Monday 29 September 2014

A Life With Leica | Thorsten von Overgaard

ZITE has introduced me to a multitude of interesting articles on photography and otherwise, including this short documentary featuring a Danish photographer named Thorsten von Overgaard.

As a preamble, let me say that although I own a Leica M9 and have the utmost regard for its capabilities as a tool, I'm far from being a Leica fanboy, realizing (and grudgingly accepting) its shortcomings, and periodically ranting at Leica's blatant ostentatious marketing and pricing.

Nonetheless, I have just returned from leading a photographic expedition-workshop to Viet Nam where I used the M9 (with a Voigtlander 40mm) on a number of occasions during street photography jaunts in Ha Noi and Hoi An, and readily confirm that (1) its images (whether monochrome or color) have a distinct 'feel' to them, and (2) its ergonomics are just right.

This is a lovely documentary filmed in Rome with Thorsten who shares his photographic 'philosphy' with us. I found myself in full agreement with him on most of his points of view...which ranged from "there's always stuff happening" in the streets, that each one of us has a unique visual viewpoint, that cameras (whether Leica or otherwise) are just tools and that he never photographs people unless to show them off in the best of lights. The latter also echos SebastiĆ£o Salgado's philosophy.

A minor point: I was surprised to see Thorsten resting his Leicas on their lenses instead of on their bottom plates. I do that as well. Weird.

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