Das Leica Interview – The Obsession and Freedom to create.
Alexander von Wiedenbeck started photographing in 2004. In 2012, he left everything behind and started the production on OBSESSION FOR FREEDOM. Below, Alexander describes this project and his use of the Leica M Monochrom.
Q: How would you describe your photography?
A: My photography is real and one on one. For me it is important to photograph something honest, that there’s a real person in front of my camera not just an illusion of what someone else maybe wants to see: real people, real feelings in real situations. I am not a friend of posing or even retouching. I’ll pass the situations and then try to see the right moment.
Q: Do your photos fall into a specific genre?
A: I do (fashion) editorials and portraits, but I’m also very interested in reportage.
Q: What camera and equipment do you use?
A: Ninety-nine percent of the time I use the Leica M Monochrom with the 50 mm f/2 Summicron-M, 90 mm f/2.5 Summarit-M, and 28 mm f/2.8 Elmarit-M lenses.
Q: What particular operational or technical characteristics or features of the Leica Monochrom do you fine especially useful in your work, and how do you think this camera helps you in capturing images?
A: So, first of all, I only do black-and-white photography. It was, of course, worth a shot to try the first digital camera with a black-and-white sensor. And the Monochrom did not disappoint me. Quite the opposite! More importantly, it is my first rangefinder camera and it was really exciting to discover photography from this side. It changed my way of working, totally, in a better way.
Q: You note that you use three Leica-M lenses. Which of these lenses, if any, do you favor for the majority of your work? And do you believe as many have stated that there is an identifiable Leica look in the way the Leica lenses render the subject? If so, how would you describe it?
A: At the end, when I saw which photographs found their way into the book, the 50 mm was of course used more than the others. But both the 90 mm and the 28 mm were also very important for the whole road trip. I’ve done a lot of good photographs with the 28 mm. I can say that the Leica lenses have their own look, of course, but I couldn’t find words to describe it — but you see it!