LEICA

Alternative views on the Leica world by Erwin Puts

heroes of analogue photography

Today I visited the Museum in Hilversum, Netherlands, the city of audiovisual companies and radio stations. The museum had an exhibition about “the heroes of analogue photography” in the Netherlands. The idea is to exhibit pictures of famous Dutch photographers who worked with analogue material between 1900 and 1970. In most cases the original cameras are still available. The next step was to select modern photographers who are mainly familiar with digital equipment, give them the original analogue cameras and ask them to take pictures in the sprit of the old masters. The results are quite intriguing and does provoke a discussion about the impact and meaning of the transition from negative to memory card. Most interesting are the street photography pictures, made with a wide variety of cameras, from Agfa Silette to Leica and Hasselblad, and from Rolleiflex to Speed Graphic and to Plaubel and Linhof.
It is evident that the traditional idea that the Leica camera is the best for candid and street photography may be obsolete and the equally traditional idea that photography is primarily directed by the brain or what is between the ears.
The most used camera by the way is the Rolleicord and Rolleiflex, followed by the technical and field camera. It is really amazing what these old masters could accomplish with cameras we now assume to be totally unsuitable for dynamic and instant photography.