Perth November 2012 (12 images)

Thorsten Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for his writings about photography and as an educator. He has photographed celebrities, and statesmen such as Hans Blix, Bill Clinton and the Danish Royal Family. He has produced images for Getty Images, WireImage, LIFE and Associated Press. His (almost exclusive) weapon of choice is his Leica M9.

One of Thorsten’s claims to fame is his 18 chapter review of the Leica M9 on his website, . A large part of his year is taken up with travelling the world and teaching, or more appropriately, inspiring people in rangefinder photography. Having read all of his M9 review and most of his web site, I decided that I would like to attend one of his workshops.

overgaard 1
… “Do you know Thorsten?”

And so, one fine day in November, I find myself in a room with 14 or so people to meet with the man we have only known through his writings and photography on his website. Most of us are quite familiar with photography in some form or another but despite this, we come to meet and learn first hand from Thorsten. As with any gathering of enthusiasts, we bring out our toys; 1, 2, 3, 5, 10… up to 20 Leica Ms appear in the room, including those from the neighbouring Camera Electronic Store, .

overgaard 2
… “OMG!!! Where was I sitting????”

We talk photography and discuss fundamentals. After lunch we hit the unsuspecting streets as a group looking for light, finding light, discussing light, etc.

overgaard 3
… “Thorsten talking about light”

overgaard 4
… “Thorsten in action”

overgaard 5
… “When Thorsten speaks, we listen”

After a while, we go to work practicing what we’ve discussed. We break up into smaller groups and take turns photographing and being photographed.

overgaard 6
… “Portrait of a camera salesman par excellence”

overgaard 7
… “A rare Leica M9P Hermes Edition, in the wild”

overgaard 8
… “Thorsten even teaches us how to pose for the camera”

After a while, it is time to bring out the professional. Thorsten often travels with his friend/muse Joy Villa, . Joy is a singer, actress and model who brings along her own M9 as well. We take over one of Perth’s streets and we are in another world.

overgaard 9
… “We get plenty of time to talk to Thorsten”

overgaard 10
… “Joy goes into model mode”

overgaard 11
… “Joy loves the camera”

We end our day by returning to the studio to discuss and practice our Lightroom workflow.

overggard 12
… “Editing”

6pm comes around so quickly. Our “Leica Day” workshop ends. Many helpful tips and ideas learnt. This was the first time I had attended any form of photography worshop/class and it is was very enjoyable. Nothing like getting help and encouragement from a pro.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

A Leica Day with Thorsten Overgaard


28 thoughts on “A Leica Day with Thorsten Overgaard

    • Thanks for the comments. It was a fun and educational workshop. The M9 was a big jump for me and took a few years to acquire but I’m glad I did.

      You have some great photos on your site. Thanks for sharing.

    • In fact there are 2 versions of the Hermes M9P, with a total of 300 Edition Hermès digital rangefinders and, 100 “very special” Edition Hermès – Sèrie Limitèe Jean-Louis Dumas models. As I understand it, his is the Jean-Louis Dumas version.

      Sigh…. at least I’ve seen one now.

      Thanks very much for your comments and visit.

  1. glad to see you had a reasonable turnout for your photo shoot day! i normally have street shooting sessions in vancouver, bc but the last few times, the weather has dictated what we do or dont do! on the day, it rained incessantly….result, nobody turned up for the session…..i nevertheless went ahead and took some superb, moody shots in the rain…..!

    • We were all pretty amazed when he brought it out of the bag and placed it on the table. And then he used it which was the icing on the cake. Often these things are bought, kept and never used.

  2. I’m so glad to hear it was a great day. I live in Perth and had just returned from a holiday in Singapore, where I went to every Leica stockist to dream. I had all my pricings, taking into account exchange rates and tax breaks but felt I couldn’t quite afford to buy an M9. Just by chance, I decided to drop by Camera Electronic on the day of your photoshoot with Thorsten. The Leica display was completely empty. I thought I’d made a big mistake not to buy the camera overseas. I wanted an M9 before they stopped selling them. Then Saul told me about the workshop next door and the great sale prices they had whilst Thorsten was there. With the special discounts I was able to get an M9P! Alas, no money left to join you guys shooting. I did see you all taking pictures of Joy. Next time I’ll come. Thanks for posting your story.

    • Yes, Camera Electronic emptied out their display for our benefit and the specials were very very good. Unfortunately, I had all the lenses I wanted. You really do need a good few months to become accustomed to the capabilities of a particular lens.

      A shame you couldn’t join us. As a group we would have been unmissable, particularly later when we took over the entire road to photograph Joy. I’m sure Thorsten and Joy will return to Perth again. Otherwise, you could meet up with them at one of their other locations down the track.

      Many thanks for your comment.

  3. kuujinbo says:

    Just received a M-E about 10 days ago and definitely agree – Thorsten’s site is the most comprehensive on the Internet and a wealth of information! 🙂

    Great photos!

    • Congratulations, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy using the M-E. Yes, I’ve read Thorsten’s review in its entirety and found it very useful. And he’s still updating and adding to it.

  4. Jim Burnett says:

    Thorsten’s website is fantastic and very informative. Sadly, I paid about 700.00 for his online course and never received the materials….despite over a dozen emails. I think he is a genius but I wont get the opportunity to learn from him.

  5. Thank you for sharing about Thorsten Overgaard. I enjoyed reading. I wish I was there to lean how to pose in front of the camera! I think you enjoyed the workshop. No need to ask!

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