Finding the magic of light – book review

I recently purchased and read the ebook ‘Finding the Magic of Light’ written and published by Thorsten Von Overgaard, a popular Danish photographer and writer. Thorsten is an avid Leica shooter and maintains a popular blog. His website is a compendium of information on Leica gear, especially the M9 and the new M Type-240. When I recently bought my first Leica, the M-E, it was Thorsten’s site I turned to for tips and tricks. If you are passionate about photography, Leica in particular, his website won’t disappoint you. Having been a regular reader of his site for the past few years, I was wondering what he has to write in an ebook that is not on his website. The price is also a bit steep compared to other ebooks and printed material related to photography.

The book is guaranteed to be an ‘aha’ moment in your career collecting photography techniques. Thorsten just takes the key ingredient of photography, namely ‘light’, and explores the aesthetic impact of the same in your photography. Reading the book is guaranteed to improve your photography, unless you are already a master of understanding and managing light.

Highly recommended!

4 thoughts on “Finding the magic of light – book review

  1. Unfortunately I thought the “book” was extremely overpriced for the content. Mostly came across as a random handful of observations / thoughts he jotted down one evening over a glass of wine or cup of coffee or tea. Potential buyers should know this $47 “book” is only 40 pages long, with almost half being only images (yes – good examples, but not worth the price). On page 9 he refers to it as a “small booklet”, but you don’t know that until you’ve bought it. Admittedly, bigger is not necessarily better, but the price is just completely out of line when compared to other rich e-material available at a fraction of the cost from places like Craft & Vision and other writers. Just the third chapter of James DiGiorgio’s Zen and the Art of Portrait Photography had more inspiring discussions about light and practical light exercises for the photographer – with the entire book being a fraction of the cost.

    As mentioned in the first sentence, this was not a worthwhile expenditure as a “book.” $9 or so – for sure; maybe even $15; but not $47. I do, however, find his blog writings very informative and interesting to read – and his photo work is excellent: so I am chalking this purchase up as a donation for all that free material that I *have* so much enjoyed and appreciated! But I won’t be adding to the cart so quickly with his future releases…

    1. Hi Glenn,
      Of course the book is pricey, if you compare it with other books that you can spend your money on. If someone wants to spend on learning photography, my advice would be to buy books basically with lots of inspiring photographs on it. One classic is ‘Photo Book’ from Phaidon. It has all the seminal photographs, one from every master.

      What I like about Thorsten’s book is that it focuses on the most important ingredient in photography. Today’s gear can manage almost everything else by itself. One could argue about the price of a book. I look at it as how much it can improve my photography.

      You are spot on about his website. It is a compendium of technical information.

      1. You are so correct about it being the most important ingredient. I guess given his other writings, talent and experience, I was expecting a a more robust “study” on the subject with the book at this price level. That said, I’m glad I have it — will be something to return to often as a good reminder of this important ingredient, and I intend to put the “Smart Chart Everyday Drill” at the end of the booklet to use! Regards, Glenn

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