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Me and my youngest daughter Robin Isabella in New York, January 2016. Photo by Jeff Jacques. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.

   
 
   

The Story Behind That Picture: "20th Anniversary"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. June 2, 2016

 

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To Protect and Preserve

I’ll let you in on a few things you might not know. My website started out as a blog before anyone started using the name blog. People often refer to my website as “your blog”

Still this day I don’t like blogs. It is software designed to hold content, and it’s designed in a way so that if it didn’t happen within the last 5 minutes, it’s really damn hard to find and read it. This frantic way of communicating and storing history has rolled over to social media where the timeline is even worse.

There are three things that distinguish my website from the norm. The first thing is that it was never made to attract attention to what I do or me. It was made to tell stories and preserve knowledge. Back when the Internet was young and innocent in 1996, we had the saying “sharing is caring”. It meant if you knew how to do something, you would share it.

It was in that spirit my website was made. Some will be familiar with the term “pay it forward” which means that good deeds can spread like ripples in the water. Karma: some day, somehow, it will pay back.

You don’t know how or when but it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter.

As you will see, this is a very different approach to life than the way social media is run today; “if it doesn’t pay back ‘likes’ right now, it’s anyways gone in a few hours.”

 

Central Park, April 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II. © Thorsten Overgaard.
Central Park, April 2012. Leica M9 with Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 II. © Thorsten Overgaard.

 

I like to preserve. I always tried to renovate houses so they would last another 100 or 200 years after I left them, and the whole subject of photography – the purpose of photography for those who do it – is to preserve a moment or a vision of how things (should) look. It’s never anything I thought much about, but when I look back, there is that red line of preserving.

Hence, no surprise the Overgaard.dk website is built in a way so that if you are new to the Leica M9, there you go. 20+ pages on how to use that camera right there at your fingertips. Even if you found the site and lost it again, it’s still there in the same place and unchanged. Some things expanded since your last visit, but what was there to begin with is still there.  

It happens to also make my life easier, not to constantly update, and that’s another benefit of it.

I remember stories I read in the 1990’s on New York Times, and the damn things are long gone now. Untraceable.

 


Lightroom Survival Kit 6

 

My Lightroom Survival Kit is more about how to preserve your photographs than about how to use the software. It deals with the software, but the real headache you have to solve is how to preserve your beloved stuff. The ones who have done my workshop will know how concerned I am about maintaining your property – the photographs – throughout this constant tsunami of digital data. It is so bad that if William Shakespeare (1564-1616) had been writing what he did in the 1990’s, it would easily have been lost by now. That is one tragicomedy he didn’t get to know about as he wrote on paper more than 400 years ago.

Preserve means, “to keep in advance”. Part of making something is to think ahead and how to ensure its continued existence.

As my website gained popularity in use and an always astonishing number of visitors, I started realizing the importance of keeping it going.

I calculate it like this: When I spend a day of my life writing an article, readers collectively spend one and a half year reading it. On one hand, the time spent should be worth it and not pissed away on some useless gossip, on the other hand the article should continue to exist and be available for as long as anyone may have use of it.

 



Madison Square Park in New York, 2013. Photo by Joy Villa.
Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.

 

The secret to that is low-tech. My website was using the basic Internet language (HTML) since day one, and that’s still how it is. Google can scream about mobile friendly and Adobe about Flash as much as they want, but if “upgrading” means the content gets lost, that’s not a good trade, is it?

 

     
 

"I always look up your Leica page when I need to know something.”

 
  - Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (Austria)  

 

A third thing is that I don’t communicate with my readers via the website. There is no space for people to add comments or start cyber wars with others. The focus is the content, and I get plenty of friendly e-mails and friendly questions that I try to address. (Some of you will have received answers to e-mails you sent 2-3 years ago and though were lost in the stream. I read everything I get, and I answer at some point or another).



Los Angeles, 2014.

 

Comments on websites are something that drives traffic and improves Google ranking. That’s the original reason why those phenomena appeared on the Internet.  I find it a nuisance and more a waste of time than a gain of knowledge or energy; but I like forums where the main point is to discuss and comment on subjects.

Most social media and blogs today are things set up to make you a user. That’s why your smartphone and web browser is so obsessed with pop-ups that ask you to log in. You as a user represent a value, and when Instagram and the likes are sold, the price is determined by the number of users in the system (as they represent future possible income as viewers of ads or subscription payments).

 

     
 

"I stop by your website and really enjoy learning your experience and sharing on Leica M9 system. It is probably one of the best informative site which provides much useful information for many users. I have gained a lot from it and I like your shooting method.”

 
  - D. Y. (Singapore)  

 

In my opinion, the value of a media (newspaper, website, book, movie, etc) is not how many uses you can trap to watch ads, but what you as a reader gets out of it. Does it contribute to your life, does it help you improve your skills and achieve worthwhile goals in your life?

The overgaard.dk website is not about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and was never optimized to rank high. The reason the website comes up first when you search for a subject like Leica Digilux 2 is that I’ve been writing about it for 12 years and keep adding relevant content and information while others have forgotten about it and thrown their attention on something brand new. After all, when you search for keywords, you are looking for relevant content and not just keywords. This actually is the way it was 20 years ago also: Some would use popular words to attract attention to pages that dealt with anything else than that subject (usually as invisible text in the background). Search engine technology has been optimized to help you find content that matches what you search for.

On my website, the content is the keywords. The vision is preserving history. The aim is to help others.

I hope you enjoyed this little sneak-peak into the thoughts about the Overgaard.dk website. As always, feel free to e-mail me at thorsten@overgaard.dk with suggestions and ideas.

 

Thorsten answering questions after the movie in Hollywood, August 10, 2014
Thorsten answering questions after the premiere of A Life With Leica in Hollywood, August 10, 2014
. Photo by Joy Villa.

 

     
 

"Your work is great! I sit down with your eBook “The Magic of Light”, grab my coffee, read and then open to a new page in my notebook and write! Your work affirms my thoughts on beauty and life. Thank you!

 
  - M. B. (USA)  

 

 

         
 

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leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
   
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr    
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston    
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram
More than 100 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter
    Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook
Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Jono Slack
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   Ming Thein (blog)
  I-Shot-It photo competition
 
 
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:    
Hardware for Photography   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for older Leica 35mm/1.4 lenses
Mega Size Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
Mega Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Medium Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Small Size Signed Limited Prints   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide   Ventilated Shade for 50mm Summicron lenses
Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Vintage Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarti-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 75mm Summicron (coming)
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated ShadeE60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 

 

   

 

 

   
   
   

Above: Me and my youngest daughter Robin Isabella in New York, January 2016. Photo by Jeff Jacques. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0.






 


 

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

 

 

Overgaard Photo Workshops

 

 



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 thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
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