It is hard not to feel a pang of envy for the photographer Florian Wagner. Not only does he travel the world, taking great action images for the likes of Red Bull and National Geographic, but uniquely, he does so with a Leica. Speaking to us at photokina, the photographer and Leica ambassador tells us how its cameras really do take images that blow your mind.
Two years ago Wagner took an S2 on a wildlife shoot in Africa. "It was unusual to use a medium format but the results were really breathtaking. You see so much more in the photo than your eye can see. I found antelopes in one image that I hadn't seen with my eye!"
Wagner would still use a conventional DSLR on shoots for wide angle shots — the S2 goes to 24mm — but found his clients questioning whether they were in focus when shown alongside images taken with an S2.
Thanks to the quality, he says they are perfect for aerial shots.
"Its hard to believe the details you can see.
"It's a very emotional thing. I thought it's the perfect camera for me and I was really impressed by the speed. It can't compare with regular DSLRs but it was really breathtaking."
Wagner has used the S2 on assignment from the canyons of Jordan to the Eiger northface. He's currently working with Red Bull kiteboarder Suzi Mai for a shoot in Cabarete in the Caribbean and has an ambitious project next year to ride 1,200km across Germany. It's a project for National Geographic and Wagner will only say that it involves horses and helicopters. "It's going to be exciting," he says.
At photokina Leica launched the new Leica S which is the next generation model of the Leica S2. Its features and functions are all designed to meet the needs of professional photographers. Wagner adds that there will always be cameras that shoot faster or wider than a Leica. "But it's not about the highest jump or biggest ride," he says. "but about the most creative way to capture it."
Check out more of Wagner's work at: www.wagnerphoto.de