For camera manufacturers, competing with the ubiquitous camera phone is becoming ever more tricky; particularly with campaigns from the likes of Apple iPhone and now, Google's Pixel 4, which arftully demonstrate how high quality phone photography can be, even in low light.
In recent years, Canon has done it by turning to big name directors such as Jonathan Glazer, and now Leica is entering the fray with a cinematic spot by director Barney Cokeliss. The new film attempts to capture the mystery of nocturnal photography by marrying Byron's poetry with enigmatic imagery.
Shot in locations including Soweto, New York, Berlin, Bucharest, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Paris, “Like the Night” follows several photographers as they wander through night-time environments looking for a moment to capture. Set to a almost toneless, almost rap-like recitation of Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty Like the Night,” the piece depicts the things that they see and capture on film, including a thunderstorm, the moon, a mysterious horse and even a fight.
“Being able to shoot at night and in the street are hallmarks of Leica’s small cameras and fast lenses,” said Cokeliss in a statement. “Much of the film was shot on the famous Noctilux, which has an unheard-of maximum aperture of f0.95, so a film which journeyed through the night seemed right.”
"For me, the night has always been a time of photographic fascination and atmospheric mystery," he added. "I didn’t want to tell a straight narrative story, but instead make something enigmatic, with lots of implicit storylines.,”