Peter Karbe is currently head of optical engineering and is known as a legendary designer of Leica optics. His varied career at Leica AG began as a photographer and grew into several positions at Leica, including Photo Engineer, Optical Designer at Leica Microsystems 1986-1981; Optical Designer at Leica Camera since 1992; Department Manager Development Optics at Leica since 2002, and Managing Expert Optics and Platform.
Richard Chalfan was shown his uncle’s new M3 when he was 10 years old and was hooked, even though he wasn’t allowed to touch it! It was 25 more years before he owned his first Leica, a IIIf, but it was a start.
Richard was particularly inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s early work with a Leica A. He started shooting a model A, using ASA 25 and slower film, to explore what it would have been like to use a Leica around 1930. That led to his using almost all of the 22 models of Leicas he now owns. Richard, one of LHSA’s “ask an Expert” panelists, enjoys sharing the experiences and encourages others to do the same.
Philip Blair – native to the Pacific Northwest, Philip Blair is a landscape photographer based in Seattle, WA. He exhibits his work locally, does speaking and teaching engagements and creates custom artwork that carries personal message and meaning. Recent exhibits include Solitude: Snow & Ice 2017, February & March 2020 at Kenmore Camera’s gallery (Kenmore, Washington). This exhibit was first shown at Leica Store Bellevue, Bellevue Square (Bellevue, Washington) in November/December 2018. Recent teaching events include Leica Akademie USA (workshop series): Alpine Photography with Philip Blair (Mt. Rainier WA, October 2019) and The Monochrom Landscape with Philip Blair (Deception Pass WA, Jan 2019). Upcoming events include an LHSA webinar discussion on the subject of printmaking, Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Also scheduled is his hosting of the next workshop event in the “Leica in the Landscape” series by Leica Akademie, Thursday, January 28th – Sunday, January 31, 2021.
Antonio Di Benedetto is the Product Specialist for Leica Camera USA’s Marketing team and co-host/co-producer for the ongoing series of Leica Conversations (formerly #StayHomeWithLeica) digital webinar programs. With his focus on photography, Leica products, technical know-how, and presenting, he works with press, customers, and other trainers alike to share the enjoyment of the Leica brand and the benefits of these unique products. Antonio’s background includes over 10 years in the photo industry, covering a wide swath of experiences ranging from analog photography and alternative processes to personal projects and wedding photography.
Sandra Eisert is the only White House picture editor to work for three previous U.S. presidents. She was the picture editor for three major newspapers, is a former National Press Photographers Association Newspaper Picture Editor of the Year, has judged World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, and Society for News Design international competitions. She has been an editor, designer, and/or strategist for well over 100 visual books and also made key contributions to Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for Silicon Valley’s San Jose Mercury News. Sandra also designed and was one of the founders of the first real internet news website, Microsoft’s MSNBC.com, which changed the face of the internet and picture use on it.
John Kreidler is the East Coast Product Specialist for Leica Camera and has more than 25 years’ experience in providing imaging and production insight to professional photographers and enthusiasts alike. John conducts Leica store and dealer training on all of their system products. He also conducts Pro Discover Days giving those interested in Leica products an opportunity to experience them in a real-life situation. He also produces, conducts, and supports Leica Akademie programming.
John is very interested in visual storytelling and capturing light and shadow. He strives to get beyond the beautiful snapshot and create an image that evokes emotion in the viewer’s mind.
Tom A. Smith is the Director of Leica Akademie USA and has been a friend and support of LHSA – The International Leica Society for many years. His Leica Akademie courses represent a diverse line-up of programs from one-day photo walks and longer destination programs, which combine great locations, fine food, and photography. The one-day programs tend to focus on products offering a chance for those new to Leica to experience a rangefinder for the first time or new owners to thoroughly understand their cameras.