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The Story Behind That Picture II
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The story behind that picture II

By: Thorsten Overgaard

I try to carry a camera, or at least having one close by, most of the time. When I take a drive to pick up something, I know I’m a jerk if I placed my equipment in the back so I won’t be able to reach for a camera in case a picture comes up. So mostly make sure to have a camera in the seat next to me.

Though there are also times where I deliberately decide not to have a camera. To just waste whatever great frame comes by. The day off, you know.

The Leica Digilux 2 camera is great to have over the shoulder og in the car or in the wife’s bag, because it’s light and doesn’t mind to beaten up. So often that’s the one I have by my side as the in-any-case-camera.

Sometimes I take my old Leica M4 for a walk, or an R with a 400mm lens. Whatever – just like you sometime decide to wear some knitwear or a suit that is not the practical and ordinary. But just to give you a kick.

Lately, I’ve been babysitting a very rare Leica 35-70mm f/2.8 Vario-Elmarit-R ASPH lens. Only 200 of them was ever made, and the one I got here is in mint condition. So that’s quite a responsibility trying to make it stay that way. If you’ve seen the lens shade of my trusty 80mm Summilux-R lens … it looks like I’ve been burying corpses in Nevada with it.

So I’ve had this little lens with me for some days, in the car and over the shoulder. And it’s not a camera and lens you stove under the car seat or throw in the back of the car, because then chances that it’s there when you come back … well, it’s just unlikely that anybody with a taste for that stuff wouldn’t notice such a big chunk of red-labeled gear.

Hence I’ve had to bring the camera into the bank when I went there, to the optician when I went there, and to the kindergarten when I came with Robin or came to pick her up. The kindergarten – though you are not allowed to – love that I take pictures of the kids and give back print to the parents. So they don’t mind, and I get to test my toys on fast moving subjects.

This Friday I went with Oliver and Caroline to pick up Robin, and I was just shooting three frames of them together.

I didn’t like the shots that well myself, till yesterday evening where I had to help some friends do a flier for a seminar on raising happy and productive children. So I was scrolling fast through the archive to find some happy children photos for this, and they both said “hey” when they saw this one.

I was reluctant to say the least, but I also wanted to get over with it. So we chose that one. And one of them was looking at the print again and again after this, and he was just blown away by that picture.

Kept saying "wow!"

I kind of get the picture. But I just didn’t before, perhaps because I was aiming to get something different, which I didn’t get. So it had no value. Just another B-shot.

So that’s the story. It’s actually a nice photo and I’m considering having somebody other than myself look through my archive and rate photos.

Who know what they might see?


    September 2008




Photo of Robin, Caroline and Oliver: Leica R8/DMR with 35-70mm Leica Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8 @ f/4.0, 200 ISO.

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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten Overgaard is a Danish feature writer and photographer. He currently photographs for WireImage, Getty Images, Polfoto and Associated Press.

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