Made with Leica #1 Bert Meyer
In our new blog series “Made with Leica” we want to present Leica photographers and their photo-blogs and portfolios. If you want to show your work and experiences with Leica, please send a email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We noticed Bert Meyer by his portfolio with photos from his numerous trips. With his Leica M8 he visited Asia and Africa, lived and worked as carpenter for twelve years in Cameroon. Here is his report about his way to Leica:
Bert Meyer And Photography
In the last couple of years photography has become very important for me, not only to tell stories by images, but also to show the uniqueness of a person in a portrait. In India I met people from a different culture, which I had never experienced before. Therefore, I felt it very important to reach out to the locals carefully. The respect for the people who are photographed should always be a priority.
In 1996 my profession as a carpenter led me with the Pallottine Community to Cameroon in Central Africa. With a duffel bag and twelve boxes of tool a new world opened to me and became my home for twelve years. In a small village named Elat-Minkom near the capital Yaoundé I started to work with local craftsmen. Here I started documenting my work with photos and was often faced with harsh reality. The struggle for survival of Central African people is hard and only a few make their way out of poverty. I was very moved.
Last but not least also my friends from home helped me to build a carpentry apprenticeship workshop, which I handed over in local hands in 2008.
The Way To Leica
I already owned a small digital compact camera already in early days of digital photography. A few years later I started looking for a new camera. With the rise of Internet cafes in Yaoundé I came across the name Leica and the Digilux 2, which fascinated me. I maked further researches on the homepage of Leica and found the name Axel Hartmann, whom I wrote an e-mail message. Mr. Hartmann invited me to Solms and sold a Digilux 2 to me.
After my return to Germany I sold my camera and bought a used Leica M8 a few moths later. Some time ago I also added a Leica-0 Series Replica. With the Leica M8, I use a wide-angle Leica Elmar-M 1:3.8 / 24 mm ASPH and Leica Summicron-M 1:2 / 50mm standard lens. In my opinion if you really want to use the Leica M-intuitively you should work for a long time with a single lens. The Elmar-24mm is the right lens for me to get close to the people and become part of the action.
View on the Future
Today I support of social projects in Africa and India. The great advantage of my current work is that I can visit more countries and people. I am very grateful for this work and the many encounters in Africa or India. My brought experiences from my time in Cameroon help me to move on and to approach people. In the future I will probably also document my journeys with the Leica-0.
Here is a small selection of pictures by Bert Meyer. Who wants to see more should visit his LFI-Gallery.