Saturday, September 22, 2007

Leica cameras

I have held a Leica twice in my life. I remember both times. The Leicas instantly felt right, like an extension of my body.

Anthony Lane captures the essence of the Leica M series cameras in this week's New Yorker magazine.

Candid Camera: The cult of Leica.
by Anthony Lane

... Alfred Eisenstaedt, of Life magazine, ...recalled:

"I was running ahead of him with my Leica, looking back over my shoulder. But none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked."

He took four pictures, and that was that. “It was done within a few seconds,” he said. All you need to know about the Leica is present in those seconds. The photographer was on the run, so whatever he was carrying had to be light and trim enough not to be a drag. He swivelled and fired in one motion, like the Sundance Kid. And everything happened as quickly for him as it did for the startled nurse, with all the components—the angles, the surrounding throng, the shining white of her dress and the kisser’s cap—falling into position. Times Square was the arena of uncontrolled joy; the job of the artist was to bring it under control, and the task of his camera was to bring life—or, at least, an improved version of it, graced with order and impact—to the readers of Life.

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