David Halbe - October 29, 2020

The award ceremony

Wetzlar, 23. October 2020. On Thursday evening, Leica Camera AG honoured the Italian photographer Luca Locatelli, and the Portuguese photographer Gonçalo Fonseca, during an award ceremony that took place at Leica Headquarters in Wetzlar, Germany.

For the first time, 65 eminent photography experts from around the world have proposed a group of LOBA nominees. From among the nominees submitted, the members of the international jury had previously chosen eighteen finalists. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the renowned award. On the occasion of this jubilee, the comprehensive 40 Years of Leica Oskar Barnack Award exhibition was opened yesterday evening at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar.

Among the guests were prominent Leica photographers and former LOBA winners. Due to the limitations currently in place because of Covid-19, the ceremony was held under special regulations and with only a small number of guests. It was, however, broadcast live online, and followed by people from their homes. Event highlights of the evening will soon be available on the various Leica channels.

The evening was moderated by Karin Rehn-Kaufmann (Art Director and Chief Representative of Leica Galleries International). The introduction into the history of the LOBA was presented by Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (Majority Shareholder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG). The opportunity was also taken to honour the great commitment of Hans-Günther von Zydowitz, former Head of Press and Public Relations for many years, and co-initiator of the LOBA. The evening’s programme also included the sneak peek of the innovative new Leica M10-P Reporter.

The Winners

Both series submitted by the LOBA winners this year deal with issues and questions that are pertinent to our times. In his long-term Future Studies series of outstanding motifs, the Italian photographer Luca Locatelli explores themes impacting our global future; the newcomer, Gonçalo Fonseca from Portugal, documents the current housing shortage in his home-town of Lisbon.

Luca Locatelli receives award money, increased this year to 40,000 euros, as well as camera equipment valued at around 10,000 euros. As winner of the Newcomer Award, Gonçalo Fonseca receives a photography assignment, a two-week tutoring course at Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, and a Leica Q, valued at around 5,000 euros.

Their winning series will be on display at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar, until February 7, 2021. The comprehensive jubilee exhibition, 40 Years of Leica Oskar Barnack Award, can be seen at the Ernst Leitz Museum, until the end of March, 2021. The exhibitions have been realised with the kind support of WhiteWall and Halbe Rahmen.

For further information, please visit: www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com

About the LOBA

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award was founded in the year 1979 as tribute to Oskar Barnack, who revolutionized photography in 1914 with the invention of the first compact and portable Leica camera. In 1980 Floris Bergkamp was awarded as the first photographer with the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Past recipients of the award encompass illustrious names in photography including Sebastião Salgado (twice), Jan Grarup, Dominic Nahr (first Newcomer), Jane Evelyn Atwood, Eugene Richards and Chris Steele-Perkins.

About Leica Camera

Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellent quality. In combination with innovative technologies, all Leica products fulfill a common objective: better pictures, wherever perception and visualization matter. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hessen in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal and operates its own worldwide network of regional organizations, Leica Retail Stores, Leica Galleries and Leica Academies.