Renowned world over for its world-class cameras, Leica’s products have supported both emerging and established photographers since the brand was first created in 1849. As part of founder Oskar Barnack’s enduring legacy, the eponymous LOBA award was set up to encourage today’s snap-happy creatives to push the boundaries of photography with inspiring and beautiful pictures.
This autumn, Leica Camera AG invited us to attend 2017’s exhibition award ceremony, which took place in Berlin (Germany, of course, being Leica’s homeland). Now in its 37th year, 12 competition finalists were chosen out of 2,700 applicants, showcasing talent from all over the world.
Of all the talented finalists, two entrants really stood out. First is young Ukranian dancer-turned photogher Sergey Melnitchenko was named Newcomer 2017, having documented his Behind the Scenes series during the four months he spent in a Chinese club. His evocative shots portray a hidden late-night world of dancers once the curtain falls, from weeping girls and tawdry costumes to the physical tolls taken on the body from performing. Sergey won 10,000 euros and a Leica M camera and lens for his insightful, moving images.