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The Overgaard Photo Seminar
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Digital photography courses, seminars, on-line courses and one-on-one tutoring
Thorsten by Matthias Frei

My goal is to instill enthusiasm in any photographer and raise his or her skill level, self-confidence and production volume. And I do.

By: Thorsten Overgaard


The first part of the seminar is one evening and takes off in the fact that "all photography has to do with light," which will turn out to be a large enough truth to keep us occupied for a while – because light exist in different colors, strengths and comes from many sources.


The seminar will make it easy to see which parts in photography are essential , and which are cool, but not even remotely essential. Also, which camera should you choose - and how do you gain enough control over a camera to produce the pictures, you learn on this seminar, that you can in fact take?

A three-day photo seminar

Thorsten explaining about small cameras at the seminar in Leica Gallery Tokyo in January 2011. Photo by Pieter Franken.

DAY 1 - 18.00 - 23.00: We start the first day at 18.00 and continue to around 23.00. The first evening is in our seminar location where we go over camera theory, photography history, the rather important basics to understand the essence of photography, and we usually have a lot of equipment and lenses floating around on the table.

Keywords DAY 1: Questions and answers, lots of equipment, analyzing your career as a photographer, understanding cameras, ISO, aperture, white balance, camera history, lenses, light reflections, types of light, light temperature, natural photography, available light, light metering, light meters, lens design, shutter design ... and more.

One wouldn't be able to imagine all the equipment a handful of photographers can bring together... Photo by Pieter Franken.

DAY 2 - 10.00 - 18.00: We go out as a group the next day (usually 6-9 persons). We cover small places, large squares, people in the street, portrait photography, use of lightmeters and available light with reflectors, how to get the white balance right, how to go about unnoticed ... and we stop for coffee, lunch, more coffee, and then dinner for those who can join.

Keywords DAY 2: Questions and answers, hands-on, networking, equipment, White Balancing, light meters, reflectors, portrait photography, strangers and people, street photography, architecture, finding the right light, aesthetics, focusing, timing ... and lots of coffee.

Michael, Hans, Friedl and Oskar at work in the streets of Palermo. We walk around and work as a group.

On location. Student photo by Ulli Seeberg from the London Seminar in September 2010 (Leica M9 and new 35/1.4)

  "Simple the best - I learnt a lot from you at the Photo Seminar. It was great to spend a lot of time with you and your experience. I am still deep impressed and it were very memorable days for me. I highly recommend anyone Thorsten's photo seminars.
Now it is time for my homework"
  - T.S., Zürich  

On location in Berlin, February 2011. Photo by Gerhard Gruber.

DAY 3 - 10.00 - 18.00: We meet in the morning and start with workflow theory. How do you set up computers, harddrives, backup, color management, systems to archive and find images, and then we edit the photos from the day before in Lighrroom or Aperture.
We select the best and do reviews as a group, and after lunch we do portrait photography and advanced theory (the Overgaard Advanced Workshop takes off where we leave here; in the advanced theory).

Keywords DAY 3: Reflectors, types of light, looking for the right light, portrait photography, message, rhythm in images, what not to photograph, Lightroom editing, DAM/Digital Asset Management, backup, workflow, job numbers, photo archive, keywords.

Sharron Franks
Student photo by Sharron Franks of two other students on the Overgaard Photo Seminar in London, September 2011. Leica M9 with 35mm Summarit-M f/2.5. See the gallery of student photos here.


  "Thank you again for the course. It was a great few days when I learnt a huge amount. I like your easy style. I’m now hoping to have enough money for a Leica M11"  
  - R.S., London  


Swiss photographer Matthias Frei editing in London.

  "Thanks so much for an inspiring weekend. I learned a lot, and it was a great group of people to spend the weekend with. I hope to see you again soon. "  
  - D.G., New York  

The seminars tend to be new networks as we share the same passion in photography, and the participants usually have quite a lot more in common than just photography.

Coffee Break in Hong Kong, January 2011.

  "Thanks so much for all your instruction this past weekend. I really enjoyed meeting you and spending time understanding more of how you view things. I know there is a lot more to learn and hope we meet again."  
  - R.Y., Texas  

Matthias, Thomas and Chrostoph in Zürich, June 2011

  Doing practical assignment during the evening photo seminar in Fitzroy Street, London
  Seminar drilling on the first evening of the seminar at Fitzroy Street in London
  Fotoseminar i København
  Theory on first evening in Copenhagen

Second evening of the seminar with theory and assignment critique, March 2010

Seminar in Berlin, February 2010


Home assignment work in Aurba, December 2009

London, December 2009


What to bring: Your own camera and computer:
In reality, you can do this seminar without your own camera, but do you own one or more cameras, then bring them, because we often stumble into things on specific cameras, that can be solved at once. On top of that, there's plenty of gear to look at, so as to get an idea of what we're talking about.
And in fact, don't go buy a new camera for the seminar if you're in doubt. After the seminar you will know a lot more about which camera suits you.
The majority of attendees tot he seminars tend to be Leica shooters, and those who aren't, tend to become. Then you're warned!

I generally don't focus on technology or offer Nirvana for gearheads. But I recognize any sort of photography as an art form and a way to communicate on an aesthetic level without words. Which is an ability we all have and which can be improved from no matter what level you are at.

And that is the only business plan I have: I can make you a better photographer by insatlling enthusiasm and raise skill level, self-confidence and production volume.

Since I started delivering photo seminars some years ago I have expanded the ways to share what I know. And here is an overview.

Duration: Friday from 18.00 to Sunday 18.00.

Language: English.

Price: 2,500$

Equipment needed: Camera and a portable computer.

Signing up: Send an e-mail to for questions, space, dates and reservation.

Participants: Max 8 persons.

Locations: See the seminar calender.

Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo in October 2011, Hong Kong in November 2011, Berlin in December 2011, London in March 2011 Dubai and Cape Town in February-March 2012, Barcelona in May 2012.

Looking for more Advanced Photo Workshops - click here!

Polaroid courtesy of Abercombie & Fitch

  "It has been truly enlightening and a great joy for me to share those seminar days with you all! Many beautiful memories remain in the portait and especially the street photography departement ... and not last those personal talks we had about different styles of photography and Leica."  
  - M.F., Austria  

Student photo by Andy Bond from the London Seminar in September 2010

(If you use iPad you may click here to visit the original video on Vimeo)
"Picture Perfect" video about Danish feature writer and photographer Thorsten Overgaard, by Emma Brumpton for Channel Four. The video was done on The Faroe Islands in 2008 during a week of photographing climate changes, when Al Gore visited the islands.



"Photography has become dear to my heart again. Hope we have still some time to spend together."

  - J., Spain  


Next step: Read more about the "Overgaard ADVANCED Photography Workshop" which is the advanced seminar after the"Overgaard Photo Seminar" here. You can also read about the Palermo Advanced Workshop in this "The Story Beind the Picture."







As always, feel free to e-mail questions or comments to me at

- Thorsten Overgaard





Student photo of Thorsten in London, September 2011, by Swiss photographer Matthias Frei

The Overgaard Photo Seminar is for you who want to photograph better and more, but lack a gentle push and some inspiration to move in the right direction.

Advanced Photo Workshops

Also visit:
"Photographer For Sale"
Leica Definitions
Leica Lens Compendium
Leica Camera Compendium
Leica Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica Digilux 2
Leica M9 digital rangefinder

Leica S2 medium format dSLR

Also visit my Facebook group "Thorsten Overgaard European School of Photography" where there is more images from seminars and one-on-one training.


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 for
advice, ideas or improvements.






Pieter and Warren discussing cameras in Tokyo, January 2011



Photo seminars Berlin Copenhagen and Hong Kong






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