Excerpt from Making Outstanding Images Ep.4 & 5: Exploring and Processing for style. More trailers are available here
Greetings from London – I’m currently in the middle of the Making Outstanding Images London workshop, but it’s my birthday so I’d like to celebrate by giving you all a little gift – a thank you for your support over the last couple of years. For the next week, using the voucher code MINGBIRTHDAY for $20 off any video or bundle on the teaching store. There’s no limit on the number of vouchers per person – use as many as you like in combination with whichever videos you wish – but the total number of vouchers is limited. First-come, first-served and valid for one week until 23.59 KL time (GMT+8) on the 25th of July 2014 – or the vouchers run out, whichever comes first. So if there are any videos you’ve been curious about, or need to complete your set, now’s the time :)
And as a gentle reminder, I’ve currently got one spot left for the popular San Francisco Masterclass in September due to one participant’s work schedule – won’t last for long though, I’m sure!
Thank you all for your support! MT
An overview of the video workshops
Postprocessing (A, B, C, E5)
Learn how to enhance the presentation of your image through curves, tonal management, dodging and burning and sharpening; rebalance the composition towards the subject through the use of managed contrast; familiarize yourself with advanced photoshop techniques for compositing, retouching and final output. More importantly, learn to develop a fast and powerful workflow to consistently produce great results from any camera. Based on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw.
Making Outstanding Images (D, E1-5)
This video series covers the core content from the workshops of the same name. Learn the fundamental underlying principles of both technical imaging and composition through a structured and methodical series of exercises. Understand why some images ‘work’ despite breaking conventional rules, and others don’t even though they tick all the boxes. Build a toolkit that lets you not just consistently translate your ideas into an image, but go beyond to take that and put an individual and consistently recognizable style on the output.
How To See (H1-3)
Travel vicariously with me through foreign cities and look over my shoulder as I shoot; you see both the surrounding context and the specific individual elements I find interesting enough to compose and shoot. I explain what attracts my attention, how I compose and my thought process at the time of capture, as well as a more formal explanation of the finished image and some discussion on the postprocessing choices made to get there.
We reserve the right to change the conditions of this promotion without prior notice; service is provided on a best effort basis. There are a limited number of vouchers available and they will be applied on a priority basis. Valid on new purchases only
Selected recent testimonials from previous customers:
Solas Beag (Making Outstanding Images Ep.1): Following reading the review by Eric Hanson I downloaded EP-1 two days ago and found it a great learning resource. I can now critique my images concerning good light, framing, isolation of subject etc and understand why some of the photos in this pool get rejected. The practical techniques Ming displays while out shooting cannot be found in photography books. I am not a beginner to Photography but having completed viewing this first video I realise my approach to certain aspects of photography was haphazard and I had not mastered all of the fundamentals. His style of delivery, presenting assignments and practical approach to completing the assignments is superb. I intend purchasing the rest of the series.
Adriaan Goossens (Making Outstanding Images Ep.1): Just to let you know, I’ve finally worked through your Outstanding Images Ep 1, taking my time, assignment by assignment. And I thought I’d let you know I really enjoyed watching it and you did a great job making it. It’s thorough, well structured and your assignment based approach works. And most importantly, I’ve learnt and am still learning a great deal trying to put it all to practice.
Eric Hanson (Making Outstanding Images, Ep. 1-5; comment from flickr reader pool): Here is my review of Making Outstanding Images Ep1-5 after re-watching them from beginning to end recently.
I am posting it here because the series is a great way to improve your photography and I have found it very helpful in understanding and working with the Reader pool.
There are seven videos that make up the Making outstanding images video series EP1-5. Episodes 1-3 teach you the tools you need to make outstanding images and should get you well on your way to understanding Ming’s Reader pool criteria. Episode 4 & 5 are the crown jewels of the series and make up the final 4 videos. Episodes 4 & 5 cover four styles and encourage you to find/develop your own styles. In addition the Ep. 4 and 5 really show you how to fine tune specific details of your images.
Here are some of the things I learned:
1) How to better critique photos for both my own photos and for others. How to see that a photo is outstanding or not as well as how to explain why it is or not. Understand how to do it better next time, also appreciate and understand what went in to making the strong image.
2) How to appreciate art. I understand the compositional techniques used to create balanced images. As well as using negative space to tell a story. I really get the idea behind the art. Watching EP 1-5 for me was if I studied art in college. Painting and art work have an entirely new meaning to me. Whenever I watch a movie I understand the work that went into each scene of the move. They are one huge balanced scene from beginning to end. Ming’s advice is also consistent with Disney animated movies.
3) I understand what good light is and how it makes a photo strong or weak. That even with good light you need to position yourself and the camera properly to take advantage of it.
4) I understand how to make a balanced image. How exposure impacts composition. Many instructors say exposure does not matter, just fix it in post. This could not be further from the truth. Also the Quadrant Geometry information here is a key piece.
5) I understand how to use additional subjects to tell a story. Many folks say to exclude as much as possible. However Ming shows that this is ok in the commercial style but not optimal for some other styles.
6) In EP-4 & 5 I learned four different styles and how to create my own style. I learned the ability to visualize the finished photo before lifting the camera to my eye
7) How to use style to create a series. Project or exhibit
8) EP5 has many tweaks and ideas to take your photos from great to outstanding. It is also very good to see the little house keeping things you need to do to make an image. Also when to straighten verticals (When is it expected).
After re-watching EP-4 and 5 it is clear that Ming has shown how to tweak the tools in EP1-3 to make them very finely controlled and repeatable. Also there are some hidden gems and moments where it just all makes sense.
Ming is able to teach art in that he leads you out of traps that a camera presents you with. (For example poor matrix metering and a fixed aspect ratio of the sensor). After watching the videos there are facts that apply to every single shot that are no longer necessary to wonder if you are or are not doing it correctly. He guides you into balanced shots and how to isolate and light a subject. I feel that most people will never learn the contents of video one unless they watch the video. Very few people will ever advance beyond EP1 either without watching the series. The videos apply to photography in general and not a specialized aspect (such as landscape or portrait work). Teaching you how to get proper shots in a wide range of settings and subject matters.
Henry Beckmeyer: I am working my way through this video series and I am quite enjoying it. Each video gives me something (really, many things!) to think about when I am out shooting. Not technical, camera things, but rather using my eyes and brain to discover possible photos in the world around me.
I do agree that much art is intuitive, but without a good grounding in the fundamentals of your chosen art form, your results will tend to be haphazard at best. You need a foundation and experience using that foundation in order to reach a point where you can begin to discard certain things and begin to experiment. To find your own voice. These videos help me in that way.
I don’t think the goal of Ming’s teaching videos is to have everyone shoot “Ming Thein Photos”. Rather, by learning what makes photographs “work”, it frees you creatively to explore breaking those rules, trying new things, but still having a framework in which to evaluate your experiments (your intuition, your voice) honestly.
Matthew Stark (Intro to PS Workflow, Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): I recently purchased the “Intro to photoshop workflow” and “Making Outstanding Images 4 & 5″ combo. As I went into these lessons with a large amount of experience in Photoshop, I found the more practical stylistic examples in the “Making Outstanding Images” videos more useful than the “Intro to Photoshop Workflow” video. The quality of all the videos was fantastic – very well filmed and edited. The thing I enjoyed the most about the “Making Outstanding Images” series was getting to see Ming’s shot discipline in practice. In his own words, “you have the choice to take the shot, or not…” It was amazing to see the clarity with which he approached each scene, spending a large amount of time observing and considering what he was looking to get out of each frame, and how that needed to be accounted for, before ever firing the shutter. The “Editing for style” segments were where all that shot discipline clearly paid off. Ming’s processing techniques gave me a new appreciation for the power of RAW images, and how to get the most out of them. His black and white conversion techniques were eye opening and have given me a great feeling of control over what, in the past, felt like a fairly abstract process. For beginners, these videos are a must have – insightful, inspirational and informative. For seasoned professionals, they are a fantastic source of knowledge to add to or refresh your current workflow. Thank you to Ming and “KH” for their continued hard work. I am glad I finally got the chance to provide you with some small token of financial support for the months of great reading and insightful reviews I have enjoyed through your site.
Gerner Christensen (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): Your episodes and teaching are really unique. This is some of the best bucks I ever spent on photography in general. You are really an ‘institution’ of knowledge and skills rather than a person who ‘just’ knows his skills and how to make them work for him and only him. You are much more than that. You can teach in a way that I believe most could benefit and become much much better photographers. Beside that you a a fantastic writer as per your blog.
Eric Hanson (Intro to PS Workflow, Intermediate PS, Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): The processing videos are amazing. I would also recommend the Making Outstanding Images Series Episodes 1-5. I learned a lot form the videos and have really improved in my photography and also art appreciation.
Jorge Ledesma (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): Purchased last night your 4&5 and I’m blown away with the level of detail. Very well done!
Ralf Rehberger (S1 Street Photography Ep.1): I am following your blog since a couple of weeks and I’m deeply impressed by your pictures! I appreciate your essays a lot, too. They are not only interesting in terms of photography but also because they show your deeper understanding of so many different things as much as your very sharp analytical mind. And last but not least they are a pleasure to read. Because you know how to transfer your knowledge and experience! Finally, I’ve bought your Street Photography video and find it much more helpful than any book. So all in all: Bravo!!! And: Thank you!
Masterclass Venice (November 2014) now open for booking – click here to book or for more info
Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop and Photoshop Workflow videos and the customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!
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