New videos: Outstanding Images Ep. 2 and 3!

video filmstrip

Making Outstanding Images Workshop videos Ep. 2 and 3 now available, including special bundles – click above to go to the Teaching Store. Trailers after the jump.

I’m pleased to announce the next two videos in the ‘Making Outstanding Images’ series: Episodes 2 and 3! These form the natural continuation of The Fundamentals and Episode 1, and are available for immediate purchase and download via the new store. These four videos complete the basic set; they’re broadly equivalent to the first two days of one of my intensive workshops. So if you can’t attend in person…now you can attend in your own time.

Video E2: Making Outstanding Images Ep.2: Finding Balance (1h22m) – normally US$63, intro offers and bundles apply

We look at the use of visual and compositional devices such as frames, lines and quadrants to help you both influence the way your audience views an image. In the second half of the video, we focus on the overarching theme of compositional balance: what is it? How do we achieve it? How do we create a photograph that’s not just balanced, but also dynamic and strong?

Video E3: Making Outstanding Images Ep.3: Telling a Story (1h42m) – normally US$63, intro offers and bundles apply
This video focuses on putting all of the basic toolkit together: we covered light, subject and composition in the previous two videos. Now, how do we use those elements to tell a story, and convey the intentions to our audience? It also includes a couple of handy exercises for regenerating your creative impulses when you need a little jolt to get you started.

The next two videos in this series will look at putting an individual stamp on the output: Exploring Style and Processing for Style.

Special launch pricing, and how to buy
Click here or on the video titles to go directly to the store – payment is handled via Paypal, accepting all major credit cards and Paypal balances. Just click on the appropriate checkout link below. And yes, everything is now fully automated; delivery is via digital download and instantaneous.

There will be four new bundles, offering various combinations of The Fundamentals, How To See, and Outstanding Images Ep. 1, 2 and 3; bundled. We’ll even be doing the pair bundle again – $105 for two videos. The bundles are available here, on the main store page.

Please also note that today will be the last day to get How to See and The Compact Camera Masterclass at the introductory pricing of $55/35 individually, or $77 for the combined bundle.

Lastly: a big thank you again for your support! These videos are my way of both supporting the time this site requires, as well as giving knowledge back to the photographic community. Enjoy! MT

Testimonials and quotes from previous videos

Andrew Yew (Making Outsanding Images Ep. 2, 3) - Quadrant geometry just blew my mind. What a simple way to describe balance, and with a learning curve that’s not too steep, so beginners can look for the easy quadrants, while more advanced photographers can start looking for more interesting, complex compositions. I also realized that many of my images that work have quadrant balance, and now I can understand why many of those that don’t work, don’t work. For me, that little section is worth the price of the whole video!

Todd Alexander Lawton (Making Outsanding Images Ep. 2, 3) – Episodes 2 and 3 purchased; Star Wars fans will be happy to learn that they have nothing in common with their prequel trilogy namesakes. I have an insatiable apetite for these videos now! Stayed up till silly-o-clock watching them. If you decide to start selling apparel in the store, my vote’s for a “Quadrant Geometry Changed My Life” t-shirt ;)

Eric Hanson (Making Outsanding Images Ep. 2, 3) – Just finished viewing Outstanding Images Episodes 2 and 3. Episode 2 will change how I take photos from here on out. My keeper rate will greatly increase. The compositional information is invaluable and the quadrant information is simply amazing. In particular it is hugely liberating in that it allows better subject placement and a more comprehensive definition of balanced than I had previously understood. I have anticipated Episode 2 since you announced it and it has exceeded my expectations. Episode 3 helps greatly with what to include in each frame and how to tell a story. This greatly simplifies taking the correct picture in the first place and identifying which images are keepers. It is wonderful that you know these things and even more wonderful that you are able to explain them in a clear and usable fashion and share them with us. My objectivity and experience in evaluating images has increased from watching the first three videos in the series and the fundamentals video. The example of the man on the beach with the leading lines and frame is very helpful as well… I was always able to enjoy that photo but I now can explain why it is a strong image and look forward to creating my own images using the same techniques.

Andrew Yew (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) - I just watched the KL episode, and it was really good and well worth the price. All street photographers should watch it to see how one should work a scene. I don’t feel so bad anymore loitering in one place for 15 minutes taking dozens of shots when I see much better photographers than me do it as a matter of course! That is also a very clever use of the video recording feature of the E-M5 as a teaching tool, especially with that amazing 5-axis stabilizer. BTW, CC masterclass is amazing, especially the 2nd half in the field. It was really nice to see how fluidly you used that little Sony (TX30?), and the really nice results you got out of it. It was nice to see that in contrast to all of the pixel-peeping techno angst on the rest of the Internet. I wonder if a real-world field presentation like that of a camera would result in more sales for it … The way you presented it too was quite a contrast to Sony’s fairly insulting anti-DSLR ads, and it makes people (well, me at least) want to go out and take pictures, because it feels like I have the tools now to make good-looking images.
Ironically, the CC masterclass will do more for most people’s photography than a sensor of any size…In it, Ming uses a cheap, discontinued Sony point-and-shoot to photograph various subjects, including portraiture, with the typical Ming-like results. And he explains what he’s doing and why, too. It’s about as pure a distillation of what photography is about as I’ve seen, and everything in that video applies to all cameras. I go between that video, the KL walk around, and the outstanding images episode to remind myself of certain concepts before doing assignments for Ming’s email school.

Graham Ashton (How to See Ep1) – Hi Ming. Last night I finished watching episode 1 of “How to See”. I wasn’t sure if this shot…

…would make it into the group, but now that you’ve seen it, I thought you might like to know how it came to be.
Basically, I set out for lunch today with some of the scenes you discussed in your video fresh in my mind. I noticed this arrow on the building adjacent to mine and paused in a doorway opposite to shelter from the rain for a minute or so. A guy walked past with a cigarette. For some reason it didn’t work and I didn’t press the shutter. He turned around almost immediately and walked back against the flow. More of a story perhaps (going against the arrow), but he looked too small.
The cyclist came out of nowhere. I pressed the shutter instinctively, then went to get lunch.
If I hadn’t watched how to see I wouldn’t have seen the arrow on the wall, stopped to see who passed by in front of it, taken the shot, or (and I think this is the most significant bit) deemed it worthy of keeping/uploading.
It’s not one of my favourite shots, and I think it’s got its flaws, but at the same time I think I may be learning to appreciate something new here, and I wanted to say thanks. I’ve been a hobbyist photographer on and off since I was 12 (27 years!), and it’s not often I’ve been able to say that about photography recently.
I think episodes 2 and 3 of Outstanding Images may be in my immediate future…

Mark Chai (How To See Ep1) – Hi Ming Thein, your ‘ How To See Ep1 ‘ is awesome! Does this mean there will be an Ep2 ? Could hardly wait if there is Ep2. Your video is worth every penny and beyond!

Kumi (How To See Ep1) – Finished watching How To See Video last night. This is the first time I bought these kind of work shop video so I wasn’t sure to pay that price…I am glad I did, it was GREAT! For me it was very informative in good balanced … I means you are leaving some space for us to think, too. I also enjoyed as a documentary film. Love the scene of the cafe in KL. Look forward to see Tokyo ver.

Eric Hanson (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Just finished watching both videos: How To See Ep1, and The Compact Camera Masterclass. WoW!!! They are incredible, I really like the use of technology in both. The Compact Camera Master Class is proof that most people don’t know how to use a camera. Your images and ideas taken with that little blue point and shoot are stunning and very doable. Well done in both!

Corey Vickery (Compact Camera Masterclass) – Ming, I am thoroughly enjoying your Compact Camera Masterclass video and I will be purchasing the rest of your videos very soon. I hope someday you will do a review of the Sony RX1R (my camera) as well as a workshop in Los Angeles. Take care!

Michael Tapes (How To See Ep1) – Excellent. I think that this is the first time someone has done this type of see through my eyes instruction, and your use of video to go along with your thinking process is an GREAT way to teach. As with my previous teacher, with you, that is specifically what i want to learn. HOW TO SEE. I had done a walking tour of my neighborhood in NJ with my teacher as he explained what he saw, and that was very valuable to me at the time. Having this and future videos will be great. The exact thing that I have to learn is to talk to myself as I am looking at life and work my way to finding and making good pictures. So congratulations on the concept and execution, and I look forward to more in the future.

Amy Wexler (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Just finished both the new videos. Wonderful stuff. The walkarounds are particularly useful – very informative to understand how you reduce the complexity of various scenes into photographic opportunities and apply the theories/practices you describe in your various videos and articles. I’d like to emphasize how helpful for my current state of development I find the settings comments you make along the way – such as, focal lengths and apertures, in the case of the KL video, and where you’re metering (in the case of spot) or where you’re using another mode, in the compact masterclass video. Great products (also appreciate the introductory discounts!). Thanks for all the work you put into them.

C Scott Pollock  (How To See Ep1) - I just watched “How To See.” Excellent and fascinating work — I could watch this type of thing all day long. 

Sergey Landesman (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) - Thank you for very good video lesson!

Sirmo (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Just purchased the new videos. I watched the Compact Camera Masterclass and I love it! Keep up the good work!

Todd Lawton (Fundamentals, Outstanding Images Ep. 1, How To See Ep. 1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Awesome, will probably get that bundle [Outstanding Images Ep. 2+3] later today. A quick watch of the first four over the past week (I will surely be studying them intently for months to get the most out of them) left me gagging for more. Addicted to knowledge! They are exactly what I wanted; so happy. Thanks Ming.

Michelle Wolschlager (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I stayed up entirely too late last night watching (and rewatching) both videos. Then I fell asleep on my laptop (out of sheer exhaustion–nothing more!) whilst reading your articles, and in many cases, rereading articles I’d already read in the past but that suddenly made so much more sense after watching the videos. I learned a LOT. I’m so happy you’re doing this! It is exactly what I was I was looking for to learn how to capture better images! I’ve been frustrated by the fact most courses/videos/books either assume you know absolutely nothing at all and merely regurgitate the exposure triangle and rule of thirds, or they assume you’ve got a PhD in math and physics. Anxiously awaiting the next videos… I’m not willing to wait for the bundle deal pricing and will be ordering them as you release them–they are absolutely worth the cost.

Per Hildebrant (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) - Thks for your fine introduction today of the new videos, I am still repeatedly now and then looking at the first 2 launched by you, and I am also enjoying the extreme fine technical quality of the videos…thanks!

Mark/ JTL Photography (Making Outstanding Images Ep.1, The Fundamentals) -  I just finished my first viewing of the two above videos (Fundamentals and Outstanding Images 1), and initial impressions are as follows:
1) The first video (Fundamentals) is like a mini-encyclopedia. I thought I knew a bit about photography, but the first video has put into words things that I’ve only up until now grasped in an intuitive manner, as well as things I just didn’t know at all (DOF scales generally not updated for digital cameras? Interesting in its own right, and something of a commentary on how digital manufacturers see the average photographer as not interested in manual shooting…or maybe it’s just laziness!). Some of it can be applied practically, some of it is “just for knowledge”, but the whole thing is a fascinating look at what photography is and where it came from. I can see myself going back to this one time and time again.
2) It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads the site, but Ming is a highly articulate and enthusiastic guide. It’s clear that he lives and breathes photography, and this comes over in his presentation style. He paces the material well: not too fast, not too slow.
3) The second video (Outstanding Images 1) is also very good. Possibly because I’m basically self-taught, I shoot in a very instinctive manner – I see something and say “yes, that!” – and it’s served me quite well. However, I can’t always tell WHY I like a picture that I’ve taken, or HOW I can take more like it. This video’s breakdown of a photo into light, subject, idea, frame, etc, has already given me the impetus to look at things in a more analytical way. It might be difficult at first because I’m not a very analytical person, but I have no doubt that it will add a new dimension to how I approach photography. 
Watching Ming himself shoot and explain why and how he does what he does is a very valuable experience, and the resulting pictures strengthen his already good verbal explanations of the concepts. The analyses of his pictures are also useful. I was especially pleased to see an analysis of the “Yin Yang light” picture (with the woman’s shadow), because I’ve always really liked that one.
Like Ming says on the video, it’s a little overwhelming at first, but slowly and surely you’ll start seeing things in a different way. Again, this video will require multiple viewings to get everything from it.
Overall, no regrets whatsoever about paying the (very reasonable) asking price for these videos. I will be giving very strong consideration to the upcoming volumes as well…once I’ve absorbed everything on the first two!

Amanda Koh (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – My mind is a little bit blown by @mingthein’s observation that changing exposure affects composition (by changing the visual weight of things). It’s making me question my whole shooting technique. Thank you for your videos. :)

Francois Arbour (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I bought your package «The fundamentals» and «Outstanding images» recently. I am very satisfied with the content of the material, very interesting.

John Kelly (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals, Intro to PS, How To See Ep.1, Intermediate PS) – I’ve purchased all your videos and they’re equally fantastic.

Alan Morris (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Very unique approach. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Albert Setiawan (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Just purchased and watched both videos yesterday, I have to say I’m very satisfied with the contents.

Guillaume Pont (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1) – I’ve bought Episode 1 and just watched it. For one of your first videos it is great ! Well done Ming ! I’ve found your explanations very clear. I am not a total beginner so I knew already most of fundamentals (by observing and practicing myself, with experience) but you made these concepts clearer and more precise in my mind so I guess I am now willing to use these concepts on a more regular and thought basis when I shoot :) Can’t wait for other episodes !

Alan Morris (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Just ordered the workflow video. I am working my way through your new video series. It is excellent. I look forward to future videos in this series.

Todd Alexander Lawton (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I’ve been offered these wedding gigs through word of mouth, and that’s very much thanks to the amazing tuition and advice that I’ve got from this site and your iPad app. So thank you very, very much. I’ll be thanking you further by buying your latest series of videos (and hopefully some one-on-one tuition) as soon as I have the spare cash.

Uktu Oguz (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I also bought your new video series, and I really congratulate you for your dexterity.You are a great master of this craft and your knife-sharp analytical mind is something to envy for every human being.
Your presentation skills are excellent too. I normally have a very short span of attanetion but I could watch your videos in one breath. Kudos. Waiting for the next ones.

Louis Woolf (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Hi Ming, I just downloaded your videos of your workshops. I previewed them briefly and they look amazing. You are truly awesome and I so look forward to watching and learning. I am a big fan and I love your passion for what you do. I will continue to follow and support you and I hope that some day we can meet and shoot in person. Thanks for all that you do for the photo community.

Robert Mars (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Bought the package today and received the download link seconds after PayPal confirmation, smooth ! Yeah and those very first videos are great btw, keep them coming ! Rob

Derek Daniels (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I recently purchased the 2 videos you have released so far. Just wanted to say they are great and no regrets what so ever.

Dr. Elliot Puritz (PS Workflow for the Leica M Monochrom) – I am enjoying your video on PS and the LMM! Learning quite a bit; obvious that PS has some advantages over LR. The use of the gradient tool and the ability to use more than one curve might make the cost of PS worth it!

Sven Wisgard (Intro, Intermediate PS) – Personally, I’ve bought a couple of your videos and down the track I’ll be a candidate for the email school. Why? Because the quality of your content is absolutely first class! Many thanks for being a major source of information for a hobby photographer, like me.

Jeff C (Intro to PS) – Ming if you are reading this….. the tutorial is great, I’ll be hitting you up for the next part here in the near future. Just need some time to work through what I’ve learned already.

Toby Smith (Intro to PS) – Just finished Ming Thein’s Photoshop workflow video – awesome stuff! Great workflow tips, and I especially like the sharpening process he uses – will put that into practice immediately.

Todd Lawton (Intro to PS DVD) - I’m currently trialling Photoshop CC (I use Lightroom at home, but have been using its big bro for much longer, primarily at work these days), so had cause to bust out your iPad videos again (I got a load of them as a Christmas present to myself, but had to use my parents’ iPad, so I don’t have access to them most of the time!); really excellent. There’s something visceral and satisfying about the hands-on nature of your Photoshop workflow (particularly multiple curves and the much more precise dodge and burn tools) that Lightroom/ACR alone can’t match; the greater degree of control afforded makes processing a more right-brained and fun experience, IMO. Hearty endoresement from me to anyone reading this that hasn’t tried Ming’s videos.

Graham Wood (Intro to PS DVD): Someone wrote above “precisely what I was looking for…”. Having just absorbed Video A, I fully second that. There was no waffle and no fluff. Just very very useful stuff, with all the right context to make it meaningful. Thank you Ming.

Tamas Varosi (Intro to PS DVD): I loved it, especially the B&W part.

Tom Liles (Intro, Intermediate PS DVDs): I had a go on a couple of Ming’s PS videos recently and find them useful. There’s an important difference between saying that and “found them useful.” Happy customer :) I would frame them as cast-off points rather than top-down “do this, do this, do this, do this…” cookie cutter type instructions. They make you want to play with PS, but honestly my over-riding desire after watching was to go out and take some pictures; to have some fresh meat, as it were, to try the new approach — a better phrase than ‘new tools’ — on. Give them a go.

Valerji Tomarenko (Intro to PS DVD): Just received the DVD (it took it less than a fortnight to reach Germany). Very happy about it. Exactly what I was looking for, against the backdrop of all these books, tutorials etc. on PH. Thank you so much!

Yee Suan Poo (Intro to PS DVD): I love your first PS video. It helps me a lot especially the sharpening part.

Luis Meirinhos (Intro to PS DVD):
(What I like)
1. I really like the simplicity of the workflow to change a set of photos.
2. Workflow based on 1 application with 2 modules . (Bridge + Photoshop)
2.1 I use 3 applications and wast so many time changing between them (ViewNX, CaptureNX, Photoshop).
3. Photo ranking process with good use of method (FBLW – First BEST Last WORST)
3.1 I use numbers instead of stars on ViewNX, but my method is FIFO – First In First Out. It’s good because it’s one method but, for this propose, i don’t think i have good results. I have many medium quality pictures processed that I’ll not see them again. I’ll try your method to have better use of time.
4. Many sharpening filters have better results.
4.1 I never realise this. The results are much better compared to one sharpening filter more aggressive.
(What I improve…)
1. Use photoshop non destructively for everything!
1.1 Is there any difference if we use one layer with 50% of grey (Overlay) for dodge and burn?
1.2 this way if I wish to revisit one photo latter I don’t lose the original.
2. Workflow of one picture that you have to fix or remove something. Ex: dust, cable,…
I really enjoy the DVD because I learn new ways to improve my photos and have more time to do other things instead of post processing.

R. V. Abbott (Intro to PS DVD): I found that all the principles you discussed in your basic photoshop and color correction videos (e.g., regarding the relationship between the saturation and lightness sliders) applied equally well in LR. I used to struggle with skin tone color corrections, but thanks to your video, I’m finally able to do it easily!

Kim Davidson (Intro to PS DVD): After receiving your DVD I installed Adobe Photoshop CS6, never having seen it, camera raw or bridge before. I would not have believed it possible, but thanks to your great instruction on your DVD, I worked my way through bridge, camera raw and successfully processed photos in Photoshop CS6 in just one day and i keep going back to your DVD to learn more. I can’t thank you enough.

James (Intro to PS DVD): I just wanted to say thanks for the very informative DVD. I know photoshop pretty well, but you have taken the way I’ll use it from now to another level. I was always scared of that Curves line as it seemed to be really sensitive and easily ruin my shots. Now from your DVD I know how to use it and have already transformed a few of my photos and they look so much better. Also your dodge, burn, sponge and sharpening tips were a revelation for me. I won’t list all the things you went into, but suffice to say I’m looking forward to going through my photos now and seeing the results.

Djoko Susanto (Intro to PS DVD): I had watched your your photoshop workflow dvd, it was shock me, much.
I never thought, it was so easy techniques, but it’s awesome.
I learned so many techniques in photoshop but never realized yours is the best and simple, great job Ming.

Dimitris Glynos (Intro to PS DVD): Hi Ming! I just saw your “Photoshop workflow DVD” and it was really amazing! The resolution of the mov file (1440x900px) is very very good and your workflow both on color & b&w images is pretty impressive! Thanks a lot!

JP Kornberg (Intro to PS DVD): I am happy to support the use of your PS DVD. Your workflow really is easy even for PSphobes.

Joey (Intro to PS DVD): I received your PS workflow dvd a few days ago and have enjoyed it very much. Though not familiar with Photoshop I look forward to trying out the many techniques you discussed and feel confident it will start me on the right path as I step into the often confusing world of post-processing.

Lucia Prosperi (M Monochrom DVD): I just finished your video, and I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed watching it, and I think I’ve learned quite a bit.

____________

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Comments

  1. Hi Ming,
    when you expect the next videos “Making Outstanding Images Ep4 & 5″ and “How To See Ep2″ to be ready?
    I’m reeeeally looking forward.

    Just finished viewing Fundamentals, Outstanding Images Ep1, 2 & 3. How To See Ep1 also amazing !!!

    What a great series Ming. Really appreciate your work.

    Best regards,
    Dimitris

  2. oops…just saw your reply..

  3. Please also note that today will be the last day to get How to See and The Compact Camera Masterclass at the introductory pricing of $55/35 individually, or $77 for the combined bundle.

    Is this a typo??

    i dont see this combi price anywhere.

  4. This paragraph has no date “Please also note that today will be the last day to get How to See and The Compact Camera Masterclass at the introductory pricing of $55/35 individually, or $77 for the combined bundle.”.

    I presume the offer has expired as it is not shown on the store.

    • Same date as the post (in the header) and yes, the offer has expired. Sorry!

      • Here’s the reason for the confusion: you keep promoting this post to the top so it looks like a new post without highlighting (as far as I can tell) any new content. So people read it as though it were a new post.

  5. I have Episodes 1-3 but haven’t had a chance to see any more than the first two minutes of Episode 1 yet, but looking forward to getting stuck in!

    Thanks,

    Paul

  6. Hi there. I am not sure if this is the best place for this message but I need help d/l the Ep3 I purchased. I struck out 3 tries and file is still not downloaded.

    Thanks.

    Ed

  7. Perfect timing! You just release the 2 videos in my week of holidays! Plenty of time to watch them and, most importantly, go out and practice your advices shooting! :)

  8. Excuse the off-topic, but I sure hope we’ll get to read your preview/opinion about “the” upcoming Nikon camera!

    • I’m not sure I want to comment on gear anymore. It seems that one cannot be objective without bringing out the fanatics…we shall see.

      • I understand where you come from, Ming. I was shocked and angered to read that you received hate mail for merely posting your on a piece of hardware… especially given you’re not exactly known for being a biased partisan. You certainly don’t deserve such treatment.
        Gearhads should keep nitpicking over this or that spec on forums, not on a results-oriented blogs such as yours. This is so childish and counterproductive. They should value your input and respect your work.

        • Yes, but it seems few do. Ah well.

        • Joel Venable says:

          Actually Ming is not the sole voice of reason when it comes to the new A7(r). Thom Hogan (bythom.com) has about 4 articles on his sites mentioning:
          Sony’s lack of lenses for a new system (AGAIN)
          Problems with mounting adapters
          Marketing confusion (Is A-mount and NEX dead???)
          Sony has 4 different lens mount configurations (E, FE, APS A, FF A)

          Of course his site doesn’t have commenting capability though I’m sure his inbox is also flooded. :)

          Nico, are you referring to the 5300 or the rumored FM camera?

          • I suspect he’s referring to the rumored FM camera.

            I can also understand why Thom doesn’t allow comments sometimes :)

            • I don’t normally bother with gear rumours (honest!), but I must say this particular one has piqued my curiosity; the spec sheet doing the rounds sounds like what many of the readers of this site have been asking for. Let’s hope Nikon get it right. In my mind it’s a D4 in a compact, high quality body with beautifully detented physical controls and all the fat trimmed away; unfortunately, I have zero confidence in any of the major manufacturers’ ability to bring something like that to market without the usual daft compromises…

              • I don’t know why, but I have to admit in not as excited about this as I thought I’d be. Nikon have has some good ideas with curious execution – look at the AF capability of the 1, or the color quality of the A – let’s hope they don’t mess it up…

                • Camera world-weariness? :) I’m anticipating, at the very least, compromised AF (36-points or contrast detect only?), a hybrid viewfinder that somehow manages to be the worst of both worlds, and a nasty ersatz retro design drawn up by the marketing department. But I’d be happy to be wrong.

                  As for the hate mail… did you see this story last month? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24240038

                  • That would kill it, for me. I’d take aperture-priority auto at most, no AF, one awesome viewfinder, and a snappy focusing screen. Perhaps a compromise command dial to operate G lenses, but anything more and it risks being a half-baked product made weak by feature creep rather than a purists’ scalpel.

                    I get a 404 on your link…

                    • Yeah, I don’t know how they’re planning on handling the mooted emphasis on hands-on controls given the G lenses… If it does have a “hybrid finder” with the digital equivalent of a split prism, no AF could actually work–notice I’m completely discounting the possibility that they’ll make a camera with “one awesome viewfinder”! :( Anyway, no point in speculating. Who really cares about gear anyway? :)

                      (On a “new Nikon camera” side note, having now shot with the D800 for a couple of weeks I can absolutely see what you mean about shutter action going south since the F6; it’s fine, but I don’t love it, or even prefer it to the D700′s.)

                      Odd, the 404 works for me. It’s an interesting BBC News story (widely reported elsewhere) titled “Popular Science blames ‘trolls’ for comments shut-off”.

                    • Perhaps they took it down due to troll comments…

                    • That one works. I don’t think comments are bad, I just think trolls are. And I’m increasingly convinced it isn’t the anonymity of the Internet that’s the underlying cause; some people are just so self-centered and arrogant they believe their *opinion* is correct and the ONLY right one…

                    • I say fuck the fanatics. Science should be subject to strong critique… and so should consumer electronics! It’s good to have one’s cognitive biases challenged, whether it’s through honest critiques or spirited debate. That said, I’m not the one who has to moderate the resulting pile of shit ;)

                    • I agree with the former…and from experience, sadly also the latter.

  9. Sunny Tan says:

    I have just bought vid H1 and vid F. I downloaded it but I can seems to open it to watch. I’m using an iMac snow leopard. Can you
    instruct please. I’ve got only one more attempt for each.

  10. Joel Venable says:

    Thinking about pulling the trigger on the big package (D + Es + H1). Would I be missing anything if I skip out on the Compact Camera Masterclass or is that one more of an intro to stuff covered in other videos?

  11. Just finished viewing Outstanding Images Episodes 2 and 3. Episode 2 will change how I take photos from here on out. My keeper rate will greatly increase. The compositional information is invaluable and the quadrant information is simply amazing. In particular it is hugely liberating in that it allows better subject placement and a more comprehensive definition of balanced than I had previously understood. I have anticipated Episode 2 since you announced it and it has exceeded my expectations. Episode 3 helps greatly with what to include in each frame and how to tell a story. This greatly simplifies taking the correct picture in the first place and identifying which images are keepers. It is wonderful that you know these things and even more wonderful that you are able to explain them in a clear and usable fashion and share them with us.

    • Thanks for the great and detailed feedback, Eric! Wait til you see 4 and 5 ;)

      • Looking forward to them! Thanks Again!

      • In EP2 I also liked the leading lines section in combination with the EP1 proper perspective section. It really shows how to make leading lines that work with a frame and the proper perspective. Also the example of the boat leaving the frame as a poor example really drives home the point of watching the edges and explains why this is important. These items cover a lot of common mistakes made in photos and how to correct them.

        • That’s the idea :)

          Most people are surprised by how much of a difference the little things make – more so because they seem so simple. The trouble is observing and diagnosing requires objectivity and experience, which isn’t so easy…

          • My objectivity and experience in evaluating images has increased from watching the first three videos in the series and the fundamentals video. The example of the man on the beach with the leading lines and frame is very helpful as well… I was always able to enjoy that photo but I now can explain why it is a strong image and look forward to creating my own images using the same techniques.

      • Ming,

        Is there an ETA for the next set of videos? Looking forward to them. – Eric

  12. Sergey Landesman says:

    Both videos are very interesting,but I am having a problem with video disappearing in the middle of a session,leaving only sound on? Any suggestion how to fix it?

    • Replied your emails earlier – try playing it in Quicktime. In order to add the chapter markers previously requested by others, we land up with some players not being able to handle it.

    • Sergey, I’ve had good luck with VLC on both Windows 7 and Mac OS X playing back Ming’s videos. On Windows, with VLC, you don’t have to download Quicktime, and deal with all the extra stuff Apple tries to make you install, and it also shows the chapter marks and headings, which is great if there’s a section you want to review. It’s also free, fast and efficient, so I can run full-screen on modest CPUs and GPUs at 1920×1080 for the PC, and 1080p scaled up to 2560×1440 on the Mac with no issues.

  13. When I click on the link to your on-line store, i get the message “You cannot access this store from your country. We apologize for the inconvenience.” I’m in the US. What’s up?

    • No idea; we’ve had sales from the US since launch. I’ll look into it…in the meantime, try dumping your caches and using another browser.

      • It looks as though, because I have blocked the (at last launch of your site) the 406 requests for content and because I also use Anonymizer, your store page is blocked from the US. LOL. So, the failure to launch is on my end, not yours.

  14. Quadrant geometry just blew my mind. What a simple way to describe balance, and with a learning curve that’s not too steep, so beginners can look for the easy quadrants, while more advanced photographers can start looking for more interesting, complex compositions. I also realized that many of my images that work have quadrant balance, and now I can understand why many of those that don’t work, don’t work. For me, that little section is worth the price of the whole video! And it only cost 1/48th of a Sony A7R. :)

    Also, you don’t seem to have written about quadrant geometry before. I think you alluded to it in the KL walkaround video, which was a little confusing. But it looks like you shot this all in one day (unless you really like that Impossible Project T-shirt!) so it was probably still on your mind?

    It also reminded me of Mondrian, who seems to have exposed the skeleton of this concept.

    • Thanks Andre. Yes, I shot four episodes on one day – it was a bit of a marathon that required only one t-shirt change. :P

      I have written about it in one of the balance articles – I will search the archives now. The problem is I wasn’t using sensible titles back then, and with 650+ articles to search, it might take a while.

      I see you’re measuring things in A7Rs now? :O

      • Great, thanks. I did a Google search for “quadrant” but that didn’t seem to turn up anything beyond the articles about the video.

        Only a full-frame sensor in a compact camera body can truly measure awesomeness! I stopped by my local camera store’s exhibit of the Salgado prints today during lunch. It’s much smaller than the LA gallery’s with only 7 24×20 prints and 2 35×24 prints (that’s well over $100k in 9 prints for anyone who’s counting), but I’m not complaining that it’s within 10 minutes walking distance. The landscape aspect ratio version of the ANWR picture (where the river in the valley looks like a lightning bolt) and the iceberg arch were the ones I spent the most time examining. If I could, I’d take the iceberg arch one home.

  15. Ming, I want to order but when I want to log on to my account Trusteer reports:

    There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.      The security certificate used by this website is granted to an address on another website. Problems with security certificates may indicate an attempt to intercept. To steal information or information that you send to the server.

    Are you aware of this situation?
    Kind regards, Wil.

    • Yes. The security certificate is provided by Paypal because we’re using their checkout. Obviously paypal.com doesn’t match mingtheinstore.outthink.us, hence the warning.

      Correction: I’m told it’s a browser/ IP interaction issue. My bad, please disregard my previous statement.

  16. David Beaton says:

    Ming

    I ordered 3 of your videos about two and a half hours ago but have not yet received any download instructions. My bank account confirms payment has been made via debit card and I have a receipt ref from paypal (1536-5079-0238-9357). I have been checking my e-mail inbox and spam folders constantly but nothing is showing up. Should I be more patient or is there a problem with my order or orders generally at the moment? Thanks – just looking forward to getting on and improving my photography!

    David

    • KH/support says:

      You should get the video links in minutes not hours! Did you enter the correct email address in your account information? Your email address looks like it has an extra ‘r’ in it as I replied your support request a few minutes after you sent it at 16:08 UTC but I’m guessing you didnt get it. If the email address is wrong please change it and send us another support request via the contact us page at the store, or drop us another message with your correct email address.

    • Sorry David, it was very late at night here and we’ve resent the download links. I saw the email support traffic this morning and presume everything is in order now?

      • David Beaton says:

        Ming

        Many thanks to you and your team for helping me overcome MY download problem. My excitement in ordering your recent videos got the better of me and I made a stupid typo. I’m really impressed with the very prompt responses to my problem and of course the excellent quality of the videos which I am now savoring in slow time to extract the maximum information and fun for as long as possible. Again many thanks and apologies for wasting some of your valuable time on my stupid error. You are a very fine photographer and teacher.

        • No problem. The customer experience comes first – and sometimes an odd combination of tech issues might mean it’s an issue on our side too. Just happens to work because I’m a daytime guy and my partner is a night owl, so even though we’re in the same timezone, most of the time we can provide nearly 24h coverage…

  17. Just ordered, am sure I’ll enjoy. Thanks Ming for spending the time and sharing the invaluable knowledge and experiences.

  18. Bought these two videos, and have problem downloading Episode 2 – it hangs at about 99.9% for the second time. Taking in account there are only 3 downloads available and I am not sure it will work for the third time – can you please help me to download the video?

  19. Oh no! I’ve only just gotten around to buying the first four videos! Damn you! ;)

    • Well, there’s a bundle offer on these two for the next few weeks… :)

      • Awesome, will probably get that bundle later today. A quick watch of the first four over the past week (I will surely be studying them intently for months to get the most out of them) left me gagging for more. Addicted to knowledge! They are exactly what I wanted; so happy. Thanks Ming.

        • Thanks Todd! Glad you’re finding them useful…more satisfying than new gear, eh? ;)

          • A sustained hit of goodness versus a quick fix; like the difference between Japanese sushi and fish fingers, or Cuban cigars and Marlboro Lights :)

            • That’s a good one! :)

              • I do have one question actually: the E1 video park segments have inspired me to spot meter more (brilliant tips); how do you have your cameras set up to spot meter on one thing and focus on another, and what is your preferred method of doing this (focus or meter first)? I’ve set my D800′s AE-L/AF-L button to AE-L-only, so I’m locking exposure with the back button then focusing with shutter half press, but it’s not intuitive yet so I just want to make sure I’m going the right way about it…

                • Meter first, because the light of scene is static. Focus last because in many cases the subject is moving. Naturally it shoukd go right before shutter. Thumb and then index finger.

                  For me there’s some leeway to correct for metering in post. But miss the subject and you’ve got no shot!

                • You can either AF first using AF ON and the shutter half press to lock exposure, or lock focus with the half press and exposure on the AF-L/ AE-L button. But to be honest, 99% of the time my subject is both the point of focus and the thing I want to expose correctly, so I just have AE and AF lock on the shutter half press.

                  • Thanks tt. Agreed on missing the subject!

                    Will try putting both on the shutter half press, Ming. The swiftness with which you got the shot of the lady(?) in pink coming out of the gatehouse actually made me chuckle. You made it look easy!

                    • I’m pretty quick but still miss stuff occasionally. I’m actually slower with a poorly set up digital than the all-manual Hasselblad…

                    • Yep. I have a connection to my FM3a (which I use in manual) that I don’t share with the Coolpix A or D800. What I wouldn’t give for a split prism screen in the 800 (and probably a set of Zeiss lenses, as the Nikon G ones’ distance markings aren’t very good IMO)… I got it a few weeks ago and have been putting off AF fine tuning the 24 and 85 f/1.4s.

                    • Episodes 2 and 3 purchased; Star Wars fans will be happy to learn that they have nothing in common with their prequel trilogy namesakes. I have an insatiable apetite for these videos now! Stayed up till silly-o-clock watching them. If you decide to start selling apparel in the store, my vote’s for a “Quadrant Geometry Changed My Life” t-shirt ;)

                    • Haha, thanks Todd!

                  • Ok, this raises a question for me. If spot metering tries to make something middle grey, won’t metering on your subject get you some odd results? For instance, spot metering on something white (or bright) will make it grey and thus under-exposed. Metering on something black, or dark, will make it grey and over-exposed. That’s at least been my experience, but I might be metering on the wrong thing… For me to succeed with spot metering I have to dial in exposure compensation, depending on what I’m metering, and that just makes the entire process too slow…

                    • Two ways: either use exposure comp – dial in day 1-2 stops permanently (depending on your camera and tonal preferences) or just move the spot slightly. I usually do the latter.

                    • If you have an EVF, I prefer the moving the spot method that Ming mentions. Just make the spot meter include a darker or lighter patch, depending on what you’re metering until the EVF shows the right relationship between the darks and lights. Lock the exposure, reframe, and shoot. Exposure comp always confuses me, so I don’t use it.

                    • Yep, the “moving the spot method” is a great tip. I’d always used the spot meter as just that (a spot); it had never occurred to me that it is of course averaging out whatever’s in that spot. For anyone else reading this that’s curious, spot metering’s also covered in some detail in the Compact Camera Masterclass video (where much of the advice on technique applies to pretty much any camera).

                    • It’s also covered in Making Outstanding Images 1.

                    • I prefer exposure comp with cameras that have an actual physical exposure comp dial. When it’s just another setting buried in a menu/button press combo I tend to forget about it—not good if your last shot was +2EV.

                    • If you have electronic/ soft comp, then at least you can usually set the camera to forget/ reset on cycling the power – that’s quite handy, and something I use on my Nikons.

                    • Just when you think you know every custom setting…

                    • Thanks for the replies! “Unfortunately” it’s mostly OVF for me, so it’s a bit of a guessing game and chimping. As for EVF’s, I understand they can behave differently from each other? Meaning it either will or it won’t change brightness depending on your spot meter? I guess it then is beneficial to have one that changes depending on what you meter on, to get a live preview of the image.
                      Also, as for the camera itself, I understand there are differences in whether the spot meter follows the active focus point or not. If the meter doesn’t follow the focus point, I guess you would always have to use the center point, and recompose?

                    • Fundamentally: you’re still better off getting a feel for what exposure corresponds with what scene brightness, so the proclivities of any given meter cannot fool you…

                      Actually, it also highlights how unnecessarily complicated cameras have become: we spend far too much time trying to second-guess the electronics instead of deciding how bright we want our exposure to be, and just making the picture.

                    • I wonder if anyone will read this besides Ming … I just remembered how I use the move the spot method with an OVF. I look at the little bar meter at the bottom and shoot in manual mode. If I want higher key, then I make sure it’s indicating overexposure on the highlights, and for lower key, I underexpose the shadows. For neutral, I try to find a midtone in the scene and meter for neutral exposure. Since the meter will try to move things into neutral gray, you have to over- or underexpose more than you think you have to if you want a strong effect. I think a lot of this is covered in Ming’s metering article. Part 2 in particular: http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/01/04/metering-part-two/

                      I usually aim for less than 1 stop of over or under, but that depends on your sensor and workflow. RAW and some sensors have more latitude, while JPEG is pretty restricted. It definitely requires some knowledge and experience with your camera.

                      I suppose it’s just as confusing as using the exposure comp dial, but it works for my weird mind, and I don’t have to remember to reset the exposure comp dial.

                    • Film is even worse, you’ve got no blinking review highlights :)

                    • Thanks for the tip on going manual, Andre, don’t know why I didn’t think of that myself. I’ve always found the light meter bar much easier to work with than the shutter speed jumping around seemingly at random, but I prefer aperture priority to manual for convenience…
                      Anyway, I recently finished watching the compact camera masterclass video, and I found it illuminating. :) It was really helpful seeing Ming work the shot and talking us through it, and there were lots there on exactly metering, which I will be sure to come back to. :)

                    • Ming, I haven’t shot film since starting the email school. Observing my habits with digital (keep shooting to get the right shot, just in case, even after a lot of thought), I’m dreading picking up the film camera again.

                      Haplo, the CC masterclass is my favorite video because it encapsulates all of the important lessons and shows how they can be done well with a simple camera. The going manual thing is something Ming talks about in Episode 1 of Outstanding Images. I like it if I’m going to be at a scene for a while, and the light isn’t changing too much. I think of it as simplifying and reducing the number of inputs the camera needs from me to make an image, so I have enough brain cells left over for getting the hard, non-repeatable stuff (timing and seeing when a scene comes together) right. Same deal with AF: I lock AF on where I want my subject to be, and I’m done with that. Obviously, it’s not applicable to everything, but it’s not as restrictive as it seems either.

                    • Oddly enough, I have the same mentality when it comes to digital: repeat until it’s perfect. But with film, I take a lot more care before hitting the button – not so much because of the cost of it, but the lack of feedback conditions your brain not to work with the iterative paradigm. My keeper rate is dramatically higher with film – with images held to the same standards, of course – somethinglike 70% compared to 2% or less.

                      CCM is a very simple distillation of everything – but to get to the next level, a lot more understanding is required on the part of the photographer…

  20. drbobbybones says:

    Ordering right now. I’ve been loving the series so far. You need to come back to the US soon to do a workshop–I’m sure there are others that are dying for one too :)

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