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The Story Behind That Picture - 95
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The Story Behind That Picture:
"Standing on My Own Two Feet"

By: Thorsten Overgaard


When in Australia a couple of weeks ago I simplified my lens lineup back to what I originally had.

There are so many nice lenses, but basically all you need is one, and my main one is a 50mm. Though some times you may need more lenses, and in my case I have had the 21mm as the widest lens and a 90mm as the tele alternative.

But over the years I have collected a few more, and also more than I used. It adds weight to traveling, but also to the way you think visually.

With the words from lens designer Peter Karbe in the back of my mind that the 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4 doesn't have distortion, and can be used even for a close-up portrait, I threw all the lenses I didn't use into Camera Electronics in Perth, Australia.

In return they shipped me the 21mm Summilux-M APSH f/1.4 that arrived at my favorite coffee place for breakfast at 9:10 AM the next day.

The photo of the girl

As part of a one-on-one workshop in Sydney we took a bus to the famous Bondi Beach and walked about for a couple of hours.

On our way back to get a taxi home, I came upon a young girl sipping a fruit smoothie with her parents. I knelt down to take her photo from her height, with straight lines in the horizon.

She kept eyeing me in character and the parents kept talking, so I took a few more. And the above is the one I liked the best of all them. I didn't notice till later that she was standing on her parents hands.

A combination of simplifying my lens lineup, as well as having the most spectacular 21mm lens ever made (because it is f/1.4 and allow you to work in Depth Of Field (DOF, making the background blurry), inspired me and still does.

The Family in Australia

Often when someone asks for your e-mail, they never mail to you. This is an experince I share with many photographers. If you want someone to get a picture you took of them, you have to get their e-mail. But the family actually mailed me some months later and got first a small copy of the image but later asked for a very large print.

The image has also been on Expo in Black Box Gallery in Portland in Octber-November 2014 and now exist as both large aluboard print and normal sized print on C-print. Both limited, signed editions. E-mail for further info.


Thorsten Overgaard, April 27, 2013
Edited January 28, 2015



Photo above: Bondi Beach in Sydney. Leica M 240 with Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4. © 2013 Thorsten Overgaard.
The photo is availabe as limited signed print in numbered edition (160 x 110 cm aluboard and 60 x 40 cm C-print).
E-mail for further info.


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Thorsten Overgaard
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.

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