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Olympus Launches "Visionary" Partnership with Professional Photographers

- Art of Light & Shape Exhibition Will Showcase Images Captured By 'Olympus Visionaries'

Melville, New York, September 2, 2003 - Olympus America Inc. today announced Olympus Visionaries, a partnership with some of America's most talented professional photographers. The Olympus Visionaries program was established to provide a venue for professional photographers to realize their creative vision through digital photography - and to provide Olympus with input from the professional photographic community. Olympus will celebrate the Olympus Visionaries program with a photography exhibition set to tour New York, San Francisco and Toronto beginning in the fall of 2003.

The Art of Light & Shape exhibition will explore the dynamic relationship between light and shape with more than 60 images captured using Olympus digital photographic equipment by members of the Olympus Visionaries, including Pulitzer Prize winners Larry Price and Jay Dickman, as well as Jeffrey Aaronson, Eli Reed, Judy Herrmann, and John Isaac. The work of Olympus Visionaries members has appeared in national publications ranging from National Geographic to The New Yorker, and in such best-selling books as A Day in the Life of Africa.

"I'm privileged to be working with Olympus and the Olympus Visionaries program," said member Larry Price. "After 25 years of newspaper and magazine photojournalism, I'm noticing my vision evolve almost as fast as digital photography, and the Olympus Visionaries program is helping my vision evolve in critical ways. Olympus is taking the world of photojournalism and fine-art photography seriously, and I'm convinced they're producing the best digital equipment on the market today."

"I'm very excited to be part of the Olympus Visionaries exhibit," said John Isaac, the highly-regarded photojournalist and former chief of the United Nations photo unit. "I made four trips to the southwestern United States last year photographing canyons and most of my pictures are literally about shapes and light."

The mission of the Olympus Visionaries program is to educate the photographic community about the possibilities of digital photography and Olympus digital leadership. The program is also dedicated to creating superb digital images and developing innovative digital photographic equipment to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. The genesis of the program began several years ago when Olympus established an informal group of professional photographers to talk about the future of digital photography and develop Olympus products based on their input. Olympus is the first manufacturer to create a 100% digital program for professional photographers.

"Olympus is committed to the professional digital photography market," said Mark Gumz, president and chief operating officer of Olympus America Inc. "Olympus has a long history of working closely with professionals in many disciplines, from doctors to biomedical researchers. We established Olympus Visionaries as a forum for listening to professional photographers and using their input to develop innovative products attuned to their needs."

The most recent result of this interaction with the pros is the introduction this year of the Olympus E-1 with Zuiko Digital Specific LensesTM, the world's first 100% all-digital interchangeable lens SLR system. Designed for professional photographers with extensive input from Olympus Visionaries members, the Olympus Digital SLR System offers powerful advantages in terms of edge-to-edge image quality, durability, speed, and camera and lens size. The Art of Light & Shape exhibition will include images captured with the E-1.

"One of the most exciting aspects of being part of this group is seeing my ideas and suggestions incorporated into Olympus products," said photographer Judy Herrmann. "It's also exciting to see the diversity of styles and subject matter on view in these exhibitions. It really demonstrates the viability of digital capture as a medium for a wide range of imagery."

The Art of Light & Shape opens in New York City on October 21 and runs through November 9 before traveling to San Francisco (February 2 - 26, 2004) and Toronto (April 19- May 7, 2004). The exhibit will use state-of-the-art technologies for printing digital images, including Pictorico Ink Jet Media, a co-sponsor of the exhibition.

The images exhibited in The Art of Light & Shape were chosen by a jury of noted photography professionals, including Koan-Jeff Baysa, the contemporary art collector and curator; William DuBois, the administrative chair of the division of photographic arts at Rochester Institute of Technology; and Michael J. McNamara, technology editor of Popular Photography & Imaging. The exhibition opens on October 21 at 20 Greene Gallery in Manhattan and runs through November 9. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 11:00a.m. to 7:00p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

About Olympus
Olympus Optical Co., Ltd., with its wholly owned subsidiaries, is a global leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing optical-digital product solutions for health care and consumer segments. The company leverages R&D investment in technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines that include:

  • digital and film cameras, and digital voice recorders;
  • minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical endoscopes;
  • advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • chemistry-immuno analyzers and lab automation systems.
In the U. S. and Canada, Olympus America Inc. serves health care, scientific and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial and other service offerings and is the leading brand in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. The company's market-leading consumer camera products and services business spans North and South America. Olympus America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and parent company to develop state-of-the-art products and services that are innovative, intelligent, and easy to use. For more information, please visit www.olympusamerica.com.

The Art of Light & Shape:
New York
20 Greene Gallery
20 Greene Street (between Canal and Grand Streets), New York City
Tel: 212-261-4279
October 21 - November 9, 2003
11:00a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday
Opening Reception: Tuesday, October 28, 2003, 6-9 p.m. (FOR MEDIA ONLY)

San Francisco
The Gallery at Calumet
2001 Bryant Street
February 2 - February 26, 2004
8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Opening Reception: Tuesday, February 3, 2004, 6-9 p.m.

Allen Lambert Galleria, BCE Place
181 Bay Street
April 19 - May 7, 2004
9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday- Sunday
Opening Reception: Tuesday, April 20, 2004, 6:30- 9 p.m.