Venerable camera company Leica unveiled last week its new Leica Store and Gallery Los Angeles. The new store will offer its "Akademie" of photography workshops that include technical instruction and walkabouts in the neighborhood learning how to shoot.
In an era where millions of people are able to snap an image and post it on Instagram or the even more evanescent Snapchat, traditional cameras are falling to the wayside to make room for the versatile and compact smart phone cameras.
But becoming a great photographer on the other hand--there isn't an app for that. DnA spoke to James Agnew, the manager of the Leica Store about spreading enthusiasm for the art of photography.
There are two photographers with shows in L.A. that reveal the skill required of professional photographers despite the prevalence of apps and photo editing software.
One of them is Sebastião Salgado, the Brazilian photographer who worked as an economist before picking up a camera and creating extraordinary images -- among them the series Workers and Migrations and Portraits -- that depict economic injustice with a force that confirms the notion that a picture is worth a thousand words. Peter Fetterman, has unveiled a show of Salgado's Genesis project, a collection of images of people, animals and nature that have been as yet untouched by the forces of industrialization.
The other is the late Helmut Newton, who specialized in high contrast, black and white photography that dramatized humanity in his own, disarming way.
But now, say his admirers, his work has stood the test of time, not only for its genuine eroticism and unique storytelling voice, but for its technical mastery in terms of composition and use of light. Hear more about Newton's work and his mark on the history of photography as well as social history, from Patricia Lanza, director of talent and content at the Annenberg Space for Photography, and David Fahey, Newton's longtime friend and dealer.
James Agnew, Leica Store and Gallery Los Angeles
Peter Fetterman, Peter Fetterman Gallery
Patricia Lanza, Annenberg Space for Photography
David Fahey, Fahey/Klein Gallery Los Angeles