The Leica Welt in Wetzlar.
Why Leica? Well, that’s a good question. Some or even very many photographers would say that a significantly cheaper camera also could take good pictures. You can of course agree with that. But I would also like to claim, not least from my own experience, that I have been able only with the Leica, or rather with the M-System from Leica, to develop a completely different “Seeing” than I would have had before with any other camera. The rangefinder system, which was initially very cumbersome, demands a significantly increased attention from the observer. The additional circumstance that there are no kind of auto functions allows you to think of your own in terms of image composition, or rather, it forces the photographer to actually deal with photography in full and not just press a shutter button and hope that the automatic settings will do the rest.
On top of that, and this is a fact that no skeptic can speak of the hand, the Leica lenses are among the best, no stop, I think I can say without a doubt that they are the best lenses in the world … at least with such a convenient Camera system. Sure, Zeiss lenses definitely play in the same league, but only at Leica are camera and lens ultimately developed together and are therefore so perfectly coordinated.
After all, besides all the technical nonsense, I have to come back to the essentials. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said: “In any case, people care too much about photographic technology and too little about seeing.” … a statement that I would like to agree with 100%. Ultimately, it will always be a combination of sight, gut feeling and, as stupid as that may sound, the heart that makes a good photograph – a photograph reduced to the essentials. Undoubtedly, the Leica taught me exactly that, to recognize and use this combination. My work has changed significantly since the Leica and even if it all sounds like a paid advertising message – I haven’t received a cent for it. The message comes from the heart and is a simple but very personal thank you for this wonderful enrichment of my photographic work.
For sure it was unavoidable to visit the impressive Leica World in Wetzlar. This was not my first visit, but it was also a very intensive and completely in “Leica kind” stay, limited to the essentials at the Leitz Park. If you ignore the undoubtedly perfectly thought-out architecture of Leitz-Park, the only thing left is photography with its equally impressive story about Oskar Barnack and Ernst Leitz II and the numerous formative photographs from the last century by really great Leica photographers. All in all, a place where you can let the photographer’s heart beat faster and where you can lose yourself and find yourself in your own photography.