The 2023 Celebration of Photography delighted its guests with top-quality photography and a varied program of activities. For three days, the Leitz Park in Wetzlar was the setting to revel in the excitement of photography passion. Ismail Ferdous and Ziyi Le were the honored recipients of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2023, and Elliott Erwitt was inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame. These causes for celebration, together with the complementary program of guided tours, exquisite cuisine, a podium discussion, and insights into the new watch collection, ensured that the festivities made for an incomparable experience.
The LOBA 2023 winners: In the main category, it was the Bangladeshi, US-based photographer Ismail Ferdous, whose Sea Beach series convinced the jury. The images show the colorful diversity of visitors and tourists at the legendary Cox’s Bazar Beach, located in the most southern point of Bangladesh. The Leica Oskar Barnack Award in the Newcomer category went to Chinese photographer Ziyi Le. His touching series presents a sensitive portrait of the New Comer, a generation in search of its place in Chinese society. Both series, together with the ten projects chosen to complete the 2023 LOBA shortlist, remain on display at the Ernst Leitz Museum up until January 2024. With its selection of emotional and engaged photography, the 43rd edition of the LOBA once again underlines the significance of the renowned competition. Further information at: www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com
Elliott Erwitt at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar: Following the LOBA award ceremony on the evening of October 12, Elliott Erwitt was inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame, in the foyer of Leica Camera AG. The American with European roots is considered one of the most important and influential photographers of our times. Born in 1928, the Magnum photographer has an enormous and unique body of work. He personally put together the selection of 50 of his best motifs for the exhibition at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar. In addition to legendary celebrity portraits and his preferred dog pictures, the display includes snapshots that underline his well-known empathy and sense of humor. One of his iconic motifs has been chosen as Leica Picture of the Year 2023: the portrait of a bulldog sitting on its owner’s lap was taken in New York City in the year 2000. The Leica Picture of the Year has a limited edition of 80 copies worldwide, which can only be acquired through Leica Galleries.
Celebration of Photography: The festive event began on 11th October with numerous tours of Leica headquarters and other Leica locations all over Wetzlar. Guests were introduced to the new Leica Watch. Another highlight during the award ceremonies on the evening of 12th October was a recitation by the British poet and author Hussain Manawer. The extensive program concluded on the morning of 13th October with a high-caliber panel discussion titled A Commitment to the Truth: Photojournalism in Crisis? LOBA winner Ismail Ferdous, shortlist candidate Laetitia Vançon, and photo editor and curator Lars Lindemann discussed the rapidly changing conditions for photojournalism today. Once again, the Celebration of Photography offered a rich and exciting repertoire of topics related to Leica photography.
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Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography
Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.