Typically when photojournalists survive dangerous encounters in a war zone, it’s because of some protective gear that they have–but for Gabriele Micalizzi, his Leica cameras saved him. According to a post made on Reddit, the cameras that saved him are the Leica Q and the Leica SL. Both of these cameras have been tested to be incredibly durable by photographers and there are many stories from photographers about how their Leicas survived quite tortuous conditions.
View this post on Instagram
Following the recent events regarding our photographer, co founder, friend and brother Gabriele Micalizzi in Syria, we would like to update you on his conditions. Gabriele is currently in Baghdad’s military hospital and is being carefully looked after by their medics for his lesion on eyes and arms. Yesterday we talked with Gabriele on the phone and he confirmed he is feeling fine, he is able to stand up and can see from both his eyes even if blurry. We are extremely happy to be able to dispute the recent news about the loss of his left eye which the media published without the necessary fact checking. Gabriele, the Micalizzi family and cesura would like to thank the people who very quickly and efficiently helped to rescue and evacuate him from the area of the accident. We would like to thank the Farnesina Crisis Unit and Italian diplomatic network for quickly jumping to action, keeping us constantly updated and for organising Gabriele’s return in italy. Furthermore, thank you to the whole medical team at the American hospital in Baghdad who took him in and with great dedication is taking care of him. We would also like to thank the journalist Fausto Biloslavo, @francesco.semprini and @gabrielchaim for the support during the evacuation operations and lawyer Alessandra Ballerini for the constant and precious help. Thank you to all the people who helped us handle this emergency situation in the best way possible. We will still have to wait a few days longer to see Gabriele in Italy again and hug him but the operations to bring him back home are already under way and the hospital ready to welcome him. We are waiting for you Never never never give up Cesura
According to CPJ, Gabriele was hit by shrapnel from an RPG. He was hit in his head, his left eye, ear, and different parts of his body–which required multiple surgeries. He’s also one of the founders of the Cesura Photo collective, who reported that Gabriele is back in Italy now, and recovering.
“I first touched my left arm where there was a hole. I put my finger in it. Then the left eye, which was soft as if it were a soft-boiled egg. I was beginning to see less and less. His face was full of blood, but I did not feel pain. “
Gabriele told Today.IT that the Leica that he had up to his eye saved his life.
The image of Gabriele’s cameras appeared on Reddit, and according to comments, the RPG blast mostly hit the Kurdish fighter in front of him. However, the blast hit Gabriele and the Leica protected him. Gabriele’s left eye though needed surgery.
The Leica Q is Leica’s full frame point and shoot with a fixed 28mm f1.7 lens. It isn’t said to be weather sealed at all, but the new rumored Leica Q2 is. Leica’s SL camera, on the other hand, is incredibly weather sealed.
We’re still researching more into this story, and also trying to track the source of the image.
Image via reddit.