Exceptional work by Dr. P. Wolff and Alfred Person
It is remarkable that the advancements in photographic technology seem to result in the use of smaller formats for capturing pictures. This is probably related to the currently available almost perfect enlargers which allow amateur and professional photographers to make good enlarged prints without too much difficulties. In addition to this, the developments around the light sensitive emulsion with regard to support for more extended exposure times, improved sensitivity and an unbelievable reduction of the size of emulsion grain have had a significant influence.
In short one may conclude that, although large format cameras are still successfully used, small format cameras are gaining territory over a wide front.
Amongst the many capable small cameras the Leica takes a prominent position. This is not an overstatement when one realizes that 200.000 of these cameras are being used in the world. Also in our country the number of Leica-enthusiasts is significant.
In this context N.V. Odin, the Dutch dealer of this camera, has taken the opportunity to organize an exhibition in the Pulchri Studio to high-light the creative and technical capabilities of the Leica camera. Work of only two photographers is exhibited, i.e. dr. Paul Wolff and Alfred Person (both from Frankfurt am Main). Both are excellent photographers well-known beyond Europe.
As a consequence the exhibition does not provide a good view on what an average photographer can achieve with a Leica. The work exhibited significantly exceeds mediocrity.
Noteworthy is the difference in approach of both masters of photography. Wolff -- famous as a consequence of his documentaries -- is the man that has to observe, choose and compose lightning fast in rapidly changing situations. His prints are exact enlargements of the whole 24x36mm negatives. In contrast, Person considers negatives as a starting point. They are often not well composed, have too much contrast, and have too many unnecessary details. But this is where his work starts. The typical procedure he applies is to use contact prints and a second or even third negative to come to the result that he observed in his subject. The resulting enlargements are exceptionally rich in their half-tones and have made his process world famous.
It is not possible to provide in this article detailed information about each of the more than a hundred exposed photos. All of them have qualities that deserve to be noted. This could be because of composition, the use of floral patterns, or the quality of a portrait. Mentioning portraits: the exhibition has portraits of Dr Paul Wolff, and of L. Barnack, the brilliant creator of the Leica.
We may conclude that this exhibition is well worth a visit, even, a second visit.
Next to the photos one can see the various types of Leica cameras and their accessories.
The exhibition can be visited till July 24, 1936 from 10-18hr and from 19-21:30hr, also on Sundays. No entree fee is required.
Translated from: "Tentoonstelling Leica-Foto's", published in "Het Vaderland", July 6, 1936