December 18th, 2013

World Press Photo, Alexia Foundation: Still Time to Enter

As 2013 comes to an end, a number of prestigious photo grants, competitions and contests are still accepting entries for their 2014 awards. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy during the holiday break, try submitting your work for one of the awards or grants listed below.

Leica Oskar Barnack Award
In honor of Leica’s centennial in 2014, the camera company is doubling the value of the Oskar Barnack Award’s cash prizes to 10,000 euros for the winner of the professional photographer category and 5,000 euros for the winner of the emerging photographer category. The only requirement for photographers is that they must submit a series that includes images made in 2013. The award, which is named after the inventor of the 35mm Leica camera, recognizes “professional photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and the environment in the most graphic form in a sequence of a minimum of 10 [but] up to a maximum of 12 images.”

This year Leica has added a new category to the competition, the Public Award, and the winner is determined based on the number of votes received on www.i-shot-it.com. When photographers submit their work in consideration for the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, they can also opt-in to participate in the Public Award at no additional fee. The cash prize is 2,500 euros.

The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014; no submission fee. More information can be found at www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.

Alexia Foundation Grants
Every year the Alexia Foundation recognizes a professional and student photographer whose work helps “promote world peace and cultural understanding.” The 2014 Professional Grant winner will receive $20,000—an increase from last year’s prize of $15,000—while the Student Grant winner will win $1,000, a semester at Syracuse University in London and more. Additionally, the Alexia Foundation established a new student grant this year in honor of Robert E. Gilka, the former director of photography for National Geographic who passed away in June 2013. The Gilka Grant, which is a $1,500 scholarship to attend The Kalish workshop, will be awarded to a “project proposal that also includes a multimedia component.”

The deadline for professional submissions is 2 PM on January 13, 2014; $50 submission fee. The deadline for student submissions is 2 PM on January 27, 2013; no submission fee. More information can be found at www.alexiafoundation.org.

World Press Photo and Multimedia Contest
The 57th annual World Press Photo is currently accepting submissions in a variety of categories including General News, Contemporary Issues, Sports and Nature. Additionally, the 4th annual World Press Multimedia Contest is accepting submissions in the Short Feature, Long Feature and Interactive Documentary categories. Both competitions honor outstanding work in the field of photojournalism. The winner of the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year award will win a cash prize of 10,000 euros, while the first-prize winners in all of the photo and multimedia categories will receive a cash prize of 1,500 euros.

The deadline to request a username and password for the submission website is 11:59 PM on January 9, 2014, while the deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM on January 15, 2014; no submission fee. More information can be found at www.worldpressphoto.org/enter.

PDNEdu Student Photo Contest
PDNEdu, The Photo Group publication for photography students, is seeking entries for its annual Student Photo Contest. College students who are currently enrolled in classes can submit a single image or a series of work in a number of different categories including Fashion/Portraiture, Documentary/Photojournalism, Still Life and Multimedia/Video. High-school students can also submit any type of photographic work in the Pre-College category. Grand-prize winners in each category will receive a Nikon camera, B&H gift card, portfolio review and more. Plus, they will be featured in the Spring 2014 issue of PDNEdu.

The deadline for submissions is December 21, 2013; $12 submission fee. More information can be found at http://contest.pdnedu.com/index.shtml.

Related Articles:

Jurying the World Press Multimedia Contest
Abir Abdullah, Sara Naomi Lewkowicz Win Alexia Foundation Grants
Successful Grant Applications: Tips From Grant Judge Toren Beasley
Paul Hansen Wins 2012 World Press Photo of the Year

November 25th, 2013

Sponsored Post: Interactive Portrait Studio Featuring Celebrity Photographer Mark Mann

Leica-Mark-Mann-Basel

Leica invites Art Basel attendees to be part of a living art exhibition on Thursday, December 5th. Celebrity photographer Mark Mann will be taking portraits of participants using the Leica S from 10am-4pm at Trendy Studios. The on-site printing of each image is supported by Image Pro International and print specialists Gady Alroy, of Art Media Studios, and Sean Black. The portraits will be printed on Hanhemühle FineArt photographic paper and displayed outdoors across the entire Trendy Studio space to create a living street art exhibit that will be in constant transformation as each new image is added. The exhibit will remain hanging for the duration of Art Basel, capturing a unique moment in time at this year’s Art Basel. All attendees who pose for a portrait will be given digital copies.

To sign-up please select an available window of time. Portraits will be shot on a first come first serve basis so in order to help us accomodate all guests please arrive during your designated time slot. Guests are invited to hang out and enjoy the event before and after their portraits have been shot.

*All guests posing for their portrait will be required to sign a model release.*

We look forward to seeing you there!

October 3rd, 2013

New Leica Lens, Accessories and Firmware Update Announced

lenses 1381408_10151618598347343_1554405671_nLeica has added a new, wide-angle lens to its S medium-format system lineup. The Leica Elmarit-S 45mm f/2.8 ASPH delivers a 35mm (equivalent) angle of view. The lens, which is available immediately, comes in two versions, with the CS model offering an integrated central shutter for sync speeds up to 1/1000th of a second. The non-CS model’s maximum sync speed is 1/125th of a second. The CS version costs $7450, while the non-CS lens is priced at $6350.

A new firmware update is available for the S-system cameras: version 2.3.0.0 for the Leica S and version 1.3.0.0 for the Leica S2/S2-P. In addition to ensuring “optimum functionality” of the new lens when mounted on the S/S2/S2-P cameras, the firmware update provides enhancements to tethered shooting for DNG-compressed file output, the firmware update also enables the flash triggering signal to pass to the sync socket at all speeds. Additionally, users who install the firmware update will be able to store bracketing sequences and self-timer settings in user profiles. It also corrects errors experienced with the Leica Vario-Elmar-S 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, including the lens’ focusing behavior. The firmware update can be downloaded from the Leica owners’ site (login required).

 

 

image002Leica also announced new accessories including a lightweight, carbon tripod and two ball heads. The former weighs 2.64 pounds, is compact enough for travel and the ball head “disappears” inside the tripod when in a collapsed position. A carrying case with strap and shoulder pad can be purchased separately. The two ball heads–the Leica 24 and 38–are compatible with all Leica cameras and, with a set of three quick-change plates, users can move from one camera to another without switching plates. Both models can hold up to, for example, a Leica M with a light lens. The Leica 38 ball head offers extra features including a tilt button, which locks the head so that it can only be moved in a vertical plane. The 38 also features a 360 degree panorama function.

The accessories will be available in November.

Accessory Prices:

Leica Traveller Tripod: $525.00

Tripod Bag: $125

Leica Ball Head 24: $285.00

Leica Ball Head 38: $390.00

Set of 3 exchangeable mounting plates for ball head 24 / 38: $70.00

June 11th, 2013

Leica X Vario Large Sensor Compact Announced

leica-x-vario-1So the Mini-M that Leica has been teasing on its Facebook page has been announced. It is the Leica X Vario, a 16.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor fixed lens compact camera. Its lens is a Vario Elmar 18-46mm f/3.5-6.4 ASPH lens and Leica is claiming that the X Vario is the first large sensor compact with a zoom lens.

The X Vario is a nice looking camera with a reasonable zoom range. But the large slow f/3.5-6.4 lens is bound to disappoint many Leica fans as it has none of the “low-light photojournalism” cachet that Leica has built a reputation on over the years. To make matters worse, the bulk that the Vario Elmar adds to the X Vario detracts from its compact nature and makes one wonder why a small mirrorless system body wouldn’t be a better choice. When you factor in the top-shelf price tag, one has to wonder how successful the Vario X will be with the Leica faithful.

Price: $2850

http://en.leica-camera.com/photography/compact_cameras/x_vario/

May 27th, 2013

Leica Hints At New M Camera Coming June 11

new-mini-leicaLeica has updated its Facebook page with a header image hinting at a new camera, the Mini-M, coming June 11th. Details on the Mini-M are virtually non-existent. But the rumor mill seems to suggest that it’s likely to be either a fixed-lens large sensor compact similar to the Sony RX1 or a live view M-mount camera.

Both scenarios have some validity to them. The large sensor compact segment, while not staggeringly popular with point and shoot consumers, has a place in the heart of many professionals and enthusiasts who cannot stomach the thought of accepting the limitations that a small-sensor brings. This is a mindset that has historically described Leica’s core demographic. A live view M-Mount body would make a lot of sense as well, offering access to Leica’s excellent lenses without the cost or complexity of the rangefinder assembly that many of today’s younger photographers care little about.

July 6th, 2012

Video Pick: Making a Leica M9-P ‘Edition Hermès’ Camera

This summer, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the French fashion house Hermès, Leica announced a special “Hermès Edition” of the M9-P camera. Above is a video that shows the care and attention to detail that goes into making one of the limited-edition cameras.

The calfskin leather that’s wrapped around the camera’s body was supplied by Hermès and various details of the camera, including the top and base plates, the shutter speed dial, the multifunction wheel and the shutter release, were redesigned by Walter de’Silva. The camera comes in two sets: the first includes a Leica Summilux-M 50 mm f/1.4 ASPH. lens; the second includes Leica Summicron-M 28 mm f/2 ASPH., Noctilux-M 50 mm f/0.95 ASPH. and APO-Summicron-M 90 mm f/2 ASPH. lenses as well as an Hermès camera bag and a book of photos by Jean-Louis Dumas.

Dumas, the chairman and artistic director of Hermès from 1978 to 2006, was a well-known photography buff who was rarely without his Leica camera. He invested in the camera maker and decided that the Madison Avenue Hermès store in New York City should have a photo gallery on its top floor. To learn more about the retailer’s unique exhibition space, read our interview with curator Cory Jacobs.

October 19th, 2011

Leica Sells 44% Stake to Private Equity Firm Blackstone

US-based private equity firm The Blackstone Group has reached an agreement to buy 44 percent of Leica Camera AG in a deal to be completed by the end of the year, Blackstone and ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH, Leica’s parent company, announced today.

Blackrock investment funds will acquire the stake through a holding company, the announcement said.

In a statement, Dr. Andreas Kaufmann, the chairman of Leica’s supervisory board, called Blackstone “an experienced and internationally established strategic partner.” The deal, which is likely to be completed by the end of the year pending approval from government regulators, will help fund Leica’s “growth plans into new markets such as Asia, South America and the Middle East,” he added. Leica is coming off a 2010/2011 fiscal year when they turned record profits, the company reports.

Axel Herberg, Blackstone senior managing director, also emphasized a focus on emerging markets in his statement. “We are very excited about supporting Leica to secure long-term commercial relationships, specifically in emerging markets, and help strengthen the company¹s operational and retailing capabilities globally,” he said.

July 23rd, 2010

Copyright Infringement? There’s an App for That

A photographer recently tipped us off about a Chinese Web site that is publishing the work of photographers without their knowledge or permission. The site is branded as if it were produced by Leica, but according to a Leica representative they have nothing to do with it. “Leica Camera always respects the rights of artists and does not support the unapproved publication of artwork,” a Leica spokesperson told PDN via email.

Leica did not, however, comment on whether they would pursue legal action to have the site taken down.

An Austrian store that apparently sells Leica cameras and photographic prints is the site’s only sponsor.

A few of the photographers whose work is used on the site are: Phillip Toledano, Steve McCurry, Marcus Bleasdale, Annie Marie Musselman, Robbie Cooper, Kosuke Okahara, Dominic Nahr and Michal Chelbin.

The site is also marketing an app, downloadable for free through the Apple iTunes App Store. When you open the app a grid of famous photographs, including Annie Leibovitz’s image of Yoko Ono and a naked John Lennon, appear on the screen.

Work by Stephen Shore, Lynn Goldsmith, Jonas Bendiksen, Erika Larsen, Sebastião Salgado and others appear in the “A Pic a Day” section of the app. In the app’s “Magazine” section, entire photo essays appear, many of them current. For instance, Sebastian Liste’s 2010 Ian Parry Scholarship-winning essay on homeless families inhabiting an abandoned chocolate factory in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, appears.

Photographers we’ve spoken with had no idea this Web site existed and was using their work, nor were they aware of the app, and we’re assuming that none of the photographers whose work is being used gave permission.

Does your work appear on the site?