Leica 100 Ad Recreates 35 Famous Images From The History Of Photography

Leica 100 Ad Recreates 35 Famous Photos

Beautiful ad celebrates 100th anniversary of the first Leica camera by recreating 35 famous images from the history of photography. But not all the photographs were shot with a Leica camera. Wait, what? Hit the jump to watch the video and find out more.

The new ad celebrates the 100th anniversary the first Leica camera and the opening of the Leica Gallery in São Paulo in November. The 2 minute video beautifully recreates or references 35 famous images from the history of photography and includes, among others:

  • Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, Joe Rosenthal
  • Photographs of the Apollo 11 moon mission
  • Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange
  • Le Baiser de l’hôtel de ville, Robert Doisneau
  • Rue Mouffetard, Paris, Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Untitled (Book in Mouth, New York City), Jeff Mermelstein
  • Behind the Gare St. Lazare, Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Muslim women on the slopes of Hari Parbal Hill, Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Phan Thi Kim Phúc, Nick Ut
  • Sanaa, Yemen, Samuel Aranda
  • General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon, Eddie Adams
  • Flower Power, Bernie Boston
  • Quang Duc self-immolation, Malcolm Browne
  • Unknown Rebel of Tiananmen Square, Jeff Widener
  • Portrait of Che Guevara, Alberto Korda
  • Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, Diane Arbus
  • Segregated Water Fountains, Elliot Erwitt
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Annie Leibovitz
  • Girl With Leica, Alexander Rodchenko
  • Self Portrait with Wife & Models, Helmut Newton
  • Seine-Maritime, Dieppe, Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • Falling Soldier, Robert Capa

It’s a delightful and beautifully moving tribute to some of the greatest images from the history of photography and John Malkovich doesn’t make a single appearance. But the fact that not all the images were shot with a Leica is leaving many photographers scratching their heads.

A Tribute To Leica Photography

The inspirational voice-over sums up the message of the video:

100 years ago something changed dramatically the course of photography. The first leica was born. Of course you could say, “Hey some of these photos weren’t taken with a Leica at all!” But I must gently disagree with you. Leica took the camera out of the studio and placed it into real life. Images à la sauvette. Snapshots. We were able to see, to feel, to smell thousands of moments. It became an extension of the eye of the photographer. Joy, pain, ordinary things, fear, losers, winners, misery. War from inside. One image contaminating the others. Metastasis. The most iconic images in history, even the ones that weren’t taken with a Leica, were taken “because” of a Leica. We didn’t invent photography. But we invented… photography.

Everything Is A Leica?

Not every famous photograph was taken with a Leica. But they were all taken because of a Leica.

Humble much? :)

The idea is that Leica helped move photography out of the studios and let photographers capture life in the real world. And so, in a way, Leica made possible every photo you’ve ever seen that captures real, unscripted, uposed life. Did you hear that? The BS alarm just went off the shizzle!

Look I understand what Leica is saying here. The majority of the images in the ad were shot with a Leica and one could make a case that Leica is celebrating photography and not claiming ownership. Except for the face that the ad makes that exact claim! I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a Leica fan but I really have to wonder what Leica was thinking on this one.

The fact remains that Leica has played an important part in the history of photography. Their cameras continue to be in the hands of the world’s greatest photographers with good reason. Quality, craftsmanship and usability are the hallmarks of the brand. And don’t even get me started on the optics!

What’s your take on Leica’s latest ad spot? Too much or just enough? Post your comments below and keep the conversation going!

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