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Shadowland by © Thorsten Overgaard


The Story Behind That Picture: "Shadowland"

By: Thorsten Overgaard


Photographs are everywhere. Only if you have a camera you can tell about them

"Always wear a camera" is my motto. And so one day in March when we parked the car in Copenhagen and went a few meters up the street to visit fashion designer Jean Phillip in his studio.

If someone would ask me why I take my camera over the shoulder when I leave the car for a brief moment, I might say that I don't want to leave it in the cupholder between the front seats.

But the truth is more that I always wear a camera. That's how I get photos.

This day was no exception. While waiting for Jean Phillipe outside on the street I noticed a old fashioned window to a dress designer in the ground floor. The light was quite soft and sparkling, and perhaps more to test the new Leica M Type 240 cameras abilities to capture the light and colors, I played with framing it.

I quite liked the flowers in the window on the first floor, so I decided for the above composition. As I took the first photo I noticed that people walked in and out of the sunshine. This scenery has much more contrast for a camera sensor than the human eye. Out eyes easily see details in shadows and hightlight at the same time.

A camera has a much higher contrast in seeing, and that's how the two walking girls become a good photo.

As I noticed the rhythm of people walking by, in and out of the shadow, I did somewhat 20 photos. You can't really predict what will be in the image when you photograph because people move. You can only take a chance when someone is coming by and then shoot one, two or three images of them. Hoping that one of the photos will have a nice rhythm to it.

With rhytm I mean the distance between the elements, the legs and arms' position. Just like a series of windows in a building make up a rhythm, or a parking lot seen from above wwith hundreds of cars parked, each element in an image may be part of a rhythm.

The above photo was one of the first ones I did, and as you can't judge a photo properly on the cameras display, I knew something good could come out of it, and that's why I continued so as to increase the chance that something would happen within the frame that would look pleasing.

Technically the image is a black & white made from the cameras DNG (raw) color file, converted to black and white in Lightroom 3.6.


ahion genius Jean Phillip in his studio
Fahion genius Jean Phillip in his studio
, creating a new suit for me. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4


Update: Shadowland awarded
2nd prize in the Art Gemini Prize 2014

  TriSpace London

On display at TriSpace Gallery
on October 23 - November 1, 2014

Unit N001, The Biscuit Factory,
Tower Bridge Business Complex,
100 Clement's Road,
London SE16 4DG

My photograph "Shadowland" was shortlisted amongst 720 international works for the Art Gemini Prize 2014, the London International Cultural Award and won 2nd prize on October 23, 2014.

The judges Phil Shaw, Sajid Rizvi, Viv Lawes and Zoe Whishaw selected the winners and announced them on the private view of the exhibition on 23 October 2014 in London. Some of the exhibited works will be on expo at the Singapore Art Fair November 27-30, 2014.


Update 2017:


Winning the APA Award 2017

My picture "Shadowland" won the category Photojournalism in the prestigious international competition by American Photographic Artists.

My picture "Shadowland" won the category Photojournalism in the prestigious international competition by American Photographic Artists.




Thorsten Overgaard, June 3, 2013
Updated September 25, 2017



Photo above: Larsbjørnsstræde in Copenhagen, Denmark, March 23, 2013. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95. © 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.
"Shadowland", 160 x 110 cm, £4,000.
C-print on aluboard, editioon x/5.

Won 2nd prize in the Art Gemini Prize 2014, the London International Cultural Award. It is on expo with the other shortlisted photographs and paintings at TriSpace Gallery October 23 - Nov 1, 2014.


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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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