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Leica: A century of life through a lens

Luxury & Lifestyle 18-02-2017

Leica, the renowned German brand celebrated its centenary last year, and has allowed AWM to delve through its archives for moments in world history. The way we recall history and understand the world around us is, more often than not, created by startling, intriguing and iconic images.

Do you recognise photographs such as the famous 1966 portrait of boxing legend Muhammad Ali showing off his right fist taken by Thomas Hoepker, and the photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt which captured the celebrations on VJ day in New York’s Times Square in 1945? What do they have in common? They were taken using a Leica camera.

Photo by Thomas Hoepker (1966)
Photo by Thomas Hoepker (1966)
Photo by Nick Ut (1972)
Photo by Nick Ut (1972)
Photo by Franz Hubmann (1956)

Professional photographers and enthusiastic amateurs have been using the famous German brand for decades, and this year marks 100 years since the birth of 35mm photography as we know it today.

The construction of the so-called ‘Ur-Leica’, according to the philosophy of ‘small negative – big picture’, revolutionised photography by offering photographers a vastly increased creative scope, and took away their reliance on cumbersome plate cameras for their work.

In 1925, following inevitable delays resulting from the First World War, Leica Camera began to conquer the world of photography and establish the legend of the brand with a multitude of iconic pictures.

Photo by Gianni Berengo Gardin (1977)
Photo by Elliott Erwitt (1974)
Photo by Elliott Erwitt (1974)
Photo by Bruce Gilden (2001)

In 2014, Leica celebrated its centenary and looking ahead. In fact, to mark this special anniversary, the company launched a new innovative camera system, the LEICA T-System, which combines purist design, handcrafted excellence, with an entirely new operating system that will enable today’s mobile communications and design generation to move into premium image making.

The Leica T-System will particularly appeal to the discerning design-led individual, who appreciates beautiful form and function throughout their everyday life. Manufactured with innovative precision techniques from a single block of aluminium, and designed in collaboration with Audi Design, the Leica T-System presents clean lines, smooth surfaces and formal minimalism at its best. From the initial idea through to the development process and in its final assembly, the focus of all disciplines involved was on one single thing – perfection.

Photo by Alfred-Eisenstaedt
Photo by Alfred-Eisenstaedt
Photo by Robert Lebeck
Photo by Robert Lebeck
Photo by Marc Riboud
Photo by Jeff Mermelstein

In celebration of 100 years of craftsmanship, Leica Camera is also working with numerous renowned photographers from around the globe and shining a spotlight on their work. This campaign will be accompanied by a series of cultural projects, photography exhibitions and competitions, and book presentations.

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