Champion of the World (Leica SL and 35 Summilux) by Shai Ashkenzi

Champion of the World (Leica SL and 35 Summilux)

by Shai Ashkenzi

Hi Steve! Hi everybody!

It was an experience of a lifetime, that I Must share with you.

When my little euro trip was planned, which I came back from a few days ago, I did not really know which teams would qualify for the World Cup finals on the date I will be in Lyon, France.

Sunday 15/7/2018 I wake up to a not typical French morning and what I did not know is what I will experience in a few hours.

That I will be surrounded by tens of hundreds of thousands of people who represent themselves  and their country who become the world soccer champion .

It felt like a volcanic eruption. Like an atomic explosion.

Like skydiving. Like insanity. Like a real revolution. Sometimes even like a war.

A war of joy.

The roar of joy and the outburst of emotion that were in the course of the game, which we all watched horribly in a rain that’d not stopped, were only a small particle of what happened there later in the streets. Infinite joy.

Shouts. dances. hugs. Kissing. hissing.

People soaked in water. Children sitting on moving cars. The streets was madness .. As a street photographer, in most cases me and my camera, we are the ones who invent the story behind the characters and situations. This time the street spoke in one clear language – France the world champion. People lost themselves in some of them even took advantage of the rush to destruction and calamity. The police, which looked like they came out from A war movie, gave fight back and scattered  the crowd with gas to disperse excessive rioting. 

Terror of love. People’s love for their country. To their flag. Their anthem. To their language.

How much power all these people had together its crazy.

I could not stop photographing all the unforgettable moments I had seen. Happy and grateful for the privilege of being present at such a moment of so many happy people around and of course with my baby: A Leica Sl and the 35mm Summilux

p.s All the photos are jepg straight from the camera.

Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Shai ashkenazi

More images…


  1. Wonderful photo essay which absolutely nails the moment – well done. Your image of the group on top of the fountain with red flare and tricolour is sensational!

  2. Congrats France. Its the first time a team from Africa won the World Cup 😉
    Quite an achievement.

    • Sir – don’t be an ass and a racist. For the record, all but two players on the team are actually born and raised in France. If you want to continue to be a racist, at least do some fact checking before posting this BS.

      • Just for the record. Its a fact that there are human races and i did not say something negative about any of them. I also guess there are many people in africa who are proud of these players which is also positive not negative. If you insult me for pointing something out thst is obvious, i say you are the ass and the racist.

        • Hi Elderin,

          For your information, there are no human races, only ethnical groups.
          The concept of human races comes from the past and definetly died with the WWII. Welcome in the 21 Centuy.
          The player from our national team are all french, not african, and they love France.

          Greetings from France

  3. You have made a lot of great images and a couple of classic great world class images. Amazing work. Thank you.

  4. Many of these images are terrific. I think you were smart to choose a wider lens, so you can get close to the action. But sometimes it let you down a little, although there is plenty of room to crop with the SL.

    • Well sometimes you want the tele lens, but it is so rare
      Nothing can beat the excitement when you inside the scene
      Thank you

  5. Great documntary! You really went to town. Very engaging as a series, and some individual shots very special – like the man up the ?lamp-post or the girl walking out of the picture with her smart-phone.

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