All images shot on Leica SL (Type 601)....
Last night was more than just a product launch, as Dr Andreas Kaufmann said "I's a celebration of Photography" - and a celebration of photography it was, with some heavyweight professional photographers, industry professionals and the usual Leica faces in attendance. Above: (L-R) Leica Chief Dr Andreas Kaufmann, Photographer Fred Mortagne, Photographer Stefano Guindani, Leica CEO Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Oliver Kaltner and Photographer and host Craig Semetko.
There were approximately 1000 guests all eager to see what the new announcement was all about and they weren't disappointed. I made my way around the venue armed with the SL, capturing people and moments and the reaction was positive. Some were taken back by the size of the 24-90mm lens but understood that the size was necessary to ensure ultimate quality.
The event was hosted by none other than my old (figure of speech) friend and top photographer Craig Semetko, who did an amazing job at keeping the crowd entertained with his witty humour and charisma....but quite honestly, it's great he moved away from comedy and took up photography LOL.
Leica's fearless leader, Dr Andreas Kaufmann was there in support of his brand and gave his apprecition to all who attended. His enthusiasm for the brand was really amazing to see, and it was obvious to see that his investment in the Leica brand goes beyond the business. He truly is passionate about photography and everyone involved with the brand.
We were honoured to have Fred Montagne speak on-stage about his amazing skateboarding pictures and video made in Los Angeles. The French photographer did an amazing job on this series of pictures and I urge you all to seek them out and see for yourself. This photographer is now on my radar! See his video here.
Next to Fred is Photographer Stephano Guindani who shot a nice series of work behind the scenes of Milano Fashion Week. Having shot countless fashion weeks myself I felt drawn to his imagery and appreciate the great job he did on this project. You can see his video here
On a personal note it was a great night to catch up with old (figure of speak, sort of) friends. I met both Craig Semetko and Nick Ut back when I was working in Los Angeles, and they're wonderful human beings. I shot a video of Craig when we first met and haven't seen him since making it, so it was great to finally catch up in person after 4 years of seeing him on Facebook. Luckily, even after all the success and fame he's achieved since our last meeting, he's still an incredible and humble guy. For those who don't know Craig, you may know this amazing picture...
Nick I met on assignment covering the Michael Jackson funeral and court cases back when I was working at Getty Images in LA. Of course I was honoured to meet him at the time, and the way he treated me (a fresh face) was incredible. If you ever get the chance to meet Nick, you'll be so glad you did. His iconic image 'The Terror of War' will stand the tests of time and will always remain one of the strongest and most significant pictures ever taken.
The highlight of the night for many was the ability to play with the new Leica SL, as well as all the other Leica novelties in the Leica Store here at Leitz Park. Picture here is Janina, one of the gorgeous and helpful staff on hand that were assisting in demonstrating the new product.
As you can see there was a lot fun and games going on and here is In-Public Photographer Matt Stuart kidding around with Leica T Product Manager Maike Harberts, and Lukas Schmidt, junior product manager (R).
To top off the night, there was a fantastic model on hand to test the SL with in the Leica Acadamie Studio. I shot some images using available light up to ISO 6400, as well as a couple wusing the Briese studio lights, which were nothing short of incredible.