New Leica wall calendar for 2015 With images by Thomas Hoepker, winner of the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2014
Leica Camera AG, Wetzlar, presents a new wall calendar for 2015. As in the previous year, this year’s calendar is also dedicated to the winner of the Leica Hall of Fame Award. In the 60th anniversary year of the Leica M-System, the award went to Thomas Hoepker, a Leica M photographer who captured events of contemporary history and made a decisive contribution to reportage photography in the second half of the 20th century. The 2015 Leica wall calendar contains a selection of 13 of his images (in colour and in black and white) from his career as a photographer that is also celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Thomas Hoepker once remarked ‘Nothing is more interesting than reality’ and – whether knowingly or not – very precisely described his own impetus. The photojournalist, born in Munich in 1936, is well known for subtle and calm images that are far removed from sensationalism or brutally visual impact. In his pictures, he always seeks the authenticity of the moment and, for precisely this reason, ranks among the all-time greats of dedicated, humanistic photojournalism. The more interesting reality was, the more Hoepker was fascinated by it.
At the tender age of 14, he took his first steps in photography and experimented with photomontage and photograms with an old glass plate camera he was given by his grandfather. From 1959 onwards, he worked regularly for international newspapers and magazines and, for several decades, was a permanent member of staff at German magazine Stern. First as a photographer, later as a photojournalist and, at the end of the 1980s, as an art director. Hoepker documented the USA of the nineteen-sixties and caused quite a sensation with an extensive reportage about the GDR in the nineteen-seventies. His pictures of Muhammad Ali, whom he accompanied for several weeks, have long since become legendary. With his precise sense of composition, intense imagery and an intuitive eye for the ideal shot, Hoepker shaped German photojournalism like hardly any other photographer. In 1989, he became the first German member of agency Magnum Photos, of which he was president from 2003 to 2007. He created icons of contemporary history, shot portraits of politicians and celebrities and documented the wretchedness and normality of everyday life. Thomas Hoepker travelled the globe and is considered to be one of the best photojournalists of all time. Nevertheless, he always kept his feet firmly on the ground and never lost his unpretentious understanding of his work: ‘I’m not an artist. I’m an image-maker.’
The 2015 Leica wall calendar, published by teNeues in DIN A3 format (420 × 297 mm), is now available in all Leica Stores and from the LFI online shop at www.lfi-online.de. teNeues also published the retrospective Wanderlust, the exceptional photographs of which served to honour the work of Thomas Hoepker.
THE LEICA HALL OF FAME
At irregular intervals, Leica Camera AG honours exceptional photographers whose view of the world has changed it or set things in motion with a place in the Leica Hall of Fame. Iconic images that have engraved themselves into our collective consciousness bear testimony to their creative oeuvre, touch the emotions and timelessly illustrate the conditio humana. Previous winners of the award are Nick Ut, Steve McCurry, Barbara Klemm and René Burri.
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the construction of lenses. And today, in combination with innovative technologies, Leica products continue to guarantee better pictures in all situations in the worlds of visualisation and perception. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hesse in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal. The company operates branch offices in Australia, China, France, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, UK and the USA. New and innovative products have been the driving force behind the company’s positive development in recent years.