Books & Art

These 8 Iconic Photos Were Taken with a Leica

History can be written—or photographed.
IMAGE THOMAS HOEPKER, ALBERTO KORDA
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On July 16, German camera brand Leica unveiled the newest member of its M family, the new Leica M10-R. It is worth P486,000. The camera’s 40-megapixel resolution promises unprecedented rendition of details within the M family, and is perfect for landscape and architectural photography.

The M10-R is just another Leica that will capture historic moments around the world. For over a hundred years, Leica photographers have been capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments that remain unforgettable. 

The following photographs were taken using various Leica cameras. Each photograph represents an iconic moment in history preserved in nitrate film. As Leica puts it, history can be written—or photographed.

Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1945

Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt.
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On August 14, 1945, Japan surrendered to America, ending World War II. All over the United States, people celebrated the victory in the streets. Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the feelings of joy felt by an entire nation in just a single photo.

Nick Ut, 1972

Photo by Nick Ut.

Nick Ut captured this horrific photograph of the Vietnam War. In this iconic photo taken on June 8, 1972, children are seen running away from a napalm attack on their village. This photograph became a powerful symbol of the horrors of war and was used by pro-peace activists to demand an end to the Vietnam War. 

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Alberto Korda, 1960

Photo by Alberto Korda.

This photo is the most famous one taken of Che Guevara. Alberto Korda captured the moment during a memorial service in 1960. The photograph has been used to produce memorabilia, posters, and printed T-shirts featuring the Argentine revolutionary. In 2016, the Leica M2 camera that likely shot this photo was sold at auction for over P1 million

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Yevgeni Khaldei, 1945

Photo by Yevgeni Khaldei.



This photograph was captured by Yevgeni Khaldei during the Battle of Berlin on 2 May 1945. It has been unofficially named “Raising a Flag over Reichstag”. The photo was reprinted millions of times in thousands of publications and is considered one of the most important photos of World War II. Because of the danger the photo posed, it was only after the war and the dissolution of the Soviet Union when the photographer was identified. 

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Thomas Hoepker, 1966

Photo by Thomas Hoepker.

In 1966, Thomas Hoepker captured one of the most iconic photographs in sports history. In an interview with The Guardian, Hoepker shares how he got this photo Muhammad Ali: “With this shot, he saw me during a little break between rounds in training, and he came out of the ring towards me, sticking his fist out into my camera – right fist, left fist, right fist, and then the bell rang to take him back. This was the only shot that was really sharp and well exposed, so it became the famous picture.”

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Robert Capa, 1936

Photo by Robert Capa.

Dubbed “Death of a Spanish Loyalist,” Robert Capa captured this chilling photograph of the Spanish Civil War on September 5, 1936. Capa was working as a correspondent for a local paper when he took this photograph. 

Marc Riboud, 1953

Photo by Marc Riboud.
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This photo is named “Painter on the Eiffel Tower”. It captures the experience of finding joy while doing labor. It is Marc Riboud’s most popular photograph which debuted in Life magazine. 

Thomas Hoepker, 2001

Photo by Thomas Hoepker.


Forty-five years after taking the iconic photo of Muhammad Ali’s fist, Thomas Hoepker captured this surreal moment with another Leica on September 11, 2001, the day the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Centers were attacked. He waited four years before publishing this photo, which quickly became a controversial picture because of the seeming casual pose of the people in the photo.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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