Neil Leifer is in rare air at the top of the pyramid of sports photography. In the same way that you can say the name Ansel Adams to anyone and they immediately imagine black and white photographs of Yosemite Valley, Neil Leifer’s name is recognized and synonymous with some of the greatest moments in sports history.
And he’s also the newest Sony Artisan of Imagery.
Why did Leifer adopt the Sony system after so many years with other cameras? He describes the first time he held and used a Sony α7, “The first thing that came to mind was the Sony weighed half of what my Nikon weighed. I looked through the camera, and I noticed the incredible quality of the Sony Zeiss lenses. Now, I had Zeiss lenses on my Leica's years ago so I know how good they are.
“I decided I really wanted to try it out, so I got in touch with Sony, sourced a loaner camera, tested it while shooting boxing and completely fell in love with it! The weight and the quality of the photography…I thought, this is definitely the way of the future. I know a good camera when I have one in my hands.”
Neal Manowitz, Vice President of Digital Imaging at Sony Electronics, added "We're honored and excited to welcome Neil Leifer to the Sony Artisans of Imagery. In addition to playing a role in Leifer's on-going work as a filmmaker and photographer, we're looking forward to his input and guidance as we work to support both the current and future needs of enthusiasts and professionals."
See more about how Leifer became a sports photographer and photojournalist in an exclusive interview with AlphaUniverse.com. We talked about his love of photographing sports and news stories, how he made some of the most iconic photographs in history, his long association with Muhammad Ali and what’s next for the new Sony Artisan of Imagery.