Photos of the Year- 2012

Rodrigo Abd, Syria

The Images that Define 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, many media outlets are publishing lists. Lists of best stories, best figures, best dressed, most poular, sexiest celebs, etc.  Things are no different in the world of photography.  This was a great year for photos.  2012 was a year that saw an Olympiad, and a Presidential Election.  There were once in a lifetime, once in a century, and once in a millenia celestial events.   There were global happenings, political upheaval, and enough storms to last a decade.  Which images will you remember?  Here is a quick hit list of the best of the best-of-2012 lists.

You can find best photos from the world of Fashion, state by state, city centric, space only, best macro, best cell phone, funniest photo bombs, myriad cat, dog, or bird photos.  We love lists around here.  Which photos are your favorites?


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Che, Korda, and Leica at 99 Years


Leica Celebrates 99 Years With New Book

The picture above is one of the most famous and iconic photographs of all time. It is Che Guevara standing and staring in stoic repose in Havana Cuba in 1960.  It is fair to say that the revolutionary’s legacy is tied to this photograph.  It has been cropped, artistically rendered and put on countless hats, t-shirts, posters, walls, etc. It has been copied, spoofed, and studied without seeming to ever go away.  Perhaps the popularity of this photograph is why Che is a symbol for social movements while others like his Cuban rebel contemporaries have been vilified or forgotten.  It is a testament to the power of photography.

The photo, Guerrillero Heroico (heroic guerrilla fighter) was taken by AP photographer Alberto Korda on March 5th, 1960.  The photo, taken with a Leica M2, wasn’t initially seen as it is today.  It’s evolution as one of the most recognized photographs is a great tale. This story and 98 others make up the new and incredible coffee table book “99 Years Leica”.  There is is still time to buy it as a holiday gift!

Allendale, NJ (December 6, 2012) – For nearly a century, Leica cameras have captured fleeting moments and transformed them into stories brimming with the lifeblood of true human experience. The iconic image of the end of WWII as displayed by the sailor and nurse in Times Square embodies the excitement and relief felt in the U.S. on V-J Day, an immortal message not of love, but of spontaneous joie de vivre. As a stark contrast, yet just as intense, the palpable fear on Napalm Girl’s face reaches beyond the picture as she runs screaming from the wreckage that was formerly her home, announcing to the world that war also, and above all, affects the most innocent people: children. Now, the story of passion and inspiration synonymous with Leica Camera comes to life in “Ninety Nine Years Leica,” a 300-page tribute to the intensely emotive and legendary images that have become a part of our lives. It sheds an emotional spotlight on 99 years of enthusiasm for a small camera developed by Oskar Barnack in 1913.

Part history lesson, part compilation of personal anecdotes, part pop culture retrospective, “Ninety Nine Years Leica,” ushers readers into an undiscovered “Leica Universe.” A unique, fun and enlightening combination of compelling images and expressive texts tells the story behind a brand well on the way to becoming a living legend. Throughout the book, it becomes evident that not only has Leica played an active role in the world’s celebrations, sadness, relief and hope but also in the lives of its camera owners. The result of a close collaboration between Leica and the multiple-award-winning publisher 99pages – under the creative direction of Ansgar Pudenz, Rainer Schillings and Till Schaffarczyk – “Ninety Nine Years Leica” takes readers on a trail of photographic discovery blazed by legendary Leica photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa and Elliott Erwitt.

“Ninety Nine Years Leica” debuted at the photokina 2012 trade show to rave reviews. In North America, fewer than 1,500 English copies are now available exclusively through the Leica Stores, Boutiques and Dealers.



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Oskar Barnack Invites


Leica Camera once again invites professional photographers to submit entries to their international photography competition, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Photographers wishing to take part may submit their photographic projects online between 15 January and 1 March 2013. The terms and conditions of entry can be downloaded shortly before the start of the competition.

The winner of the 2013 Leica Oskar Barnack Award will receive a Leica M camera with lens worth approximately €10,000 in addition to a cash prize of €5,000. A second honour in the course of the competition will be awarded in the category ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award’, for (prospective) professional photographers aged 25 and under. The winner of the first prize in this section will also be awarded a Leica rangefinder camera complete with lens. The awards will be presented in the course of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie photography festival to be held in Arles, France from 1 to 7 July 2013.

Competition entry conditions: An international jury awards the Leica Oskar Barnack Award/Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award to photographers whose unerring powers of observation capture and express the relationship between man and their environment in graphic form in a portfolio of up to 12 images. Submissions must be a self-contained series of images in which the photographer perceives and documents the interaction between man and their environment with acute vision and contemporary visual style – creative, unobtrusive and groundbreaking.

With this competition, Leica Camera AG remembers Oskar Barnack (1879-1936), the inventor of the Leica. From 1914 on, he increasingly used the prototype camera he developed, the so-called Ur-Leica, for photography. The history of photojournalism is closely tied to his invention, as, beginning in 1925, the compact and easily carried Leica cameras were instrumental in enabling entirely new and expressive forms of photography.

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Leica Store New York SOHO

The move is complete and the store finally open. Stop in and say hello.

460 West Broadway (south of Houston)

We are open from 10am-7pm Sunday-Saturday.  Starting in January we will be open 7 days a week!

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Win a Leica X2 and are sponsoring a photot contest.  The winner gets a new Leica X2.  Visit leicaimages for more details. Here is the basic info:

The theme this year will be “ A story with available light”. Creating a dramatic image which is enhanced by the use of available natural or artificial light. Simply put, this means no flash photography. The image should draw your attention and keep you interested by the story you can imagine from it and the impact the light has on the subject. Put your imagination and creative skills to work.

This contest is an opportunity for photographers to showcase their work. There are no fees or exchange of services required to participate in the contest. This is simply a way for and to show their appreciation to those who make photography exciting.


We ask that you follow these basic rules and guidelines:

  • The contest is open to members only.
  • You agree that you are the sole owner of the photograph submitted and are obeying copyright protection laws.
  • You can submit up to 3 photographs taken with leica equipment. It can be with a Leica camera, lens or combination. For example. Sony Nex with a leica lens is ok. As is any other combination.
  • You can update, delete or add new photographs as long as it is done before the deadline date
  • You agree that if you are the winner, and LeicaImages reserve the right to display the winning image on their website.

Photos must be upload to the category “2012 Contest”

File sizes and limitation are displayed at the bottom of the upload page.

Deadline for submissions are Midnight GMT -8 Feb 28, 2013.

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Photo Op of the Week- Gemenid

Gemenid Meteor Shower to be Biggest of the Year

Get your tripods out and get ready to hone our night time photography skills.  Gemenid, the largest and most viewable meteoric event  is upon us. Early on December 14th before sunrise the sky will be filled with the nocturnal light show.

The upcoming Geminid meteor shower next week may promise to be the best sky show of the year, but for many scientists it?s a space light show shrouded in mystery.

Most meteor showers come from comets, which spew ample meteoroids for a night of shooting stars. The Geminids are different. Their source is not a comet but a strange rocky object named 3200 Phaethon that sheds very little dusty debris, not nearly enough to explain the Geminids.

Meteor showers are created when the Earth passes through a stream of small space rocks, which then burn up as they pass through the atmosphere, creating so-called “shooting stars.” But astronomers still don’t know where all the rocky material for the Geminid shower comes from.

At its peak, between midnight and sunrise you should be able to see as many as 120 meteors per hour. It should be a fun night to try to capture the moment with a perfect photograph. for more info on the Gemenid and where in the sky to look, go to


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Photoshop at the Met

As an addendum to this year’s earlier exhibit showcasing manipulated photography before digital tools like photoshop, the Metropolitan Museum of Art brings the additional show: After Photoshop, Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age.  The Exhibit, open since September will show until May 2013.

This installation explores various ways in which artists, including Nancy Burson, Filip Dujardin, Joan Fontcuberta, Beate Gütschow, and others, have used digital technology to alter the photographic image from the 1980s to the present. Featuring approximately twenty-five works drawn from the permanent collection, it serves as an addendum to the special exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop.

Over the past twenty years, photography has undergone a dramatic transformation. Mechanical cameras and silver-based film have been replaced by electronic image sensors and microchips. Instead of shuffling through piles of glossy prints, we stare at the glowing screens of laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Negative enlargers and chemical darkrooms have given way to personal computers and image-processing software. Photographers have always used manual techniques to alter their images, but digital cameras and applications such as Adobe Photoshop have made the process quicker, easier, and more accessible to many more people—both amateurs and professionals—than ever before.

Today, the manipulation of photographic images is ubiquitous—in magazines and advertising, in police work and medical imaging, and increasingly in the snapshots of vacations, weddings, and graduations that we email to friends and family and upload to social-networking websites. It is not surprising that artists have seized upon these new tools to realize their visions and to spur reflection on the medium’s past, present, and future. This exhibition presents a selection of photographs and video in which artists have used digital technology to modify and transform the camera image or, in some cases, to generate convincingly realistic photographs with no real-world counterparts. Whether imagining alternate realities, reinterpreting classic works of art, or exuberantly defying the laws of gravity, these artists and others are pointing the way toward a new conception of photography as a malleable medium with an exquisitely complex relationship to visual truth.

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Best of 2012 Lists


The Tools We Use

American Photo Magazine compiled their list of top 10 tools that reshaped photography in 2012. For the complete write-up, visit their website. Here is a quick look:

1.) Leica M- Monochrom

2.) Sony Alpha SLT A99

3.) Nikon Coolpix S800c

4.) Nikon D4

5.) Canon EOS 1D-X

6.) Fujifilm X-Pro1

7.) Nokia 808 Pure View

8.) Tamron SP24-70mm

9.) Lytro Light Field Camera

10.) Sony XQD Memory Cards

Like the list? Good enough to make this your own holiday wish list?  Tell us what you think and make up your own list.

Pie Graphs for Everyone!!!

Among the mostly un-newsworthy posts over on reddit, sometimes you can find some fun information.  This week users “Hallbuzz” and “Mathiasa” took the info from the Reuters Best Photographs Taken in 2012 list and compiled them into handy pie graphs like the one above.  Now you can see which cameras and which lenses were used in the most iconic shots this year.  We can also see shutter speed, f-stop, and iso settings.  Pretty interesting.  For more on this check out the petapixel post and for the Reuters list go here.

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New Photography at MoMA


New York’s Museum of Modern Art continues it’s devotion to new and adventurous artists.  Its current photography exhibit, New Photography 2012 showcases 5 new artists and their incredible work.  The show runs from now until February 3rd.

New Photography 2012 presents five artists—Michele Abeles, Birdhead (Ji Weiyu and Song Tao), Anne Collier, Zoe Crosher, and Shirana Shahbazi—whose varied techniques and backgrounds represent the diversity and vitality of photography today.

Michele Abeles’s (American, b. 1977) elegant studio constructions combine common objects, such as potted plants, printed fabrics, and wine bottles, with nude males whose bodies are often truncated by the frame, to create images that renegotiate the creative process of still life and nude photography.

Shanghai-based duo Birdhead (Ji Weiyu, Chinese, b. 1980, and Song Tao, Chinese, b. 1979) capture the lived reality of their community against the urban landscape of Shanghai. Their mass accumulation of snapshots of friends and family eating, working, sleeping, and hanging out, speaks to a world of total image saturation and the obsessive documentation of the Facebook generation.

Often created using a technique of re-photography, Anne Collier’s (American, b. 1970) meticulous compositions are informed as much by West Coast Conceptual art practices as by product photography and advertising. Her dryly humorous pictures evoke formal and psychological associations that frame recurrent tensions of power and gender.

Zoe Crosher (American, b. 1975) calls photography’s veracity into question by rearranging, re-photographing, and re-imagining the archive of Michelle duBois, an all-American girl who was devoted to relentless self-documentation in the 1970s and 1980s.

Drawing on the language of commercial photography, Shirana Shahbazi (German, born Iran 1974) approaches recognizable photographic genres like portraiture, still life, abstraction, and landscape with a distinctly analytical eye. She investigates the circulation and production of images today by outputting her pictures in multiple forms, from photographic wall murals to discrete photographs and photorealist paintings.

Together, these artists speak to the diverse permutations of photography in an era when the definition of the medium is continually changing.

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Kurland Photo on the Move

Kurland Photo moving to SOHO

As the long awaited opening of Leica Store New York Soho rapidly approaches, we at Kurland Photo ready ourselves for the move.  Beginning at the end of next week, we will be closing our doors at 670 Broadway.  The move will take us to 460 West Broadway, in the heart of SOHO.  We thank our customers for their years of loyalty and support and hope you join us as we open our new storefront.

In conjunction with our longstanding friendship with Leica Camera, we will have a beautiful new showroom with a large collection of Leica’s best Cameras, Lenses and Sport Optics. In addition we will have a new gallery space open to host several gallery shows per year while we highlight some of the world’s most creative photographers.

As Leica Store New York Soho, we are eager to bring you the latest in Leica products including the new M system, and S system cameras.  We expect to be open for business throughout the move and you may continue to contact us at any time.  If you are unable to reach us by phone during this time (212-475-7799, 800-871-6648) please email us at

Follow us here or on facebook to find updated info on the move, the new store, or any of your camera needs.  We hope you come visit us in Soho.

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