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The Story Behind That Picture:
"Standing on My Own Two Feet"

By: Thorsten Overgaard


When in Australia a couple of weeks ago I simplified my lens lineup back to what I originally had.

There are so many nice lenses, but basically all you need is one, and my main one is a 50mm. Though some times you may need more lenses, and in my case I have had the 21mm as the widest lens and a 90mm as the tele alternative.

But over the years I have collected a few more, and also more than I used. It adds weight to traveling, but also to the way you think visually.

With the words from lens designer Peter Karbe in the back of my mind that the 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 doesn't have distortion, and can be used even for a close-up portrait, I threw all the lenses I didn't use into Camera Electronics in Perth, Australia.

In return they shipped me the 21mm Summilux-M APSH f/1.4 that arrived at my favorite coffee place for breakfast at 9:10 AM the next day.

The photo of the girl

As part of a one-on-one workshop in Sydney we took a bus to the famous Bondi Beach and walked about for a couple of hours.

On our way back to get a taxi home, I came upon a young girl sipping a fruit smoothie with her parents. I knelt down to take her photo from her height, with straight lines in the horizon.

She kept eyeing me in character and the parents kept talking, so I took a few more. And the above is the one I liked the best of all them. I didn't notice till later that she was standing on her parents hands.

A combination of simplifying my lens lineup, as well as having the most spectacular 21mm lens ever made (because it is f/1.4 and allow you to work in Depth Of Field (DOF, making the background blurry), inspired me and still does.

The Family in Australia

Often when someone asks for your e-mail, they never mail to you. This is an experince I share with many photographers. If you want someone to get a picture you took of them, you have to get their e-mail. But the family actually mailed me some months later and got first a small copy of the image but later asked for a very large print.

The image has also been on Expo in Black Box Gallery in Portland in Octber-November 2014 and now exist as both large aluboard print and normal sized print on C-print. Both limited, signed editions. E-mail for further info.


Thorsten Overgaard, April 27, 2013
Edited January 28, 2015



Photo above: Bondi Beach in Sydney. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.
The photo is availabe as limited signed print in numbered edition (160 x 110 cm aluboard and 60 x 40 cm C-print).
E-mail for further info.


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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.

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