North Korea is changing – slowly and almost imperceptibly. What remains is the impression of an extremely isolated country that tends to be regarded with considerable prejudice. Over the past few years, Xiomara Bender has gained a more profound understanding of the hermetically sealed country than most other Western photographers.
My images are
often described as
dramaturgic or cinematic
I’m always searching for that one picture that tells the entire story. Working with a Leica has changed the way I photograph. I have become clearer in terms of what I’m looking for and what I want to capture, so I no longer reach for the camera at every seemingly opportune moment.
Regarding North Korea:
I view photography as a language that has existed for more than 200 years. You must be able to listen and be attentive in order to master it.
This is something
helps me achieve.
Many of the most revolutionary photo reportages of the past decades were created with Leica cameras, so that being able to photograph with a Leica always feels like a privilege and is associated with an inherent philosophy. The Leica SL2 is meticulously crafted, unobtrusive and quiet. All of this has a decelerating effect on me, and makes it a perfect companion for this type of environment. I have complete faith in my camera, and consider Leica lenses to be among the very best in the world.
My view is: you have to put in the work and earn your camera, and I don’t just mean in a financial sense. Of course, the Leica SL2 is the Ferrari of mirrorless full-frame cameras, but its high price is entirely justified. Components such as the touchscreen or the electronic viewfinder – which forms an integral part of my visual approach – are on a level of technological excellence that I don’t see in cameras of any other brand on the market.
The viewfinder of the SL2 with its 47-megapixel sensor has been further improved. The joystick for the focus point selection is extremely precise. Another great advantage is that I can spontaneously decide whether I want to focus manually or automatically, without an elaborate selection process.Discover the new SL2
Last year, photographer Xiomara Bender was able to visit North Korea for the ninth time.
“I actually didn’t start out shooting this project with a Leica. Now, eight years and nine trips later, my fascination with the country and its people remains undiminished. What has changed is my way of seeing – it has become more clear-cut over the years, and even more so since working with this camera.”Read the full story on the Leica Blog
It’s your choice.