government rules that allow pictures to only be taken under supervision. Even so, de Keyzer’s grand tour went beyond the expected motifs; in addition to choreographed military parades, countless images of the dictator, and laughing uniformed children, he managed to find images that offer surprising insight into people’s everyday life. Consequently, small oases of freedom are found in the otherwise closed-off and controlled country. Browsing through the photo book requires discipline and attention, because when you open the book, the picture block divides into two long and fragile leporellos printed on both sides, that, draw the viewer into the imagery. A complementary, small index book delivers brief information about the pictures. 2 × 132 pages, 258 images, 18 × 24.5 cm, English, Lannoo Publishers
98 pages, 46 images, 23.5 × 31 cm, English, Self-published
Samantha Dietmar MExico
In 2006, the German photographer (b. 1978) followed the ‘La Otra Campaña’ election campaign of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, Mexico. Her reportage in the charged atmosphere of the election developed into a personal series, with a contradictory diversity that reflects the country’s situation effectively. 144 p., 114 images, 24 × 22 cm, German/English, Kehrer Verlag
G u i l l au m e S i m o n e au E x p e r i m e n ta l L a k e
At a first glance, the landscape pictures are enchantingly beautiful; but within the context of the book they reveal a serious, second level. The Canadian photographer (b. 1978) is not focussing on documenting the apparently untouched nature, but rather on research and scientific studies. At its heart is an area of 58 lakes in northwest Ontario, which has attained significance as a nature laboratory called ELA (Experimental Lakes Area). The so-called whole-lake experiments have been carried out there since the sixties and have incalculable importance for science, and also in ecological decision-making and legislation. The threat of the cancellation of funding for the project has only just been averted. It is unfortunate that this impressive book does not contain any texts that deepen the understanding about research findings regarding natural monuments. 80 pages, 48 images, 22 × 29 cm, English, Mack Books
Photos: © Carl de Keyzer/Magnum Photos; © Kacper Kowalski; © Samantha Dietmar; © Guillaume Simoneau
Carl De Keyzer
He first wanted to become an architect, but then the Polish photographer (b. 1977) decided in time to pursue his true passions: flying and photography. Kowalski, a 2011 Leica Oskar Barnack Award finalist, has published a book of aerial photographs of landscapes in a astonishing form: graphic structures that were, in fact, made by people and by nature. Great.
S MAGAZINE ISSUE 9 20
Leica Galleries Arenberg castle
At time of publication unknown
AUT | 5020 Salzburg, Arenbergstr. 10 10 June — November 2018
POR | 4000-427 Porto, Rua d. Sá da Bandeira, 48/52
Ba n g ko k
Ralph Gibson: Nude and Muses
Robert Vano: My name is Robert Vano
THA | 10330 Bangkok, 2nd Floor Gaysorn Village, 999 Ploenchit Road 8 May — 26 June 2018
13 April — 17 June 2018
Maggie Steber: The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma
Ekaterina Sevrouk: Last Paradise
USA | Boston, MA 02116, 74 Arlington St. 3 May — 8 July 2018
LOBA winners + photography from the collection GER | 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Großer Hirschgraben 15 7 June — September 2018 i s ta n b u l
Hellen van Meene TUR | 34381 Şişli/İstanbul, Bomontiada – Merkez, A Birahane Sk. No:1 11 May — 2 June 2018 Kyoto
NIGO: Metropolis JPN | Kyoto, 570–120 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku 7 April — 28 June 2018 Los Angeles
At time of publication unknown USA | West Hollywood, CA 90048, 8783 Beverly Boulevard Milan
PhotoVogue 2018 When Ethics Meets Aestethics ITA | 20121 Mailand, Via Mengoni 4 4 June — 26 June 2018 NR W
Ellen von Unwerth: Wild, Wild West GER | 59302 Oelde-Stromberg, Mies-van-der-Rohe-Weg 1 5 May — 30 June 2018 n u r e mb e r g
PAGES · 9,90
TCH | 110 00 Prague 1, Školská 28
AUT | 5020 Salzburg, Gaisbergstr. 12 24 May — 7 July 2018 S ão Pau l o
Alain Laboile BRA | 01240–000 São Paulo, Rua Maranhão, 600 Higienópolis 5 April — 15 June 2018
Jason Peterson SIN | Singapore, The Fullerton Hotel, 1 Fullerton Square, #01–07 22 May — 22 August 2018
Kenichi Kakimoto: Knock JPN | Tokyo, 6-4-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku 13 April — 1 July 2018 wa r s aw
Bogdan Konopka: Leçons de Ténèbres
POL | 00–496 Warsaw, Mysia 3 8 June — 21 July 2018 Wetzlar
Bruce Davidson: Leica Hall of Fame GER | 35578 Wetzlar, Am Leitz-Park 5 15 June — 9 September 2018 vienna
Nadja Gusenbauer: Verschwunden 1999. Sperrzone Tschernobyl AUT | 1010 Vienna, Walfischgasse 1 18 May — 4 September 2018
GER | 18374 Zingst, Am Bahnhof 1 27 May — 13 August 2018
Enrique Badulescu Joachim Baldauf Brix & Maas Bil Brown Arved Colvin-Smith Anna Daki Rui Faria Christian Geisselmann Esther Haase Marie Hochhaus Benjamin Kaufmann James Meakin Monica Menez Hector Perez Elizaveta Porodina René & Radka Christian Rinke Tristan Rösler Takahito Sasaki SPECIAL
Gideon Mendel: Drowning World
Ellen von Unwerth
GER | 90403 Nuremberg, Ob. Wörthstr. 8 24 March — 23 June 2018
Leica Fotografie I n t e r n at i o n a l
F ra n ç o i s F o n ta i n e my Picture
With this portrait of a Chinese woman, Fontaine expresses his vision of contemporary China, while poetically suggesting that “life is a dream” (Calderón de la Barca).
70th year | Issue 4.2018
LFI PHOTOGR A PHIE GMBH Springeltwiete 4, 20095 Hamburg, Germany Phone: +49 / 40 / 2 26 21 12 80 Fax: +49 / 40 / 2 26 21 12 70 ISSN: 0937-3977 www.lfi-online.com, email@example.com Editor-in-Chief Inas Fayed, Frank P. Lohstöter (V.i.S.d.P.) A rt Direction Brigitte Schaller EDITORIA L OFFICE Michael J. Hußmann, Denise Klink, Bernd Luxa, Edyta Pokrywka, Danilo Rößger, David Rojkowski picture desk Carol Körting layout Thorsten Kirchhoff Translation, Sub-Editing Robin Appleton, Hope Caton, Anna Sauper, Osanna Vaughn CONTRIBUTORS to this issue Katja Hübner, Edward Lucie-Smith, Ulrich Rüter, Holger Sparr, Katrin Ullmann M anagement Board Frank P. Lohstöter, Anja C. Ulm Media SA LES A nd M arketing Kirstin Ahrndt-Buchholz, Samira Holtorf Phone: +49 / 40 / 2 26 21 12 72 Fax: +49 / 40 / 2 26 21 12 70 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Valid ad-rate card No. 46, 1 January 2018 REPRODUcTION: Alphabeta, Hamburg Printer: Optimal Media GmbH, Röbel/Müritz PA PER: Igepa Profimatt
Wei, Guangzhou 2005
This photograph was taken in China in the summer of 2005, while I was doing a residency at Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou. One afternoon, I asked Wei, a young woman of timeless beauty, to approach one of the museum windows so that I could photograph her reflection in the glass. The buildings in the background became fused in a strange manner with the reflection of her face. The museum’s architecture followed the lacy cut of her décolleté, while the Chinese characters appear like filigree golden tattoos on her eyelids. An opening in the museum’s façade aligns with her mouth, creating the impression of a puppet’s face. This portrait of Wei illustrates quite perfectly both ancient and contemporary China. François Fontaine was born in Paris in 1968. His photographs, inspired by travel and by cinema, have been distributed by Agence VU’ since 2008. His images of Asia appeared in Rêve d’Orient, a photo book published in 2015 by Filigranes Éditions.
L FI 5 / 2 0 1 8 w i ll a p p e a r o n 2 9 j u n e 2 0 1 8
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LEICA. DAS WESENTLICHE.
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Photo shot on Leica SL from the series “Parkour Motion”, © Ben Franke
BETWEEN ART & FASHION Paolo Roversi, Meg, AlaÃ¯a Dress, 1987 Copyright Paolo Roversi
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE COLLECTION OF CARLA SOZZANI
HELMUT NEWTON FOUNDATION MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY 2 JUNE - 18 NOVEMBER 2018 JEBENSSTRASSE 2, 10623 BERLIN TUE, WED, FRI, SAT, SUN 11-7, THU 11-8