Focal Point President’s Letter – Nov. 2017

Nov 2, 2017  By Richard Rejino

Greetings from sunny Seattle, and welcome to the fall issue of Focal Point, your in-house newsletter.

Today, I want to talk about fundraising programs and their importance in keeping LHSA viable for the future. As I have mentioned before, we have embarked on a transformation of our organization to meet the technological and generational challenges we face, and retain respectability, stature, visibility, and our presence in our Leica community. 

The goal is to double our current membership during the next 4 years – a very ambitious goal, indeed. Until we get there, remember is that LHSA dues and meeting revenues do not cover our annual expenses.  That means that we need to raise supplementary funds to bridge the financial shortfall. Here’s how you can help!

Enter the Sweepstakes

We initiated a Sweepstakes this fall offering a new Leica M10 as first prize and copies of the Barnack book as additional prizes. This program ends the middle of December and we need everyone to purchase tickets. Please go to our website, and participate in this important fundraiser for your Society. You could even buy and give tickets for your photographer friends, as a benevolent gesture of your friendship – or get them to participate.

Barnack Book

During the last two years, Doug Drumheller and his team have worked incredibly hard to translate a German book by Ulf Richter, “Oskar Barnack: From the Idea to the Leica” into the English language.  This book is a great history of the development of the first 35mm camera and it belongs in your library. There are two versions of this book and both available for you on our website. You could not ask for a better Holiday gift for your photographer friends.

LHSA Commemorative Lens

At our Chicago annual meeting, we were treated to see and handle a new LHSA 50th Anniversary Commemorative lens, a rework of the exceptional 50mm APO Summicron.  The same brilliant optics in vintage attire.  Stefan Daniel snuck them out of Germany for our viewing pleasure.  They are stamped with our logo and are absolutely gorgeous, and will be a great addition to your collection or shooting gear.

LHSA Philanthropy Fund

The LHSA Photographers Philanthropy Fund, which Tom Smith, of Leica Akademie North America, was instrumental in getting launched, awarded its first ever $5000 Photography Grant. 60 proposals were submitted from all over the globe. Our esteemed jury, Maggie Steber, Craig Semetko and Peter Turnley (all LHSA ambassadors) selected the recipient, Ksenia Kuleshova as the first-ever recipient of the LHSA Photography Grant! Ksenia was born in Russia and is currently getting her Masters in Photography in Germany. She was overjoyed to be our first recipient. You can learn more about her, her project, and view her heartwarming video accepting this award by going to our website.

LHSA Commemorative Oberwerth Bag

At our Chicago meeting last month, we announced our next program for raising grant money. Stefan Immes, owner of Oberwerth Camera Bags created a Commemorative LHSA Freiburg bag for our 50th Anniversary. The bags are stamped with an LHSA emblem and the first 50 bags sold are serialized. The bag is all black with red interior and is suitable and appropriate for both men and women. These bags are perfect for Leica outfits, are handmade in German, and are of the highest quality. Please support your Society and participate in this important give-back program which benefits photographers in our photographic community. You can make a purchase at

Gifts Galore!

I fully understand that most of us don’t need more books or bags, cameras, and lenses, but these are exceptional products and they help support your Society. You can give the books as Xmas gifts; the bag can be given as a special gift to your spouse or a photographer friend.  And if you want to taste the finest in newest Leica gear, get your hands on a new M10 by entering the Sweepstakes.  All of these goodies are waiting for you on our website.

Imagine a new M10, Oberwerth serialized bag, an LHSA Commemorative 50mm APO lens, and a Barnack Book under your arm. What better way to live your Leica Journey, and support your Society?

Think Leica and enjoy the Holidays!  Did I mention to check out our website?

Gary Hough, LHSA President

Richard Rejino
Richard is the Executive Director of LHSA - The International Leica Society and a part-time professional photographer. He is also a classically trained pianist, writer and published author. His book, "What Music Means to Me" is available from Hal Leonard Corporation.

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