Ming Thein | Photographer

Photoessay: John Rylands, Manchester

Photoessay: John Rylands, Manchester

I had a very small amount of time between meetings during a recent visit to Manchester; one of the buildings on my to-shoot list is (was, I guess) the John Rylands Library. It’s an interesting mix of new and old, much in the same kind of style as the British Museum, and to a lesser […]

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The design process

The design process

Not a camera, but a watch is as good an example as any – perhaps more so, especially when you’re producing just one and it has to satisfy the most demanding client: the designer. Whenever a photographer ‘has some ideas about camera design’, they often forget they’re only seeing one small portion of the puzzle. […]

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Photoessay: Doha to London

Photoessay: Doha to London

Doha I always try to get a window seat if I’m flying, and if there might be the slightest chance of anything to see (night photography from an airplane has so far proven highly challenging, with few exceptions – either your ISO is cranked so high that any subtle tonality in the widespread blue palette […]

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More images may not always be a good thing…

More images may not always be a good thing…

@mingthein; I’ve been there for about a year or so. Benefits? None that I can see… Social media = instant updates = easy consumption of new content = necessarily easy production of aforementioned new content. With the proliferation of cameraphones, this is course the era of the snapshot – more so than in the tourist […]

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Photoessay: Continuity

Photoessay: Continuity

I find it curious that a lot of modern structures try to hide their bulk buy the use of mirrors and glass; classical architects have proven that it’s very possible to make a beautiful and adequately light structure without massive glass curtain walls, and the brutal/industrial cast-concrete era of the 60s, 70s and 80s proved […]

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Subconscious associations – or titling, redux

Subconscious associations – or titling, redux

The Empire of Light The repost of the titling article a couple of days back was a deliberate choice to set you up for today’s somewhat more abstract and surrealist discussion. I was recently re-looking at the way Rene Magritte handled day-night transitions or zones in the same painting to see if there were any […]

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Repost: Titling and Storytelling

Repost: Titling and Storytelling

I’ve always believed a strong image should be able to stand on its own without a title – after all, sometimes images and titles get separated (quite often, actually) – and if it isn’t self-explanatory to some degree without it, then the image itself isn’t clear. However, a good title certainly enhances impact of an […]

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Photoessay: Singapore snippets

Photoessay: Singapore snippets

Trapped in an order only an outsider can see Like the Prague Singles, there are those few images at the end of the post-trip or post-shoot curation that really don’t fit into any common category or curation – yet for some reason or other, an emotional attachment has developed and you’re loath to throw them […]

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Shifts in subject matter over time

Shifts in subject matter over time

2017 A recent discussion with some photographer friends centred around changes in our output over time – with almost all of us present (7/8) remarking that what we shot now was very different from what we shot when we started out – or even halfway through our careers. The eighth man was a relative beginner, with […]

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Photoessay: Tokyo street monochromes IV

Photoessay: Tokyo street monochromes IV

It’s interesting to see how my style and way of seeing has evolved since the last instalment in this series from a year ago; or three years ago (here and here). Perhaps it might be even more interesting to go back a year or two further still and pull out similar material from previous visits. […]

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A small change in workflow…

A small change in workflow…

…can yield surprisingly major results. Think of this post as something of a continuation of the previous On Assignment; the reasons why will become apparent shortly. Over the last year or so – I think coinciding with switching to Hasselblad – my shooting/curating workflow has become quite different, and I think the shift in my […]

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On Assignment: Ascencia

On Assignment: Ascencia

A few months back, I was given another one of those very rare birds: a commission that has the holy trinity for a hired gun – an open creative brief, an interesting subject, and most importantly, a great client. This combination is far much rarer than you might think; most of the time you’re lucky […]

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The art and science of observation

The art and science of observation

Pigs sometimes fly – if you look at the right moment. Curiously, the question I’m most frequently asked (right after ‘what camera should I buy?’ and that ilk) is ‘how do I make my photos better?’* This is a dangerously loaded question: for many reasons: it assumes firstly that there’s something wrong with your images […]

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Photoessay: Because it is Tokyo and there must be architecture

Photoessay: Because it is Tokyo and there must be architecture

But even though Tokyo is defender of the modern, the minimalist and the avant-garde, it wouldn’t be a fair representation with a little subversive chaotic mess to sneak into the curation somewhere – in many ways, a fair representation of the real city. Whilst most of the quick-expansion concrete boxes are being rapidly erased by […]

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Photoessay: Autumn in the Nezumuseum garden

Photoessay: Autumn in the Nezumuseum garden

I was perhaps a week or two late and off-peak color; thees things tend to be heavily weather-dependent and extremely difficult to time with any degree of reliability. Worse, when you’ve got to travel many thousand kilometres to get there. But I think few will complain. There’s something fundamentally unnatural about such intensely red leaves, […]

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Book review: ‘The Scent of a Dream: Travels in the World of Coffee’, by Sebastiao Salgado

Book review: ‘The Scent of a Dream: Travels in the World of Coffee’, by Sebastiao Salgado

‘The Scent of a Dream: Travels in the World of Coffee’, by Sebastian Salgado, first edition, Abrams, late- 2015 It’s been a little while since I last reviewed a book, and a surprisingly a much longer while since today’s subject put out what was supposedly his last work – ‘Genesis’ (2013). Genesis’ challenge was that […]

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Photoessay: Thaipusam 2017 cinematics, part II

Photoessay: Thaipusam 2017 cinematics, part II

This is the peak of the event: handover of the offerings at the temple inside the cave (and at the top of 272 steps); the exit of trance and seeking of blessings by both participants and visitors. There are just as many exhausted devotees as ones dancing in religious fervour. I’ve always been careful to […]

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