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Magnum Photos and Leica Camera AG


Magnum Photos International, Inc. and Leica Camera AG have begun a technological and photographic collaboration that will build upon almost a century’s worth of shared history between these two world-renowned photographic institutions.


Since the founding of Magnum Photos in 1947 by the legendary photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour, Magnum photographers have served as fervent eyewitnesses to history. Through the lenses of their Leicas, they have captured the decisive moments of the 20th century with a unique vision and unparalleled intensity.


Magnum was established to reflect the independent nature of Magnum photographers as both people and photographers. The idiosyncratic mix of reporter and artist continues to define Magnum, producing work that emphasizes not only what is seen, but also the way one sees it.


Over the past sixty years, Magnum and Leica have made extensive contributions to the recording of history. Individually, each brand stands alone as a pioneer in its field. Leica has become synonymous with the best tools of the trade, blending hand-crafted quality with a dedication to precision mechanics and producing the best optics the industry has to offer. From the moment Henri Cartier-Bresson picked up his first Leica I, Magnum photographers have pushed the limits of documentary photography, and in turn the limits of their Leica’s, with groundbreaking results.

Focus On the Future


In December 2010, Magnum and Leica, building on their shared history, agreed to collaborate on a series of projects that continue their longstanding dedication to independent documentary photography. Alfred Schopf, CEO Leica Camera AG, and Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen, President of Magnum Photos International Inc., signed the project agreement in Solms, Germany.


Beginning in the Spring of 2011, Leica will sponsor the creation of a series of independently produced multimedia essays by Magnum photographers that will take a deeper look into the stories behind the photographs. The work will highlight the personal journeys and insatiable curiosity of Magnum photographers.


Leica and Magnum will publish the stories online at www.Leica-camera.com, www.lfi-online.de, and www.magnumphotos.com.


Commenting on the agreement, Magnum President Jonas Bendiksen stated: “The purpose of Magnum and its member photographers is to continue our long-standing commitment to discovering, witnessing, and communicating visually the sentiments of mankind. With this new agreement, Leica is making an important statement in support of that shared responsibility.”


Tailoring to the needs of professionals

In addition to supporting individual projects, Leica and Magnum will use the production of the new essays as an opportunity to learn from Magnum photographers’ experiences in the field with the latest Leica equipment. Magnum photographers’ input will contribute to Leica’s extensive ongoing user research efforts, with the shared goal of continuing to develop the Leica portfolio and tool-set to serve the needs of photographers world-wide.


Englishman George Rodger, another of Magnum's founding photographers, recalled how his colleague Robert Capa, the agency's dynamic leader, envisioned the photographers' role after World War II: "He recognized the unique quality of miniature cameras, so quick and so quiet to use, and also the unique qualities that we ourselves had acquired during several years of contact with all the emotional excesses that go hand in hand with war. He saw a future for us in this combination of mini cameras and maxi-minds."


Stephan Daniel, Leica’s head of product development says: “The cooperation between Magnum and Leica will help us to create even better tools for professional photographers, both by getting their feedback with actual equipment and by testing future products. Stressing a camera or a lens under harsh circumstances is a welcome and important addition to our internal test procedures, making our products even more perfect for the hard daily work of professionals.”


Contacts

For Magnum


For Leica

Andreas Dippel, Press and Public relations, Leica Camera AG

Andreas.Dippel@leica-camera.com

+49 6442 208 403