Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Images that Leica Saw

Images captured with a Leica:

[Elliot Erwitt image from personal web site]

[Alfred Eisenstaedt image from M Gallery]

[Infamous image of Che Guevara by Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez AKA Korda from Socialist Youth]

I know these were shot with a Leica thanks to an article in the New Yorker. I always had a sneaking suspicion that these split-second moments were captured with an exceptional tool but its nice to have my suspicions confirmed. Anthony Lane's article is really interesting and documents the development of Leica and the role its played in history.

A quote from the article:

Ever since my teens, as one substandard print after another glimmered into view in the developing tray, under the brothel-red gloom of the darkroom, my own attempts at photography have meant a lurch of expectation and disappointment. Now, with an M8 in my possession, the shame gave way to a thrill.

Every photographer I ever studied in school seems to have done their best work, their favorite work, with a Leica: Robert Frank's The Americans, Lee Frielander, Gary Winogrand, Martine Franck, and many more. Makes me wonder why anyone would shoot with anything else.

Another quote:
I remembered what Cartier-Bresson once said about turning from painting to photography: “the adventurer in me felt obliged to testify with a quicker instrument than a brush to the scars of the world.”
Leica, the epitome of cool and the reason that cameras are what they are today.

[Martine Franck, captured with her Leicas, from the Magnum Photos site]

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