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Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 5
Birgit Krippner - Shooting Stye of a Leica M9 photographer

Leica M9 Digital Rangefinder Camera - Page 5

Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4 5                         M10-R M10-P
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44        
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                  
M Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Leica TL2 1 2                                      
Leica SL / SL2 1 2 3 4 5 6                            
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 1                                          
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books


"Shooting style of a Leica M9 Photographer"

By: Thorsten Overgaard


It's always intersting to listen to how professionals do something. No matter if I speak to fashion designers, sales persons, hairdressers or photographers they always feel that what they do is very ordinary and they don't really apply any special knowledge or tricks. But to listen to them and learn their most basic rules is usually the key to understanding what makes them better. For example I saw the movie about Mike Tyson in which he reveals "I always aim [all the way from the front to] the backhead when I hit." He says it as an everyday fact, and it's probably in the movie because they thought is sounded cool. But in fact, just there he gave a piece of professional philosophy that can be used in other areas than producing knock-outs (of which Mike Tyson was the best ever). I can think of l other applications such as solving problems, but even in doing portraits (where I personally go for the soul rather than the face). In any case, after this dramatic introduction, here is the first in a series of interviews with Leica M9 photographers.


1: Birgit Krippner of New Zealand/New York

Birgit Krippner used to be a Nikon D700 user but then on September 12, 2009 decided to give the M9 a chance with a 28mm Elmarit-M ASPH f/2.8 and a 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4 ASPH. A week later the Nikon was sold.

Since then (this article was originally puslished in 2009) her career has taken off with several exhibitons around the world and with the book "Private View" in the making. Here is a video from April 2013 where I met with her at the opening of her expo "Private View" in Napier, New Zealand. A project where Birgit Krippner has visited the top of the art scene in New Zealand and portrayed them. You can help foundthe book "Private View" via


Birgit Krippner interviewed in Napier, New Zealand, April 2013 by Joy Villa. Filmed by Neville Porter and Thorsten Overgaard with Leica M Type 240. Edited by Joy Villa. Signed limited edition prints are available from the Black Barn Gallery.


Birgit Krippner - Leica M9 sample photos - Style of a Leica M9 photographer


“A new chapter has started with the Leica M9. I'm not a technical photographer. At this point I feel quite comfortable using my new friend but I am still learning. But I really love the experience of learning about my Leica M9 and how to work with it more effectively.

“Sometimes I have a theme and I use the same shutter speed, ISO, focus and aperture settings for a series of shots: Just the other day I walked through an enclosed area which had a white wall. I stopped and waited, with my camera ready for the ‘right’ people to walk by. I avoided making eye contact with the subject. When I saw a person approaching at the right distance (which my camera was preset for) I took the picture. For about an hour I stood there having fun and got some good shots. People either starred at me or just looked through me, only one person turned around."


Birgit Krippner - Leica M9 sample photos - Style of a Leica M9 photographer


“At other times I don't have a theme but play it by ear, quite literally. My ears have an important role in my photography. I listen. Especially if I feel that looking is inappropriate.

“I shoot with both eyes open – I can’t close just one eye and I think that has worked in my favor. I'm always aware what’s around me and if there’s somebody stepping into my photograph (which can add good things!).
“Shooting with maximum aperture is always a favorite. I like the dramatic effect of the narrow depth of field.
“On other occasions I might favor a fast aperture image with no point in focus, so as to create uncertainty and atmosphere which requires the viewer to use their imagination.

“I prefer a ‘mood’ image rather than a crisp pixel-shot, thought the two things don’t need be inconsistent. In my opinion there is no clear right or wrong. At least not for me, in every case that decision is left up to photographer and the observer.”







What's your settings and workflow?
“I shoot with the exposure at -1/3 (to protect highlights which might otherwise get blown out) and the shutter dial set to A.  I'm experimenting with manual setting of shutter speed, but so far I've been pretty happy with the M9's metering, so I don’t use external lightmeter either.  
“White balance and lens detection are both set to auto in general.“



Do you use Auto ISO or a preferred ISO or other ways of setting the camera?
“Since I have a steady hand, I favor shooting at 160 ISO, also when day becomes night time. When it's obviously too dark I have no problem changing 1250 ISO. I haven’t gone higher though.

“Where I have the time to focus accurately I naturally tend to gravitate to fast apertures and a narrow depth of field. Where I don't have that luxury I tend to use a more forgiving aperture, say 5.6, present focusing and an ISO which will give me an acceptable shutter speed. I never use flash.



Do you customize your camera profile in Lightroom or is there any special workflow you apply?
“I shoot DNG and then convert to black and white (if that’s what I’m going for) in Lightroom or Nik Silver Efex Pro. I import DNG files to Lightroom using the M9 profile and can adjust the exposure if desired. I have a tendency to bring down Vibrance and Saturations in Presence. When shooting people, I generally take out most of the red. I never use the sharpening tool. Sometimes I bring up the contrast. But I try to be sensitive to the photograph and not change its identity.

“I recently got hold of Nik Silver Efex Pro and like it. But I use it in a sensitive way. I think that a lot of damage can be done if this software is abused or overused.  I use Lightroom to work on my images. I feel good about the combination of Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro. I have an Epson Stylus Pro 3800 printer at home which is a nice printer for "normal" printing. For my upcoming exhibitions I'd like to print my images larger. I'm thinking of Lambda prints.“



How do you approach a shot - what do you look for?
“It can be anything normal or unusual situation. Sometimes a situation seems to be normal. And I know that on the photograph it will be something different, unusual or even funny. That's what I like best! I don't necessarily like sensational situations involving people – but more making the "ordinary" interesting.

“The times I like most are when the light is doing something unusual. When the shadows become dominant. Before a thunderstorm for example. Dramatic light. Or warm light in my house in the evenings. Capturing light is what makes photography wonderful.

“I never shoot from the hip. I shoot from my chest or from other places that might put the image in a good perspective. I like to stay anonymous. Ideally people look THROUGH me, not AT me. Sometimes I walk, other times I place myself somewhere and wait. And when the "right" person or situation appears then I shoot. When I walk (or stalk) I'm always looking around and ready for that special moment.“



How do you use your 50/1.4 and 28/2.8 ASPH lenses?
“It depends. I treat images as individuals. Saying so, I focus (or OOF) individually. More and more I discover the joys of the 28/2.8 ASPH but still, my favorite lens is the 50/1.4 ASPH. It works great for shooting people. And it's comparable with how I see things. I also think that shooting with my 50/1.4 ASPH is more difficult at times than shooting with my 28/2.8: It’s easy to crop an image in Lightroom but impossible to add to an image!”



Do you consider other lenses for the Leica M9?
“My husband has ‘lent’ me his Noctilux f/1.0 … and I like it a lot.”

Any experience with film cameras or other digitals?
“I used to shoot film years ago. My first camera was a Niskon F2, and I loved it. And still have it. But now I'm fully converted to digital. It feels very natural to me. My previous digitals include Leica Digilux 1, Leica Digilux 3 and the Nikon D700."



What's the most common thing people ask you about your Leica M9?
“I’ve had people asking me if they could ‘touch my camera.’ Since I don't like being asked about my camera, and largely want to be anonymous, I taped over the red dot and the white M9 inscription with black tape. Since that moment, I haven't been asked any more questions about my camera."


Birgit Krippner - Leica M9 sample photos - Style of a Leica M9 photographer
Birgit Krippner, Leica M9 with 50mm Summilux-M f/1.4, 160 ISO.

To be continued ...



Index of Thorsten von Overgaard's user review pages covering Leica M9, Leica M9-P, M-E, Leica M10,
Leica M 240, Leica M-D 262, Leica M Monochrom, M 246  as well as Leica Q and Leica SL:

Leica Digital Camera Reviews by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica M9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20   M9-P
Leica M10
V 1 2 3 4 5                         M10-R M10-P
Leica M 240
P 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44        
Leica M-D 262 1 2                                  
M Monochrom 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Leica TL2 1 2                                      
Leica SL / SL2 1 2 3 4 5 6                            
Leica Q 1                                          
Leica Q2 1                                          
Leica CL 1 2                                       Books


Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M digital cameras:   Leica L digital cameras:
Leica M10   Leica SL
Leica M10-P   Leica SL2
Leica M10-R   Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica M10-D   Leica TL2
Leica M10 Monochrom   Leica CL
Leica M9 and Leica M-E    
Leica M9-P   Leica R digital cameras:
Leica M9 Monochrom   Leica R8/R9/DMR
Leica M240    
Leica M246 Monochrom   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
Leica MD-262 and Leica M60   Leica D-Lux
    Leica C-Lux
Leica M film cameras:   Leica V-Lux
Leica MP   Leica Q2
Leica M4   Leica Q
    Leica Digilux 3
Leica M lenses:   Leica Digilux 2
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica Digilux 1
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica Digilux
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4    
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R film cameras:
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R8 / R9
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R4
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2    
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica compact film cameras:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica CM 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0    
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica R lenses:
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
    Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz Cine lenses:   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Cine lenses from Leitz Cine Wetzlar   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
History and overview:   Leica S digital medium format:
Leica History   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Definitions   Leica S2
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica S
Leica Camera Compendium    
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   "Magic of Light" 4K Television Channel
    Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Which Computer for Photographers?   Lightroom Survival Kit (Classic)
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Capture One Survival Kit
Quality of Light   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Lightmeters   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
White Balance & WhiBal   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
X-Rite   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
The Origin of Photography    
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner    
Leica OSX folder icons    
Leica Photographers:    
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier  
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
The Story Behind That Picture:   Learn with Thorsten Overgaard:
More than 200 articles by Thorsten Overgaard   Leica M9 Masterclass (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard Workshop Schedule   Leica M10 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica M240 Masterclass (video course)
Leica Forums and Blogs:   Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Leica Q2 Masterclass (video course)
Jono Slack   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog    
I-Shot-It photo competition   Thorsten von Overgaard Free Online Masterclass
Connect with Thorsten Overgaard:   Thorsten von Overgaard Academy Online
Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram   Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses
Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List   Overgaard One-on-One Training
Thorsten Overgaard on Twitter   Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing
Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook   Commisioning Thorsten Overgaard Worldwide
The Von Overgaard Gallery Store:   Von Overgaard Ventilated lens shades:
Ventilated Shades "Always Wear a Camera"   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
Camera Straps "Always Wear a Camera"   Ventilated Shade E46 for old Leica 35mm/1.4 lens
The Von M Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
The Von L Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
The Von Mini Messenger Walkabout Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
The Von 24hr Jetsetter Travel Bag   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Desk Blotters 'Always Wear a Camera"   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Signed Prints   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Computer Shade for MacBook Pro   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
  Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
    Ventilated Shade E60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated Shade for Leica Q and Leica Q2


As always, feel free to e-mail me at with suggestions, ideas and questions.













Birgit Krippner


"Private View" in Black Barn Gallery, Hawkes Bay, Napier, New Zealand (April 10, 2013)

"Diverse" by Birgit Krippner at
Photographers' Gallery
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.
Opening reception w/Birgit Krippner May 14 - 2011

"Diverse" by Birgit Krippner Monochrom-Berlin, Ackerstr. 23
February 25 - April 27, 2011

Leica Store Paris
Opens September 1, 2010

Street Romance
New Zealand July 10-31, 2010


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

You can follow him at his television channel and his on-line classroom at

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