Your browser does not support script The Story Behind That Picture 249 - The Art of Repetition - With a Leica through Japan
Thorsten von Overgaard's Photography Website
  Get Newsletter & Free eBook  

 
 
The Story Behind That Picture - 249
SIGN IN to Overgaard Academy on-line classes Subscribe for full access. It's free.           thorstenovergaard on Instagram Thosten von Overgaard on Facebook Thorsten von Overgaard on Twitter Thorsten von Overgaard on LinkedIn Thorsten von Overgaard on Flickr Thorsten Overgaard on YouTube Thorsten Overgaard video on Vimeo Thorsten von Overgaard on Leica Fotopark Thorsten von Overgaard on 500px  
leica.overgaard.dk


The Story Behind That Picture:
"The Art of the Repetition"

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

 

The Art of Repetition

By: Thorsten Overgaard. June 19, 2024.

There is a certain beauty in repeating design, and there is a calm life lesson to learn from it.

Traveling through Japan for a couple of weeks to teach a workshop in Kyoto and doing portraits around Japan for a magazine, one thing hit me again and again: The art of repetition.

How so?

The Okura Tokyo hotel, about which someone left a review that it was "simple and not impressive", grew on me by the hour for their ability to repeat an unchanged pattern forever: The elevator doors of brass engraved with a repeating pattern that is also on the key card, the grand windows repeated throughout the length of the building, the lamps repeated again and again across large spaces, and chairs are lined up to perfection.

While it looks harmless and dull, it in fact enables high-speed production. Besides a subtle aesthetics, similar to the one of Danish architect Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971), it provides a framework for activity to happen without having to constantly navigate.

 

The Okura Tokyo hotel. Leica M11-P with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4.
The Okura Tokyo hotel. Leica M11-P with Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4.

 

How to work

 
  Buy "The Photographer's Workflow Masterclass" with special discount.
   

I recently launched "The Photographer's Workflow Masterclass," which is my monster class on everything related to editing, sharing, and safeguarding photographs. The ideal is not to tell you how complicated and various the possibilities are, but to lead to understanding and simplicity.

There is one way to make something really simple, and that is to understand it. Then repeat it again and again. As such, workflow is the art of repetition.

Someone gets up in the morning and opens their coffee bar, and then they make one cup of coffee after the other until the day ends and they close the shop. Then the next day it repeats. As you repeat and repeat, you hire more help, and you may go from 200 cups a day to 800, and then you open one more similar store, and it repeats. That is how you make Starbucks.

Similarly, Elton John does a new album every year, the author Ken Follett writes a book every year, and when he strikes a particularly popular subject as his "Pillars of the Earth" (1987), he writes five of them (so far; I just reread all 5,000 pages in the series).

The art of repetition.

Not everybody can do it. They may feel something entirely new and different has to happen, and often because they lack the confidence that what they do will become successful if continued without change.



Osaka, Japan. Leica M11-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.
Osaka, Japan. Leica M11-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

How to stay inspired

A guy outside a hotel recognized me, and red in the face admitted he had left his Leica in his room. We talked, and the following days, whenever our tracks crossed, he did in fact wear his camera. As it is not uncommon, he had felt a lack of inspiration, and what you do when that happens is that you wait for inspiration to strike.

Long story short. The way to do it is repetition. You Always Wear A Camera, day after day, and whenever you see something that looks like a picture, you take it. In the evening, you download the photos and edit the good ones, and then you keep doing that again and again, day after day, year in and year out.

This is the art of repetition, it's like brushing your teeth. Nothing to it, you just do the same and the same again, and it works. You get clean teeth, and as for photography, you build an archive of final photos that can be used for something.

This cannot be done if you have to wait for inspiration, a signal from a divine higher power, figure out how to edit the photos, wonder where to store them, fight with Adobe Cloud, and all that.

You have to establish a routine that enables the art of repetition. Things have to be organized and simplified, and the way to do that is to understand how things work so you can omit the fluff and the unnecessary and just have the necessary - so as to allow the art of repetition to occur. This provides the freedom to layer creativity and newness on top.

Inspiration is a fluffy thing, but where does it come from? It comes from you!

 

Layla in Kyoto. Leica M11-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.
Layla in Kyoto. Leica M11-P with Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4.

 

It can be beautiful, it usually is

The repetition in a choreographed ballet, a 30-year marriage, a car that always works, a camera that does what you expect it to.

Another hotel, the Gora Kadan in Hakone, is another example of Japanese simplicity and zen. With just 41 rooms ranging from $3,000 a night, it's a view for the few. A long walkway of repeated French doors and pillars for no particular reason other than the experience of space and light.

I met Mr. Shinichi, who had been working there for 23 years, which is another example of continuity. He was born in Tokyo but now lives with his wife and two children nearby Hakone and with little or no desire to return to Tokyo or anywhere else. "This place is good for me, I feel," he said as he referred to his home and his workplace. He takes photos with a pre-war Contax, replicating Bosnian movie scenes (Emir Kusturica), and then he runs a coffee bar in his house as well.

 

Mr. Shinichi Yamamoto has been working for 23 years at Gora Kadan Hotel in Hakone, Japan. A quiet resort where rooms range from $3,000 a night and everything seems to have a reason.
Mr. Shinichi Yamamoto has been working for 23 years at Gora Kadan Hotel in Hakone, Japan. A quiet resort where rooms range from $3,000 a night and everything seems to have a reason.

 

"When in doubt, do the usual"

Doing something well, and then keep doing it, and then do more of it, is a power in itself. We were exceptionally lucky to get a table at the original Nobu restaurant in Hakone where we were seated in front of the chef. Again, a space of straight lines, orderly organized flow of a back room where they prepare, then make it ready for the chef, who cooks one piece at a time. Like a conveyor belt from nature to kitchen to chef to our plate.

I noticed that, cutting a round daikon into four pieces, the chef would hold the daikon with his left hand, the knife in the right, and just before he made a cut, he paused for a second to measure that the knife would in fact cut where he planned it to, and then he would cut precisely as planned.

The chef does this every day, and many times. But the precision to make it the exact same is impressive.

In a way it is simple because if you feel you don't know if you are doing the right thing in life, or if people appreciate what you do ... "When in doubt, do the usual."

If you are having a bad day, it's likely not the best day to figure out a better way to do things. Inspiration, creativity, new inventions, and all that strike when you are doing the usual, when the car works, everything goes as planned - that is when you have time and energy to see new possibilities.

 


Nobu.

 

Continuation is power

I don't have a bright vision for every photo I take, and I don't have a bright vision for every chapter I write. I just keep doing it, and the reward is that when I look at what I did six months ago, or eight years ago, it seems really exciting. Much more than it did at the time where it mostly felt like another day in the office.

 

More to come

Bon voyage with it all. I hope this was helpful for you. Sign up for the newsletter to stay in the know. As always, feel free to email me with suggestions, questions, and ideas. And hope to see you in a workshop one day soon.

 

 

 

         
  The Camera Excellence Video Class by photographer Thorsten Overgaard  
         
 

 

"Photography is simple"

Thorsten Overgaard is one of the best to explain in simple terms how cameras works, and how to get excellent results.

Be competent. Buy and study this easy-to-use video class that explains how to get focus right, what sharpness is, how to get the exposure and the colors right, and more ...

"Easy to apply, photography finally told so everyone can become an expert user"

Normal price $498.00

Explained by Thorsten Overgaard by using Leica Q2, Leica SL2, Leica M11, Leica M10 Monochrom, 35mm film cameras, Leica Digilux 2 and more.

 

 

Thorsten Overgaard's
"Camera Excellence Class"

For Computer, iPad, Apple TV and smartphone.
Normal price $498.00

Only $198.00

Add to Cart

Save $300.00

USE CODE: "COXY66" ON CHECKOUT

Brand new. Order now. Instant Delivery.
100% satisfaction or money back.
More info

Item #1847-0323
Released April 2023


 
         



Job #2238-0524

 

 

 

Thorsten von Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M digital camera reviews:   Leica L digital cameras:
Leica M11   Leica SL
Leica M11-P   Leica SL2
Leica M11 Monochrom   Leica SL2-S
Leica M10   Panasonic Lumix S5 II X
Leica M10-P   Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica M10-R   Leica SL3
Leica M10-D   Leica TL2
Leica M10 Monochrom   Leica CL
Leica M9 and Leica M-E   Leica L-Mount lenses
Leica M9-P    
Leica M9 Monochrom   Leica R digital cameras:
Leica M240   Leica R8/R9/DMR
Leica M246 Monochrom    
Leica MD-262 and Leica M60   Small Leica mirrorless digital cameras:
    Leica Q3
    Leica Q2 / Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica M film cameras:   Leica Q
Leica M6   Leica V-Lux
Leica M4   Leica C-Lux
    Leica D-Lux
    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 35mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica R3 electronic
Leica 50mm ELCAN f/2.0   Leicaflex SL / SLmot
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95 FLE   Leica compact film cameras:
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0   Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.2   Leica CM 35mm film camera
7artisans 50mm f/1.1   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 50mm Elmar-M f/2.8 collapsible   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25   Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
7artisans 75mm f/1.25   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.5   Leica 250mm Telyt-R f/4.0
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2    
    Leica S digital medium format:
Leitz Cine lenses:   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica Cine lenses from Leitz Cine Wetzlar   Leica S2
    Leica S
     
History and overview:   Sony mirrorless digital cameras:
Leica History and Heritage   Sony A7
Famous Leica Usears   Fujifilm mirorrless digital cameras:
Leica Definitions   Fujifilm X-Pro 2
Leica Lens Compendium    
Leica Camera Compendium   "Magic of Light" 4K Television Channel
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   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
What is Copyright? Advice for Photogarphers   Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Synchronizing Large Photo Archive with iPhone   Lightroom Brushes by Overgaard
Quality of Light   Capture One Survival Kit
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   "The Moment of Emotional Impact in Photography"
Film in Digital Age   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Composition in Photography" eBook
All You Need is Love   "The Portrait Book" eBook
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "A Little Book on Photography" eBook
X-Rite   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
The Origin of Photography   "Why do I Photograph?"
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "The Artist's Guide to the Galaxy" eBook
    "The Leica M11 Know-All eBook"
    "The Leica Q Know-All eBook"
    "The Leica Q2 Know-All eBook"
    "The Leica Q3 Know-All eBook"
    "The Leica M240 Know-All eBook"
    "The Leica SL3 Know-All eBook"
    The Digital Photographers Extension Course
    The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
     
Leica Photographers:    
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Riccis Valladares
Rodney Smith   Christoåpher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
Douglas Herr   Milan Swolf
Vivian Maier   Jan Grarup
Morten Albek    
Byron Prukston   Richard Avedon
     
The Story Behind That Picture:   Learn with Thorsten Overgaard:
More than 250 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 M11 Masterclass (video course)
Leica M11 / M240 / M10 User Forum on Facebook   Leica Q Masterclass (video course)
Jono Slack   Leica Q2 Masterclass (video course)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Leica Q3 Masterclass (video course)
Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog   Leica SL2 Masterclass (video course)
    Leica SL3 Masterclass (video course)
Connect with Thorsten Overgaard:   Leica TL2 Quick Start (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard on Instagram   Camera Excellence (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard on Threads   A Fly on the Wall (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard on YouTube   Mastering the Noctilux (video course)
Join the Thorsten Overgaard Mailing List   The Leica 50mm Lens Class (video course)
Thorsten Overgaard on Facebook   Street Photography Masterclass (video course)
    Adobe Photoshop Editing Masterclass
    The Photoraphers Workflow Masterclass
    Adobe Lightroom Survival Kit
    Capture One Survival Kit
    Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses
    Overgaard One-on-One Training
    Thorsten Overgaard Archive Licencing
    Commision Thorsten Overgaard
 
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 Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade for Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH
The Von Mini Messenger Walkabout Camera Bag   Ventilated Shade E43 for older 50mm Summilux
Desk Blotters 'Always Wear A Camera"   Ventilated Shade for 35mm Summicron-M ASPH
Sterling Silver Leica Necklace   Ventilated Shade for older 35mm/f2 lenses
Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade E39 for 50mm Summicron lenses
Signed Thorsten Overgaard Gallery Prints   Ventilated Shade for Leica 28mm Summilux
Video Masterclasses   Ventilated Shade for current 28mm Elmarit-M
Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade E49 for 75mm Summicron
    ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
    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, Leica Q2 and Leica Q3
 

Above: "With a Leica in Japan: The Art of Repetition".



Thorsten Overgaard by Werner-Zettnig.

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

You can follow Thorsten Overgaard at his television channel magicoflight.tv.

Feel free to email to thorsten@overgaard.dk for questions, advice and ideas.

 

 

 

 




Also visit:

Overgaard Photography Workshops
Books by Thorsten Overgaard
Street Photography Masterclass Video
Adobe Photoshop Editing Masterclass
Adobe Lightroom Survival Kit
Lightroom Presets by Overgaard
Lightroom Brushes by Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit

Capture One Styles by Overgaard
Signed Original Prints by Overgaard

Von Overgaard Gallery Store
Ventilated Shades by Overgaaard
Leather Camera Straps
Camea Bags
Leather Writing Pads
Sterling Silver Camera Necklace

Leica Definitions
Leica History
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica 21mm Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon 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 35mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0

Leica 40mm Summicron-C f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm Summicron-SL f/2.0
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
ELCAN 50mm f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
7artisans 50mm f/1.1
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
Leica 75mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/1.25
7artisans 75mm f/1.25
Leica 80mm Summilux-R f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summilux-M f/1.5
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz Cine lenses
Leica L lenses

Leica M6

Leica M11-P
Leica M11
Leica M11 Monochrom
Leica M10
Leica M10-P

Leica M10-R
Leica M10-D
Leica M10 Monochrom
Leica M9, M9-P and Leica ME
Leica M9 Monochrom
Leica M 240
Leica M 240 for video
Leica M 262
Leica M-D 262

Leica M 246 Monochrom

Leica SL
Leica SL2
Leica SL2-S

Lecia SL3
Panasonic Lumix S1R
Leica R9 dSLR
Leica / Kodak/ Imacon digital back
Leica Q
Leica Q2
Leica Q2 Monochrom
Leica Q3
Leica CL
Leica TL2
Leica Sofort
Leica S medium format
Leica X
Leica D-Lux

Leica C-Lux

Leica V-Lux

Leica Digilux

Leica Digilux 1

Leica Digilux 2
Leica Digilux Zoom

Leica Digilux 4.3

Leica Digilux 3

Light metering
White Balance for More Beauty
Color Meters

Screen Calibration
Which computer to get
Sync'ing photo archive to iPhone
The Story Behind That Picture
"On The Road With von Overgaard"

Von Overgaard Masterclasses:
M11 / M10 / M9 / M240 / Q / Q2 / Q3 / SL2 / SL3 /TL2 /

Overgaard Photo Workshops

Buy eBooks by
Thorsten Overgaard
"A Little Book on Photography" "A Little Book on Photography"
Add to Cart

Add to Cart

"The Leica Q Know-All eBook"
Add to Cart Add to Cart
"Finding the Magic of Light" "Composition in Photography - The Photographer as Storyteller"
Add to Cart Add to Cart
"The Freedom of Photographic Expression" "The Moment of Emptional Impact"
Add to Cart

Add to Cart


The Portrait Book
How to Make People Beautifu
Add to Cart

Preorder: The Noctilux Masterclass
Add to Cart
Extension Courses
The New Photography Extension Course" "New Inspiration Extension Course"
Add to Cart Add to Cart

Lightroom
Survival Kit 11


Workflow
Masterclass

Add to Cart

Add to Cart

Video Classes

eBook
+Video

This is Street Photography

Street Photo
Masterclass

Add to Cart

Add to Cart


Leica Q2
Masterclass

"Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Leica Q
Masterclass

Add to Cart

Add to Cart
"Leica TL2 Quick-Start Video Course"
Leica TL2
Quick-Start
Video Course
"Leica Q Video Masterclass"
Preorder:
Leica M9
Masterclass
Add to Cart Add to Cart
"Leica M10 Video Masterclass" "Leica M 240 Video Masterclass"
Add to Cart Add to Cart
Lightroom Presets
Lightroom Presets Leica M10 Lightroom Presets Leica M9
Add to Cart Add to Cart
Lightroom Presets Leica TL2 Lightroom Presets Leica Q
Add to Cart Add to Cart
Lightroom Dutch Painters Presets by Thorsten Overgaard Leica Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
Add to Cart Add to Cart
"Hollywood Film Presets"
Add to Cart
Hemingway Presets for Lightroom by Thorsten Overgaard
Add to Cart

201 Lightroom Presets
+ 4 Export Presets
Add to Cart
Capture One Styles:
"Capture One Pro Survival Kit"
Capture One
Survival Kit 22
Leica Styles for Capture One by Thorsten Overgaard
Leica Styles for
Capture One
Add to Cart

17 Capture One Styles
Add to Cart



· Copyright 1996-2024 · Thorsten von Overgaard


 

© 1996 - 2024 Thorsten Overgaard. All rights reserved.

 

Web Analytics