The Leica Akademie can look back on a long tradition. For almost ninety years, the oldest and most prestigious of all modern schools of photography has accompanied dedicated photographers on their way to the creation of the best possible picture. For more than a decade, the Leica Akademie has also seen successful expansion on an international scale. Photographers around the globe can currently experience a varied programme covering the whole world of Leica photography at the 15 Leica Akademie locations in selected cities in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The aim of the newly founded Global Leica Akademie is the successive expansion of the international network of Leica Akademies. To accompany this, a new programme of events has been compiled. Participants from around the world can look forward to exciting photographic tours in Germany with a visit to the Leitz-Park in Wetzlar and exclusive insights into the world of Leica.
‘The workshops and photographic tours offered by the international Leica Akademies address everyone with a passion for photography. It makes no difference whether participants are experienced photographers or beginners. Our aim is to develop their technical skills, sensitise them to fascinating photographic situations and, at the same time, to communicate new ways of seeing and creative visualisation that foster their personal development’, says Udo Zell, Director of the Global Leica Akademie, who has been with the company for 38 years. He has been the national and international director of the Akademie since 2002. With the Global Leica Akademie, his aim is to establish a global network that makes every aspect of photography an exceptional experience – whether in terms of products, creativity or information. His vision, which is consistently promoted with great passion by him and his team, is to enable every customer around the world to find orientation at the Global Leica Akademie and develop their own, unique visual language. His articles published in numerous magazines, exhibitions, lectures and television and radio appearances clearly show not only his passion for photography, but also his exceptionally high expectations.
The new Global Leica Akademie event programme includes three multi-day tours with the following destinations: ‘Southern Germany’, ‘Thuringia – Saxony – Berlin’ and ‘The mystical valley of the Rhine’. All photographic tours begin with the inaugural event of the new Leitz Park site on 15 June 2018 at the Leitz Park Wetzlar and continue from there to the individual regions of Germany. A programme with details of the individual tours can be downloaded from www.leica-akademie.com.
About the Leica Akademie
The origins of the Leica Akademie, the oldest and most prestigious of all modern schools of photography, date back to the year 1930. Back then, the so-called ‘Lehr-Atelier Wetzlar’ (Wetzlar Teaching Studio) laid the foundations for the programme of courses offered in the Leitz-Werke, the company’s factory in Wetzlar. It soon became clear that the two darkrooms and the daylight studio could not cater for the rapidly growing demand. 1938 then saw the founding of the ‘Leica Schule’ (Leica School), which concentrated on photographic applications for the worlds of medicine, science and criminal investigation. World War II put a temporary end to the activities of the Leica school. As early as 1945, the newly named ‘Leica School’ began offering photography courses for American servicemen from the allied occupation forces. In the course of this renaissance, the founding fathers of the former ‘Leica Atelier’ expanded their educational programme. Alongside the ‘Leica School’, ‘Leica Technik’ also became an institution. Access to both was open to national and international Leica dealers and dedicated amateur photographers. The nineteen-seventies saw an increase in the number of courses for Leica enthusiasts. Whether in portraiture, flash photography or composition, customers were now offered opportunities to perfect their skills in the handling and use of Leica products under the professional guidance of expert instructors. 1988 saw the renaming to Leica Akademie. Both the team and the portfolio of workshops and photographic tours were constantly expanded and branches were opened in Upper Bavaria, the Baltic seaside resort of Zingst and on the Dachstein in Austria, where regular workshops have since been offered under the tuition of prominent photographers and with the assistance of professional photographers familiar with the regions. Increasing interest from around the world led to the expansion of the network. Today, the Leica Akademie is represented by branches in Australia, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Austria, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Singapore, the UK and the USA.
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.