The project Exchanges - A Journey over Five Continents describes financial trading centers between 1984 and 2017. Photographer Leon Dimitrios first visited an exchange trading floor in 1983, and was fascinated by the energy of that business arena, which inspired his international study of market activity.

In the early 1990s, Leon kicked off a worldwide trek that eventually carries the readers along on a journey to visit 65 trading exchanges in 28 countries on five continents. Over the years, some markets were revisited on multiple occasions to ensure that the story was completely captured along the way.

From Tokyo to San Francisco, from Oslo to Santiago, the reader is whisked away around the world to well known financial juggernauts like the City of London, New York’s Wall Street exchanges, Chicago’s Future and Options markets, and also to more exotic locales, such as the Bolsa Mercadorias & Futuros in Sao Paulo and the Bombay Commodity Exchange.

Leon traveled more than 350,000 miles to capture the markets, the people on the trading floors, the culture, and the architecture. The emotion and intensity of an open outcry trading floor is unlike anything else on earth, and Leon’s photography and video work depict that range of human interaction.

However, the world described in this project is rapidly changing. Alterations in technology, combined with raw competition to lower trading costs are pushing traders off noisy and frenetic trading floors and putting them behind screens in quiet offices.

In the long term, these changes appear to be inevitable and the past irretrievable. Leon says; "I have done my best to capture this world. Not only the people, the trading methods and the places, but also the products bought and sold."

Michael Gorham’s essays are a valuable contribution to learn about the markets, the history and what the future might hold for trading.

Please sneak a peek at our project gallery, and the selection. Some of the photographs included in these galleries are available as high quality prints and limited editions for collectors and exhibitions. Book editions are planned for release in late 2023.

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A Journey over Five Continents