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Legendary Leica’s Lively Legacy

Ernst Leitz Optische Werke, Wetzlar, Germany, founded by Ernst Leitz in 1914, literally and figuratively made history when they introduced the world’s first, practical 35 mm Leica camera, that used standard 35 mm film.

1. Leica, 100 Years

Advertising Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, São Paulo, Brazil

Directed by Production Company Stink’s Jones+Tino, the commercial celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first Leica camera, and the opening of the Leica Gallery in São Paulo, Brazil.

Director of Photography Bjorn Charpentier and his team recreated 35 of the world’s most iconic photographs of the last 100 years for the campaign.

Not every famous photograph however, was taken with a Leica. But as Nick Brimble, the ‘voice-over’ narrator explains, they were all taken thanks to Leica.

Leica was instrumental in moving photography out from studios into the real world and making the capturing of actuality images possible. The skillfully observed visual records of moments in time are enlightening, and deserving of recognition in a gallery as a major art form.

The list of awards won by Leica’s ‘100 Years’ include the following:

Cannes Lions: Film Grand Prix, 2 Gold and 3 Silver.
The One Show: 2 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Merit.
D&AD: 1 Graphite and 1 Wood.
Clio: 2 Gold, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.
LIA: 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze.
Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP): Film Grand Prix.

2. Leica M-Monochrom, Soul

Advertising Agency: F/Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, São Paulo, Brazil

The commercial for Leica’s ‘M-Monochrom’ digital camera, that only captures images in black and white, is a tribute to the ‘soul’ of compelling, actuality-capturing images by intrepid war photojournalists.

The monochromatic scenes of love and war, by Film Director Vellas, and Director of Photography Andre Faccioli, from Production Company ‘Sentimental Filmes’, make for entrancing viewing.

3. Leica, Like The Night

Launched with a special screening at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in 2019, ‘Like The Night’ is a cinema commercial conceived and produced in collaboration with Leica UK, and Barney Cokeliss, the multi-award winning fillmmaker, director and photographer.

Barney used Leica SL M lenses to photograph and film several street photographers on nocturnal journeys in search of capturing intriguing images and scenes.

The ‘Like The Night’ locations were New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Berlin, Bucharest, Paris, Soweto and Johannesburg.

Barney describes walking along city streets at night and finding beauty in what you come across as an essentially ‘Leica’ activity:

“There can be a certain beauty, after all, in nocturnal images of loneliness, or mystery, as well of course as more classically beautiful imagery in low-light.”

The soundtrack features music by Anné Kulonen and a resonant rendering of Byron’s poem “She Walks in Beauty”.

4. Leica X2, Mr. Hoveeto

Leica produced this online promotion for their X2 camera featuring Parisian photographer Mr. Hoveeto.

His shared images and insightful narration about the rewards and challenges he has experienced of being a street photographer, make for rewarding and enlightening viewing.