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On The Road with Thorsten Overgaard · The March 2014 Journal
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On The Road with Thorsten Overgaard · The March 2014 Journal


On The Road with Thorsten Overgaard · March 2014

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By: Thorsten Overgaard

This is the ongoing journal of my travels, photography, experience with people, places and equipment. March has been dedicated to getting stuff done, so I'm in one location most of the month, going to do workshops in Bali, Australia and New Zealand from March 25 - which also happen to be my birthday!

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"In researching the Leica M240, I love your website and the detail you go into. At the same time I've fell in love with your style of photography. Hopefully I can take the time to attend one of your workshops."

  - X. L. (Texas)  


The winner of the I-SHOT-IT.COM announced

San Francisco, United States, March 3, 2014

Since 2010 I have been the judge of the Premium Compeition for I-SHOT-IT.COM along with Birgit Krippner. It is always interesting to see the submitted photos, and generally I must say that the quality has gone up. There are really many greay photos, and that is also why we don't just announce a winner but make sure to give a Mark of Excellence to the ones that - who knows - could have won if the winner hadn't sent in his or hers photo to this competition.

The winner, Ralph Dutt-Ballerstadt from Berlin/Portland shot this photograph in Kolkata, India with a Olympus OM-D. We as judges don't know who shot the pictures, which cameras they used, when or where they did them, not even if it is film or digital. All we see is the images. So part of the joy is to see when the winners are announced, what the story is behind the image, and who did them.

The compeition is every three months, and we also judge the prestigious I-SHOT-IT.COM Black & White competiiton every three months where the stakes are even higher. Last year I wrote this article, "How to Win Photo Competitions" as so many asked me how we judge the pictures.



"I keep reading your articles online.

Your website is for me a precious source of inspiration, technique and passion.

Thank you for sharing all of this with "us" the Leica users! (and the others as well)"

  - R. V. (Switzerland)  


Leica R-to-M adapter has arrived

Denmark, March 6, 2014


The long awaited original Leica R-to-M adapter finally have arrived, making it possible to use Leica R lenses on the Leica M 240. They may be backordered, but they are shipping, so delivery will happen within short time now.



"I discovered your web with a lot of interest. I purchased a Leica Digilux 2 in 2006 and still using today with my two Leica D-lux 6 cameras."

  - M. F. (Switerland)  


Social media traffic jam over the weekend

Denmark, March 8, 2014

The weekend was quite busy on social media for both Joy and me. Joy's new song "Get Your Freedom" (available on iTunes and YouTube) broke on the American radio in the Nikki and Kerri radio show Sixxsense as well as other radio stations. The video got more than 6,000 views over the weekend.

Meanwhile, some other people liked specifically Thorsten's article "How to Win Photo Competitions" so much that that article alone was read by more than 12,000 people over the weekend.

Joy's song "Get Your Freedom" got more than 6,000 views on YouTube after Nikki Sixx played the song on the radio and tweeted a link to the music video. The coincidence is that the video is shot with two Leica M 240 cameras, and Nikki Sixx is also a Leica M freak.



"Big fan of your site. Hope some day to sign up for one of your excursions."

  - M. D. (Tennessee)  

I read books

Denmark, March 10, 2014

Through February and March I have managed to do quite a raid on Amazon and eBay for books that I want. Every few days books show up in a hotel in USA (I have two hotels that recieve and store books for me!) or here in Denmark. I think most of it is for research of some kind, of other photographers career and the history of photography.

I have bought most of Ansel Adams books from back when.


I have been wanting the Magnum Contact Sheets for a while. I finally got it sent to me, and in reading it, I stumbled over some unublished Cornell Capa images from The White House from 1961. In the images I recognized JFK speechwriter Ted Sorensen (1928-2010) who was a good friend of mine. I mailed them to his wife and daughter, and his wife could tell that Ted Sorensen is seen talking to Arthur Goldberg, the secretary of labor under JFK, US ambassador to the UN, and Supreme Court Justice.


I also have gotten a few books from friends as well as former Overgaard Workshop students who have taken the step to do exhibitions and books. This book is "Soul Odyssey" from Indonesian photographer Lans Brahmantyo.



"Hi Thorsten,
I truly love your website. I have been following it for years. I was what pushed me over the edge to buy a Leica M9. My first Leica. I love it. Well I just broke down and bought the new Leica M240 after feeling it in the Leica Store Los Angeles. I have to say the body and camera is beautiful and amazing. I see you have dedicated some parts of your site to the new Leica M240. I was wondering if you could share with me some of your new found setting for DNG processing that you are using for your m240 raws. I see they have alot of range in them. Thanks a lot. Keep up the amazing photographs."

  - T. B. (Los Angeles)  



Website upgrade

Denmark, March 11, 2014

Some have complained over the navigation on my website, and finally I found some folks who can work on it. The java menu that - I realized when I looked - I last updated 12 years ago, was one of the things that needed an upgrade, and they will be going over the website in general. The website has far over a million unique visitors a year now.

The key in my website is still that it is preservation of knowledge and that it is static; meaning that it is always staying where is was once it is laid down, and not dynamic as many (especially news web sites) are these days (which means that you can't find the damn video on again 20 minutes later because they changed everything meanwhile). Also, the website has to be mine and simple, meaning that I can maintain it as easy as making notes on a piece of paper.


The Lightroom Survival Kit



"You do excellent work and are a good writer and more importantly a good 'explainer'"

  - E.  S. (USA)  


Anarchy in the UK ... (Joy recording an EP)

West Yorkshire, March 12, 2014

I shipped Joy off at the airport so she could fly to Manchester and from there take a train and a taxi to the final destination, the studio out in nowhere in West Yorkshire. She will be spending a few days recording her upcoming EP with musician and film and TV music producer Barrie Gledden in his studio that features some quite exotic instruments, microphones, recorders and all from back when they made real rock'n'roll.


Joy Villa by Barrie Gledden
An image I stole from Facebook of Joy's first recording day. Photo by Barrie Gledden (who also happens to be a Leica M user).


Barrie updated his blog with the story: "Recording with Joy Villa"



"I see your having fun traveling around the world shooting and educating others. I'm still using all I learned from you. Your system was so easy not only to understand but to apply to my shooting.

Since your class I have upgraded to the M240."

  - B. B. (USA)  



30,000 likes on Facebook

Denmark, March 13, 2014


Photography by Thorsten von Overgaard reach 30,000 likes: I said a couple of years ago that I didn't like "Fan pages" on Facebook because I prefer "Being friends" with people. I think the two-way communication is important, and many fan pages I have seen is just a one-way flow. However, when I realized I was "all friended out" on Facebook, I decided to give it a go with a fan page. And what a ride!

I will be doing a video and "social media course" later this year on how to preserve your images (or any art) online, protect your copyright and build an audience that is yours (not a publishing house, record company or others - but yours). It's something I have a lot to say about and it is also something I could spend a whole day answering questions about when we open that bag at Artists Night (a free evening event for all types of artists that Joy and I do when we travel around the world). Nobody ever gets the whole concept, so that is why I will be doing video and a course so that one can take it in step-by-step and make it ones own.







"Thank once again for a great time and a fun learning experience.

Joy, thank you in particular for modeling for us today. Your beauty is matched only by your sweet nature and patience."

  - J. G. (Melbourne  


My first German book

Munich, March 14, 2014

My book "Finding the Magic of Light" that was published in August 2013 is now available in German as well. "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" is the title. It is likely that it will be available in more languages in 2014 if I can find good translators and language editors for the languages I am considering (Indonesian, Spanish, French, Korean and Japanese).

Click here to see preview of the book and order your german copy!




"Thorsten, I really enjoyed your book!

So many times I’ve found books about photography sterile and clinical, but yours has a kind of poetry to it. It makes me think of when I was learning the guitar (when I was a teenager and very impatient). I wanted badly for someone to say “X, Y, and Z” and then magically I would learn how to play the guitar.

What I recognize in your book that is so refreshing is that you don’t waste the reader’s time.

What I mean by that is there are countless books on photography that try to tell you everything you need to know, until your head will explode and in the end, you’re so bogged down by that information that you come away feeling opposite from how you should feel, inspired.

Your book directs the reader to information that will help them to continue to grow as a photographer, not stunt their growth…it’s like the old adage "teach a man to fish"

Again, and always, thank you!

  - J. J. (New Jersey)  


Join a Workshop Far Away from Home



A train is coming

Hamburg, March 16, 2014

Something is cooking, and it's going to be awesome. That's all you need to know now. Author of the "Work Your Leica" Joeri van der Kloet and author of "Finding the Magic of Light" Thorsten von Overgaard met in Hamburg.


Joeri van der Kloet and Thorsten von Overgaard in Hamburg 2014
We met in Hamburg on a Sunday. Joeri is from Netherlands and is working as a photogarpher, journalist and magazine producer.




"I just got your eBook "Finding the Magic of Light"!
Thank you, it's such an authentic writing towards finding light, Thank you, really enjoyed it."

  - M. C. (Paris)  


Grace Law wins 1st Price in LFI/Leica Camera contest

Hamburg, March 18, 2014

My workshop student Grace Law from Hong Kong with the artist name Grace von Monotone won the 1st price today in LFI/Leica Camera's "Me & My Leica X Photo Contest"

Grace did the workshop in Istanbul May 2013 and again a one-on-one in Hong Kong in November 2013. As her artist name indicates, the Leica M Monochrom is her preferred tool, but she also has a weakness for other Leica cameras.




"Dear Mr. Overgaard,

I have received my Leica M a few weeks ago. I enjoy every single moment with the camera, a dream has come true. I have read almost every single article of your fantastic website the past year and the new articles about the M are once again so interesting.

Thank you so much, for all of your beautiful written articles, tips and for sharing all your splendid inspiring photography. I have made my first street shots with the „M" and „Thorsten Overgaard" in mind."

  - G. O. (Belgium)  


Nerding around with macro

Aarhus, Denmark, March 22, 2014

I got a sample of the Leica R bellows from a friend and former student in Portugal who had bought one too many of them. I have updated the Leica M 240 article "The Leica R Lenses Catwalk" with my new gained knowledge.


Leica M 240 with Leica R-to-M adapter and Leica R bellows
The Leica M 240 with Leica R-to-M adapter and Leica R bellows (Model No 16 880) and Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0. On a Leica Table Tripod.



"Dear Thorsten,
Many thanks for a fantastic few days. I really learned a lot, and had a great time. Thank you, and I look forward to working with you again in the future."

  - J. B. (Washington)  


Updated article about the Leica 50mm Noctilux

Aarhus, Denmark, March 24, 2014

I As you may know, I have been using the Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 a lot over the last years, so I thought it was time to update my "King of the Night" article on this lens. New photos, as well as more about which one to pick, the f/1.0 or the f/0.95. Enjoy!





"Since I discovered Leica rangefinders, and your site, I haven't slept in months. And my girlfriend is getting sick of me too. I made the decision that I would buy a digital M Leica, and just 2 days ago, I won an ebay auction for my very first Leica camera - a second hand Leica ME! I was having lunch at a cafe when i won the auction, and felt so sick from excitement that I couldn't eat most of my meal."

  - S. L. (Australia)  



Colors of Bali

Bali, Indonesiai, March 25-April 2, 2014


We have rented a villa close to the beach in Bali where the religoius festival takes place from tomorrow.


My workshop in Bali has one space left. We arrived to Bali on my birthday, March 25 and have rented a huge villa close to the beach where two of the major Melasti religious rituals will take place over the next few days. The idea is to combine the Overgaard Workshop with the melasti event, and then take a complete rest on the "Day of Silence" the day after the workshop. This is the day where everybody stay indoor, no electricity or light is allowed and everybody is supposed to spend the day in reflection.

Working hard from 8 AM in our house in Bali.


I have no experience with such a thing, but I have some very fond memories from when I was a child in Denmark and the electricity (and school) was out becasue of heavy snow.



"Thank you so much for an amazing seminar. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I'm pretty sure there can be no better introduction to 'real' photography than what I've experienced on this seminar. It will certainly burn long in the memory!"

  - A. M. (U.K.)  








To be continued ...

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– Thorsten Overgaard











Above: Boston in the snow, February 2014. Thorsten Overgaard © 2014. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4





Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Von Overgaard Ventilated Shades
Thorsten Overgaard Books
Leica Definitions
Leica History
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4

Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica Digilux 2

Leica M10
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 Video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262
Leica M Monochrom
Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL full-frame mirrorless
Leica R9 and R8 SLR with digital back
Leica Q
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S digital medium format
Leica X
"On The Road With von Overgaard"
Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
Lightroom Survival Kit
The Story Behind That Picture

Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to for
advice, ideas or improvements.










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Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong







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