Leica, the quintessential street photography camera, began development in a small German town the early 1900s, but wasn’t released to market until 1925. Arguably more than any other, the Leica camera has shaped the way we see the twentieth century. And probably the greatest exponent of the Leica is French photojournalist, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Cartier-Bresson famously buried his Leica in a field in France during WWII, retrieving it in 1943 after having spent 35 months in a German prisoner or war camp. Pre Leica, photojournalism was hindered by the size of the cameras resulting in staid and formal imagery. Leica changed all that.  In the words of an advertisement for the Series 3 Leica in 1956; by purchasing one of these cameras, you were buying into a “lifetime investment in perfect photography."

Michael Bradfield