The New Inspiration Extension Course is an online course taught by Thorsten Overgaard.

If you want to know who Thorsten Overgaard is, visit his website here.  I have been reading his reviews on Leica cameras, lenses and accessories for some years. He has provided many wonderful tips about using Leica M, the unique rangefinder. It is a also very resourceful website, updated frequently.

The course is delivered on an ebook, in PDF format. The total size of it is about 17MB.  Once you register the course,  a link will be provided for you to download the book. About three weeks ago, I downloaded the file to my Dropbox when I was taking another online course by Adobe.

The ebook can be easily shared on the desktop, or mobile device such as the iPad.

Nowadays, learning is no longer confined to the classroom.  Coursera is an example of a public learning site offering massive open online courses (MOOC).  Instructional videos on YouTube are another. To be honest, learning is everywhere.  If previously you were unable to find time to learn, now you are UNABLE to find an excuse of not to learn. The only issue for most learners is how to complete by your own pace.

The course is structured with beginning a short reading on different sources of ‘light’. The content of it is actually taken from Thorsten’s another ebook called “The Magic of Light”. Photography is only possible with light.  George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, once said, “Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” On page 45 of the course book, Thorsten writes,

Photography means, “(Painting or) Writing with light” (Greek).

That also highlights the importance of light.

The shade

The shade

Since taking this course, I have decided to present my thought and the assignment in the format of a blog.  This will give me an opportunity to re-think and to present.

The first assignment is to carry a camera for dry shooting. In fact, dry shooting means to train yourself to see.

This is what I do for everything shooting:  bring a Leica M mounted with Summicron-M 50mm. f/2.0.  It is placed inside a camera backpack.  This lens has a built-in hood, no filter attached.  The hood is the best protector.  It is universal truth that without a lens cap, you are ready to take photo any time.  It is not necessary to cover your lens with a UV filter.  Have you heard of a bad protector filter worsen your image quality?

I only carry a B+W ND 4x filter.  It is used in case of reducing the contrast between highlight and shadow. I practise seeing when I walk towards my office in the morning and walk to pick up my car in the afternoon.  If timing is critical, I use my iPhone 5s.  In fact, between iPhone and Leica M, it is hard to say which one wins my heart all the time.

By dry shooting, I realise how beautiful the light in the morning and in the later afternoon.  The light in the middle of day is too strong and all the details are washed out.

By reaching to the end of this section, I have taken two photos on my frontyard featured here.

What I agree absolutely is this phrase from Thorsten: You make the photo, not the camera.  (Page 54)

Featured image: The weed .  Summicron-M 35mm, ISO200, f/3.4, 1/750 sec

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