Photos were the highlights in Photokina once again. Even though I had seen some of the pictures earlier, they were fascinating again. In Photokina Hall 1 was this year Leica Hall of Fame and it was full of photo exhibitions and many interesting presentations.

Leica Hall of Fame

My personal favourite was Elliott Erwitt. I’ve seen his pictures first time in Kuopio VB-Centre in 2001. I’ve been fascinated his way of seeing surroundings and capture the moments. His pictures are funny, clever, universal and simple. I could go on the list further more.. you just have to see for example his book: “Elliott Erwitt: Snaps”, so you understand what I mean. Those pictures are the results of continuous observation of human nature and behavior. One of the the most interesting and rewarding way of doing pictures.

Introduction in Elliott Erwitt’s Exhibition.

Few pictures of Erwitt’s Exhibition.


I like Araki’s exhibitions “lay-out”. Small size pictures positioned like a movie. They looked perfectly like a serie.  Top of the pictures were sort sentences. Very simple and clear presentation.


Another interesting exhibition was Platon’s exhibition of leader’s of different countries all over the world. I thought that the idea was cool and presentation even cooler. There’s something funny about the pictures and they make you smile. That’s an interesting contrast when you think, who are these people in the pictures. The presentation of the pictures bring the subjects a bit closer to the viewer.

I also liked the the colours ans tones of the pictures. Pictures themselves were formal-looking portraits. Still there were some changes in croppings and especially in tones. Some of the pictures were colour, some black and white. Some of them were toned in bluish.

Nick Ut

At Hall 1 Leica had also a stage. There were presentations nonstop. I stopped by when Nick Ut and Dave Burnett were telling a story behind one of the most famous pictures taken during the Vietnam War. You couldn’t just pass when they were explaining about delivering photos all over the world in a time “before” internet and email or this fascinating story about Kim -the girl, who’s in one of the most famous pictures of Nick Ut.

Normally AP didn’t publish any pictures of nude people. This picture was exception. They knew immediately that it was a great shoot. In 24 hours it was spread all over the world and it was in all papers. Next thing was that they got an order to find this little girl who was in that picture. She was found very injured in a local hospital. They transformed her in better hospital and she got better treatment there.

The little girl, Kim, Nick and Dave have kept in contact. Kim lives now in Canada. And this autumn – 40 years after this incident -they all gathered at Kim’s palce to celebrate. There was Kim and her family, Dave, Nick and the nurse who treated her after the incident among the others. What a story behind the picture.

Check Leica Portrait of Nick Ut.

Nick Ut’s famous photo of Vietnam War.

Dave Burnett and Nick Ut at the Stage.


Rankin‘s exhibition in Hall 1. Liked the lighting style.

Jacob Aue Sobol

Jacob Aue Sobol’s exhibition in Hall 1. Liked the contrast style, even the pictures themselves made me sad.

Hubertus von Hohenlohe

In Hubertus von Hohenlohe‘s exhibition was the most artistic way of using photos. Liked the colours.

Some other interesting photographers

At Leica Stage I also listened English commercial photographer Richard Seymour -previously pilot, currently photographer. Fascinated by his clear and lighted pictures.

One and half year ago I had a great opportunity to participate Uwe Ommer‘s presentation. His commercial projects were really professional and I enjoyed also listening about the story behind the project called “Teens and Families in Europe”. These pictures were presented this year in Photokina. Of course I had to find the Finnish Family. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if there were one -but there it was. I can only imagine how much joy this project has brought to it’s participants.

Manfred Baumann works as a celebrity photographer in Hollywood. He had almost nonstop presentations in Photokina. Helmut Newton is his idol and you can see it in his presentations. What I appreciated the most: he had commercialize himself as a brand in a cool way. Liked his videos etc.

Self Portraits

When I was showing all these fun self portraits to my Finnish colleague Peter Forsgård he said: “women are always so keen on taking these self portraits. Is it because they like write diaries etc. Are these pictures some kind of diaries too…” Couldn’t answer that -I just thought they were fun.

In the Impossible Project booth you could have your picture taken in a certain instant film. I chose colour film. They took a picture, put it on the wall and then it developed there about half on hour.

Half on hour later I saw my picture on the wall. The fun part is that I wrote my name and address behind the picture and they will send it to me after the fair.

Nikon‘s “I am” -theme was hilarious and genious last time in Photokina. I thought their booth was the best. This year they had still the same theme, but it wasn’t that fun anymore. But still I couldn’t resist to have my picture taken in front of the entrance and Köln’s famous monuments behind me. This time you could also see the live picture of you in Nikon booth.

See also the other Photokina blog.