About

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Armed with a camera since 16, my photographic career has spanned many subjects. Photography is beyond a job for me: it’s a passion. Actually, until early 2012, it was a full time passion and a part time job; I’ve shot commercial assignments on and off for the last eight years, but went full time just recently. I’m a physicist by training – I graduated from Oxford at 16 – and subsequently left a senior corporate career in M&A/ private equity (and more recently, as a senior exec director of McDonalds) because it simply wasn’t what I wanted to do, and so far, have been lucky enough not to regret it.

This of course means it’s very important to photograph the things you’re passionate about in their own right. Every photographer aims to find a unique look to their images in order to create a signature look for their clients. I take inspiration from many sources – classical photojournalism, abstract art, motion picture and film – to deliver a unique look and style for my clients. Natural color and dynamic lighting create a strong positive emotion in the viewer, which in turn makes the subject of the photograph – your product or service – memorable. I work on location with both available light and controlled lighting, depending on the needs of the client and subject.

I am a commercial photographer specialising in product photography on location and corporate reportage. Lately, I’ve also served as creative consultant and director to ensure a consistent visual look and feel across all aspects of a campaign, including video/ commercials, printed materials and exhibitions – right down to lighting design. It’s no longer just about the visuals: it’s about the experience and the emotion, too.

I have a diverse international client base including Nissan, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Van Cleef & Arpels, Maitres du Temps, Richemont, the Swatch Group, Hijjas Kasturi Architects, Tange Associates Architects, Sunway Group, Maybank, Eastern & Oriental, The Boston Consulting Group, several Michelin star chefs including Fergus Henderson and Bruno Menard, The City of London and Moon Travel Guides. I also maintain an extensive library of over 250,000 high-resolution images available to license, both directly and via Getty Images. For 5 years, I was Contributing Editor to CLICK! Magazine, Malaysia and Editor for 2010. I am also a Nikon Professional Services member in the UK.

Please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss a project, request a quote, or a specific portfolio of images. In addition, limited edition fine art prints are available from time to time directly via this site.

Ming Thein
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Email: mingthein@gmail.com
Phone: +60 17 387 6700
Portfolio
Flickr
Ming Thein on Getty Images
Facebook

Exhibitions/ In the media:
‘Engineering Art in Metal’, The Centre for Asian Photographers, Kuala Lumpur (3-31 Jan 2014)
Interviewed on the official Carl Zeiss blog on food photography (14 Oct 2013)
DSLR Magazine, cover interview/ featured photographer (Feb 2013 edition)
‘Diametric opposites: East and West’, Leica Gallery Starhill, Kuala Lumpur (18 Jan-18 April 2013)
– New York Times/ International Herald Tribune – interviewed on watch photography (24 Nov 2012)
The official Leica Camera Blog – interview/ featured photographer (8 Nov 2012)
BFM 89.9 Tech Talk on Photokina 2012 (8 October 2012)
BFM 89.9 Tech Talk on photography (29 June 2012)
BFM 89.9 Careers unusual (4 May 2012)
The Edge Malaysia, July 2-8 Edition, p Op18
Horological photography exhibition sponsored by Jaeger Le-Coultre and Leica Camera, May 2012 at Starhill Gallery
The Malaysian Reserve, 14 September 2012 edition – commentary on democratisation of the industry and local support in Malaysia

About this site:
– Started in late February 2012; welcomed the 1 millionth visitor by August 2012. We passed 3 million just before the 1st anniversary in late February 2013, and as at July 2014, we’re somewhere around the 12 million mark.
– I get on average 400+ emails/ comments/ FB posts/ Flickr communiques per day on photography related subjects, and I do my very best to answer every single one of them. I’ve always thought that if somebody took the time to write to you, the least you can do is write back. But please do a little searching before you write to me, there’s a good chance your question has been asked and answered before.
– 860+ articles covering 2,000,000+ words of content and 4,000+ images. Some say I’m prolific
– Writing and reviewing are NOT my main job, and will never be. I am not beholden to any brand or company and will objectively say what I think; I don’t stop anybody from disagreeing nor will I waste time in convincing them otherwise.
– The design and layout has changed in a big way three times already – I firmly believe in making the content and archives accessible and present; if you’ve found a typo, or have any suggestions or feedback, please send it along!

Comments

  1. Greetings, Ming: I recently purchased the Panasonic “Leica” 45mm f/2.8 macro lens for use on the Lumix GH4. I’m a professional photographer and when using macro lenses, being able to use small apertures is important to get the depth-of-field I’m seeking, something that reviewers seldom mention. I was very surprised to see how poorly this lens performs in the f/14-22 range. My Canon 100 macro is far superior, given the same frame composition in back-to-back comparisons made on the same tripod with cable releases used in both cases and mirror lock-up on the Canon. I would like to have a compact macro for field work with my micro-4/3 system, which is new to me. In your opinion, does the Olympus Zuiko ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro perform better?

    • It’s not the lens. It’s the pixel pitch of the M4/3 sensor that means you see diffraction softening at f8 and smaller. By f22 it’s going to be a disaster. You don’t need to stop down that far anyway with M4/3 for extended depth of field; f8 will be comparable to f16 on full frame and the same angle of view.

  2. You have an amazing blog, and your work speaks in multitudes. Thank you also for the nuggets of wisdom expressed through your philosophy and opinions ^^✨

  3. Dave Freeman says:

    Hi Ming – I’ve been a visitor to your site for a while now, love your work! I value opinions of those with good work and those that has had real life experience… I own a Leica, and a Nikon D800E, recently the Leica M 240 and a couple of lenses – Summilux 50mm ASPH and a Summicron 35mm ASPH. I was thinking of trading in the 50mm summilux ASHP to get the new 50mm APO – would it be worth it or would I be nit picking my own equipment?

    Thanks,

    D

    • You’re nit picking. By f4 there’s not much difference – your focusing accuracy will matter much more – and I’d rather have the extra stop of light.

  4. sono uno studente/appassionato di fotografia…spero un giorno di riuscire a vivere di questa passione…..sto guardando il tuo lavoro e ne sono inspirato, davvero magnifico complimenti! saluti Luigi =)

  5. Pritam Singh says:

    Greetings . . . and felicitations for having a wonderful website by way of the sheer quality of its content.

    I was born in KL and live in Haute-Savoie, France now. I am so happy to see someone from Malaysia shine. Keep up the great work.

    Taking photographs is a hobby for me. I have an 8-day trip planned to visit KL this August. I hope the weather in KL will be kind.

    Cheers,

    Pritam Singh

  6. Fantastic work! Thanks for all the info on your site.

  7. Hello Ming, wondered if you’ll be posting your thoughts/review on the Lumix 12-32 that’s in your recommended gear list?
    I know your a busy guy but would be interested when you get time.
    Cheers

  8. Hey,

    I found your site a few weeks back and after having read for hours and hours I must thank you for the massive amounts of inspiration and information that I have found here! Looking forward to every new post :D

    /Martin

  9. Your reviews about Nikon d800E VS leica M or S had moved a lot of words in several photo forums , abroad.. I think about ZEISS OTUS 55 on a d800E ,against you ever like more. Maybe a lens like this may change the story. A lot of Leica lovers hate bodies battle, they apreciate more body+lens pack against whole leica set. I suggest a little challenge.

    • I honestly don’t care what other people think. I use what I need to get the results I want. It isn’t an interesting comparison because even if the Leicas can match the D800E/Otus, they are many times more expensive. I’m running a business, not collecting cameras and trying to assuage buyer’s remorse…people treat camera brands like a religion forgetting it’s really about the photography.

  10. Joseph Walsh says:

    Did you contact me through Rangefinder Forum regarding buying my Nikon 35mm 1.4 AIS lens?
    A Ming Thein did but I want to be sure it’s not someone pretending to be you. This person has “0” posts on RFF which makes me suspicious.
    Joseph Walsh

  11. I love your blog – keep up the great work. I’ve nominated you for a Liebster, too :)
    http://idiotwithcamera.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/day-23-moi/

  12. Love your work and your thought processes. Can you point me in the direction of how you do your nice borders and name on each print?

  13. great blog, so glad i stumbled upon it. amazing pictures!! looking forward to seeing more of your work :)

  14. Hi Ming,

    For a long time, I believed that all digital photography tended to look the same, just as all digital recording tended to sound the same (at least for the first ten years). There was a kind of leveling to the images being produced – fine distinctions of technique and style were overridden by the uniformity imposed by the various technologies.

    Recently, there seems to have been major advances, both in sensors (not surprising) but also in lenses (surprising), advances that reveal technical decisions very clearly and which make a new kind of personal style possible.

    Do you agree?

    According to the Eastman House, Paul Strand used a 12-inch Goerz Dagor lens for about 20 years – his only lens. That his work possesses a remarkable unity of vision would be expected given this austerity of means. You, however, use a rather wide assortment of tools, yet your work has a pretty specific signature.

    Would you consider discussing the issue of stylistic unity across platforms and how to achieve it? I regard this as as much a technical issue as an aesthetic one.

    Best wishes for the impending new year and keep up the good work!

    • I don’t think the limitation was technology, it was understanding of it. Certainly more ‘neutral’ tools make it easier to achieve a certain end result.

      Interesting idea for an article. I’ve written on style in the past (here and here) but not in the way you suggest, though it’s complex enough that it’s probably more workshop material than written due to the limitations of the medium…

      • The second link was more to the point, I think. You have, it seems, developed a very specific type of technical mastery – especially of light – that lends your work its consistency. In you case, this is a very good thing, IMHO – it’s a kind of visual intelligence and acuity. I have enormous respect for really good product photography and it’s interesting to see how the disciplines it imposes have shaped your artistic and PJ work.

  15. Mark Thorne says:

    Ming, thank you for having one of the most intense websites on photography that I have had the pleasure of reading/viewing. I’m an electrician that has enjoyed photography for the past 50 years (wildlife photography for the last 20), and am always looking for inspiration wherever possible (finding it mainly in nature). Sadly selling my D200 (my wonderful entry into DSLRs) and purchased a D7100. The fun and learning never stops, and I thank you for your wonderful essays on a variety of subjects. Have a wonderful life!

  16. Love you Oly reviews they have helped me navigate the change from large SLRs to micro 4/3 and I love it. I just got my OmD1 with the 14-40. Lens. I love the combination but when I turn the zoom ring it makes noise and feels stiff. Is this just the the tightness and weather sealing? Has anyone else commented on this?

  17. Frederich Schepp says:

    Mr. Thein,

    First off, I am a huge fan of your work, and your specific reviews and commentaries on the Nikon D800E have been not only insightful, but extremely helpful. This is my first camera (D800E) and decided to get into photography after looking at your pictures, and seeing extremely interesting pictures and perspectives. This is refreshing as most pictures on the internet are not, even from some of the mainstream fan boys, which demonstrate by the book techniques, but are lacking a true raw talent and eye like you possess.

    To my Question: on my D800e, I use a 50mm 1.8 (mostly in reverse with a BR2A Reversing Ring) for macro work, and a 28-300mm as a general walkabout.

    Have you reviewed or ever played around with a AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED?
    Web Link to Nikon:
    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/specoalpurpose/micro/af_micro200mmf_4d_if/index.htm

    I recently found one “New in Box” and paid a hefty sum for it, but was looking on what your opinion of the lens would be.
    I plan on using it for macro shots. and general near range shootings.

    Thanks,

    Fred Schepp

  18. Suresha Bhat says:

    Dear Ming Thien

    I have been a big fan of your photography and blog. I am also a regular reader of your blog. You had in previous blogs mentioned that you process your camera post camera and I must say you make these images look stunning. Especially B&W shots. I have shot on various cameras from leica m9 to canon 5D MkIII to E5 and X100s, but I can never see my images the way you make them look.

    I was wondering if you have any class, course that I can get on how to post process to have my pictures look better. I have worked in light room 5, but as a novice. So please appreciate your help.

    Best regards
    Suresha

  19. Ming,

    I’m interested in a macro lens for my Fuji X-pro1, and wonder if you can explain what makes the FUJINON XF 60MM F/2.4 R MACRO, macro? I understand it provides .5x mag at it’s closest focusing distance, but as I’m considering waiting for the upcoming FUJINON XF 52MM F/1.2, wonder which would be better for macro and portraiture.

    Thanks for any guidance you can provide!
    Gary

  20. Hi there,
    I have question about the iPad app, I downloaded with itune, when try to install on iPad it asking for money again?
    I have already paid once.
    Can you plz help me.
    Thank you.

  21. Ming, I am thinking of buying an Olympus OMD E-M1 with the 12-40mm 1:2.8 lens, I have read your and other reviews, and all appear to be more than positive. One question I have is, Given that a high quality image is taken at low ISO, how large can a print be made on coated quality paper before the image starts to pixelate – I understand that there are a lot of variables but a general idea would be fine. Are any of the prints you sell on your site made with your m4/3 equipment?
    I do use my camera for recording our projects and at times preparing client presentations
    Congratulations on a great site and turning your passion into your profession,
    Rgds,Peter
    P.S. I am also being lured by the Sony A7r but trying to resist

  22. Carl Chiulli says:

    I enjoyed reading the 58mm Noct f1.2 Article, and now another Nikkor 58mm f1.4 lens is available! How does the wide open aperture t-stop of the Noct with its special coatings compare to the wide open t-stop of the new 58 with its modern coatings? Could be close!

    • No idea, haven’t used the new one. Could very well be close – but the new one also has more elements, so that may land up tipping things back to the 1.2. The other thing to consider is maximum *usable* aperture – if you cannot reliably focus it, or it isn’t sharp enough, etc – that makes a difference in practical application too…

  23. Hi,
    You mentioned that you were selling a setup for scanning Hassy black and white negatives with the Nikon D800E with the 60 mm Micro lens. I have all this equipment. Is this equipment available for purchase yet? I read your interesting article about the Fuji Acros film with Hassy. Have had the negs scanned with every possible scanner here in Perth, Western Australia. Drum etc. I have not been totally satisfied with the results and find that monochrome conversion with the D800E in Photoshop can produce great tones. I spend hours on one image mind you using a personal type of zone system. Your method of scanning sound excellent. I can not be bothered DIY equipment. My images finish up on Torino Canvas from an Epson ABW driver (which I have calibrated to 20 zones).
    Thank you for your technical knowledge and most of all the use of this technology in a creative nature.
    Regards
    Tony Green

    • Still working on it. We’re having some manufacturing issues causing delays. I will release it only when it’s right…or not at all. No point in putting out a half baked product, there are too many camera makers doing that already!

  24. Hi, Ming!
    Considering a system change I found my way to your blog, especially searching for informations regarding excellent lenses for the mFT system. I simply want to say “Thank you” for your great work! Your blog delivers very useful informations and a must for every avid photographer! For the moment all my questions are answered, but maybe I will contact you later, if I have a specific question.
    Thank you once more – from Austria ;-)
    Christian

  25. Ming, whatever social media stuff you have recently introduced has massively slowed down load time on your site. About half of this time is loading the vanity icons for “xx bloggers like this”. Please fix this, your site stops firefox dead in its tracks for an unreasonably long time and it is now on the verge of being unusable.

    • Hmm, that’s odd. I haven’t changed any of the social media stuff in more than six months; I don’t think it’s that. The last major change was to split the posts out to only show the first image and a small portion of text to massively cut down the cache size required. Load times are the same on my connection, and my internet speeds are positively glacial normally.

      I suggest a) try a different browser, b) it may be your ISP since nobody else has mentioned it, and c) if you subscribe via email, you get every new post sent to you…

  26. Hallo. I found your site a month ago while looking for reviews of the Olympus E-PL5 (which I ended up buying for the reasons you described: wanted tilting screen, no budget for OMD), and was struck by both the quality of the photographs you posted and the quality of the writing, which although technical I found quite accessible as someone who doesn’t know a lot of photography jargon. Now I keep coming back, not for equipment reviews but for the technique articles, to make better use of the kit I have.

    Most of my photographic experience has been as a tourist, and taking quite low quality photographs. In recent years I started to try street photography in London and Cambridge where I am now based, and have found your photos inspiring and motivational to spend more time practising – I’m from KL so your street photos containing food I find particularly appealing :) I hope to keep learning and enjoying this hobby.

    Keep up your good work. Your photos and writing show clearly how much you enjoy it.

  27. James Leahy says:

    Thank you Ming, for providing the opportunity for direct contact.
    I am interested to learn, and you can tell me, what rig Bill Cunningham uses?
    Thanks,

  28. Dear Ming Thien, A fan here. Please check out my basic and nascent site dedicated to monochrome photography using the Sigma Merrill DP-1/2/3, http://www.sigmarM2.com. Your comments would be most helpful.

  29. John weeks says:

    Yes I would like more info. on the email school…Also, is it a one time payment or can you make multiple through the course.

  30. John weeks says:

    I keep going back to you and your site having found it some months ago. And i have to tell you…I enjoy the way you write, your work is incredible, your technical knowledge…well, out of my league for sure, and i am a fan…really man…just awesome. I shoot a x pro and mainly enjoy long exposures though i end up doing moments for friends, or my grand daughter more than anything. I really want to make photographs…something people cant take there eye off of. Seriously considering your online/email course though I don;t see how you have the time. I shoot mainly jpegs…just don’t want to spend all day at a computer wit the limited time i have. Anyway…you are one of the few I consider a total professional all the way.

  31. Ravi Kumar says:

    Ming, So how does one graduate from Oxford with a bachelor’s degree by the time he is 16 years old? Finish high school when you are 12? How many grades do you skip? How many hours do you work each day? Just out of curiosity, but I am asking earnestly.

    Thanks
    RK

    • Pretty much. I skipped five years, started at 13, graduated at 16. It wasn’t easy. I thought I worked hard in corporate – 12 hour days were normal – but the moment you work for yourself doing something you enjoy, it’s basically every moment you’re awake; it’s nearly impossible to decouple.

  32. Dr. Elliot Puritz says:

    Very interesting site and well done comments and photos. My thanks for taking the time and making the effort to provide information and guidance to many photographers.

    For those such as I who shoot large format film and contact print our images the essential issue is if digital capture as exemplified by images taken by the Leica M 240 and MM are “as good as” those same images captured on film. It is difficult to make conclusions based upon the photos that are posted and viewed on a monitor. One would have to see the images taken by film and the Leica side by side, correctly printed, etc., etc. I would be interested in your comments about the digital black and white images from the newest Leica M240 using Leica glass as printed and compared to those images captured on 8×10 film and contact printed.

    Obviously LF film photographers do not pursue street photography. Thus, landscapes and more studied subjects are emphasized. From the images shown my initial impression is that the digital capture is lacking the mid tone gray separation that well executed black and white images on film evidence. Not that the digital images are bad; the film images are, to my eyes better. The differences are subtle, but obvious to me and perhaps others who are experienced in the tonal values rendered on film and then well printed on silver papers. Would such differences be obvious in the same Leica images that are skillfully printed, and compared to film images similarly printed? I suspect printed digital images would be superior to those seen on a monitor, and thus I would look forward to such comparisons.

    Users of large format cameras and film would do well to take a careful and detailed look at the new Leica M 240. The cost of both the M240 and the MM is prohibitive for many. Thus, alternatives using Leica M lenses on other mirror-less cameras well be worthy of investigation.

    Thanks again for the hard work.

    • Thanks. FF digital isn’t going to beat large format anytime soon, especially not Leica’s sensors; they’re better than the M9 generation but still not as good as the D800E, and I’d say that’s about on par with a good 6×6 negative. That said, you’ll have to print very large to see the difference – I can only start to see a gap between the M 240 and D800E/ 6×6 at about 20×20 inches and upwards.

      Film isn’t better or worse: it’s different. The difference lies in a) the native (nonlinear) tonal response, which makes for richer shadows and gentle highlight rolloff – compared to the linearity of modern CMOS and b) not having discrete pixels, which removes the impression of being resolution-limited due to the fixed reproduction ‘grid’ size.

      Leica lenses on mirrorless won’t give you anywhere near the quality of full frame digital, let alone large format. I think you’ll be very disappointed. The closest you’re going to get to large format in FF digital is probably the D800E and Zeiss glass.

      • Dr. Elliot Puritz says:

        Thanks for confirming what I had suspected.

        The price of the 800E is certainly more reasonable!

        Can you be more specific as to the Zeiss glass that you have in mind? Does Nikon make an adaptor so that one can use the Zeiss lenses on the Nikon….one can only assume so.

        Incidentally, would you care to comment about the comparison of an enlargement made from 35mm black and white film taken with Leica glass vs. the same scene taken with Leica glass on the M240….both enlarged to 11×14. One understands the additional variables of an enlarging lens, etc., etc., etc.

        Elliot

        • ZF and ZF.2 lenses are native. I’ve been asked this questions so many times there’s a full list of recommended equipment here and the Camerapedia.

          Any modern digital full frame sensor will beat 35mm film on resolution, dynamic range and color. NOT necessarily pleasing B&W tones; that’s a different and very subjective metric.

  33. Hi. You’ve got a great website and some fantastic content, really enjoy your pics. I was puzzled by a few of your pages where you say: This page will contain an archive of all of the main articles I’ve written by category and sorted with the most recent first – it seems that there are some fundamental navigational issues with WordPress that I can’t get around other than by manually updating this page with every new article. It’s a work in progress, of course…
    You shouldn’t need to update anything manually unless you have set up a static page rather than a category. Just select a category when you’re writing a post and it will appear there automatically. For Nikon, for example, set up a category called Nikon rather than a page.
    Great review on Nikon Coolpix A, you’ve convinced me to get one.
    Best wishes
    Roger Packer

  34. You are an amazing individual. Consider me an avid follower!

  35. Just discovered your site last week. I greatly appreciate being able to tap into your knowledge and experience.
    All the best!

  36. Hi Ming, Really enjoy and appreciate your site! I have a D800 and am thinking about getting a Zeiss 28mm f2 for scenics. Planning to do a bit of hiking this summer in Scotland and am also thinking that the D800 may be a bit heavy for long hikes. This led me to researching the Sigma DP1 Merrill with its 28mm equivalent f2.8 lens. I’ve read about the quirky workflow, but excellent results at iso 100. Do you have any thoughts on this camera? I know you’re a 28mm connoisseur and figured this camera would interest you, but you don’t seem to mention it on your site. Thanks very much, Larry

  37. Found your blog while blogging around elsewhere. Amazing blog; very sensible reviews and great photo’s. And a lot! must come back. Thanks for sharing. Cheers, harrie.

  38. François Toutain says:

    Hello !
    I write you from Toulouse in France.
    Could you tell me how you scan your black & white photos with a Nikon D 800 ?
    Thanks

  39. As a professional, I subscribe to Reid Reviews, Digilloyd’s DAP and Guide to Mirrorless. I think some people are perfectly happy to pay for good content. I’d encourage you to go that route too. Although there are many people who blog about photography, most of it is not updated frequently enough. I have my own blog but I have not updated it in probably 9 months and I also don’t have the time to devote to my blog. However, seeing that you write well and I do enjoy your articles, I think you are in a good position to move to a subscription based model. I’d support your site for sure.
    Kenny

  40. Hi, Ming
    Just discovered your site. I love your work, just neat. I have been living and working in Singapore in the 80’s and 90’s and frequently visited KL. Good to see such great talent coming from that region. My heart still there.
    Wish you the best for your future work.
    Cheers,
    ingo

  41. I’ve just begun to follow your blog. You’re an excellent writer with much to teach. However, I was surprised by your comments today regarding the camera-shy folks in Myanmar. There are many places in the world (notably the Congo region in Africa) where photos are taboo. It sounds as though Myanmar may be one of them. Photographers should respect the culture, traditions, and religions of the countries they visit. Just as with wildlife, it your human subject reacts to you, you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing.

    • I think I’ve figured out why: photos are not taboo, but Asians taking photos probably have too much of a bad collective cultural memory given their history. It seems that westerners have no problems, probably because the chances of the image being used for ID or some political purpose later is pretty much nil. I’d get people covering their faces even if I was just holding the camera by my side and not aiming it at them. The older generation would be much worse than the younger generation (<40 or so) – who were more than happy to be photographed most of the time.

  42. Hello, I give you the right to re-post my image as part competition announcements and posts.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/quicopedro/6817232661/in/pool-mingtheinbwchallenge
    Thanks Ming
    Best regards
    Jose

  43. Greetings, Mr. Thein! Happy new year from Costa Rica although in Malaysia you’re day ahead of us :-) I have to tell you how much I am enamored with your deeply philosophical approach to composition and exposure which is so immediately apparent in your images. Yes, I hang on many of your salient points in your writings, but it always points me back to the pix to study and appreciate how you transpose your heart, mind and eye into your compositions. To me, a yogi, you are the Patanjali of photography. Sure, there are others, but few who are as articulate as your Self. Composition is about reducing to the lowest common denominator in a scene (most of the time) and capturing Essence, in which your mastery prevails powerfully…

    I’m almost finished gearing up again. I went with two outsiders, namely Sony and Fuji. After letting go of all my Canon gear, L glass, etc. years ago, I’ve had several small rigs: G10, NEX5, X10 and shot and loved each for differentiated reasons. Good fortune has allowed me to move up the food chain, now owning an A99 with the CZ2470, 70200G, cheap Sony 50 and a couple legacy Minolta primes just for giggles. Actually, I’m gonna de-click these little buggers and use them for video! I also bought an X-E1 got a walk-around and LOVE IT. Lesser rez LCD aside, this is a sweet improvement over the X10. Fuji has some really good ju-ju going on in their sensor technology… The colors are outstanding.

    Thank you so much for creating your iPad app. I bought it as soon as I saw it in a reblog on PetaPixel. I literally soak up your stories like a sponge… “Shoot less”… ¡Si, verdad! Philosophical composition and exposure… Om namah shivaya! Namaste.

    Clint Kapp
    http://www.clintkapp.com
    darkasana.tumblr.com

    • Happy new year – and thanks for your compliments, I’m flattered! Don’t gear up too much, photographic opportunities pass as one tries to decide what to use… :)

      • Exactly why I bought the X-E1 with one lens, the 18-55. And now that I’ve been using it frequently, I realize I could have just gotten the 60 as I generally use the longer end of the zoom to keep some distance! The A99 has other applications, so I’ll need the flexibility as the nature of my work varies broadly. Thank you for your reply. Clint

  44. John Prosper says:

    Hello Ming,

    One of our members at the Four Thirds Forum cited your blog, and I am sure glad I followed up. It’s just super to have a blog from a working pro/enthusiast, and one who loves macro as well.

    One comment and question: Olympus has started turning out superb optics (e.g., µ4:3’s 75/1.8) without weather-sealing. As a long time user of the legacy OM system, it seems almost obscene to produce world class optics with no protection from the elements. I know the 60/2.8 is dust/splash-proof, but some of us would love to build an Olympus ZD system with more than one lens.

    How do you protect your ZD lenses that lack weather protection? Hopefully, you are not forced to wrap the lenses in cellophane during rainy/snowy weather!

    Most respectfully yours,

    John in Atlanta, Georgia/USA

    • Thanks for your compliments. No idea why Oly has chosen to put weather sealing on the lower grade lenses – the 12-50, for instance, is hardly a candidate for demanding applications. And no, it doesn’t make sense seeing as the body is weather sealed.

      Honestly, I just tuck the thing inside my coat or bag if the weather goes bad, if not, I carry a small towel to wipe it dry intermittently. Not had any problems so far, except the time I had to change lenses in Macau and 99% humidity…the OM-D went nuts after that and didn’t fix itself until some time in a drybox.

  45. Ming, I follow your blog and I’m impressed of your sharp pictures. I’ve tried with lightroom, photoshop smart sharpen, highpass-filter, unsharp mask and whatever. And I can’t find the crispy taste of your images. Please, can you give me an advice?

    //Per Lofquist, Sweden

    • Thanks Per. What you see is downsized then sharpened for web – some look a bit oversharpened actually because flickr (the image host for the blog) has started doing another sharpening pass lately for the downsized images. But if you start off with an image that is sharp at the 100% pixel level – mine all are – then any size you display it at will retain the same sharpness. Using lenses with good microcontrast helps, too. Have a look at the post on shot discipline

  46. malachy shields says:

    Dear Ming Thein,
    Since coming across your blog/website, i have become less concerned about the equipment i have and concentrated more on getting the most out of it, getting to really know my cameras and taking time, thought and visualisation over each image. My workflow and editing has become much more careful, exact and i find myself even more critical, so most photos are removed leaving only the best. I owe this to you.
    Thank you for the time, thought and real effort you put into your blogs. Your photography is a genuine inspiration!

  47. Franco Morante (Adelaide, South Australia) says:

    Just came across your site … Wow! You are a prolific writer and a superb photographer. Thank you for sharing your experience and your expertise. You are amazing!

  48. Hi, I have been following your blog for quite some time. Your photos are really great! Here is a lovely blog award for you. If you accept it, you can see the rules of the award here. http://chikhongphotography.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/another-lovely-blog-award/

    Regards,
    Liew.

  49. Gabriel | 加百利 says:

    great works !

  50. Ronald Chapman says:

    Thank you for a wonderful web site. Your reviews and comments are extremely informative and practical. The quality of your writing attracts a lively debate and exchange of information, whereas the comments to some other photography sites all too often degenerate into the depressingly childish and pointless exchange of insults. You are providing an invaluable service to the international photographic community.

  51. Just wanted to say hi, and thank you so much for your generosity in terms of time and sharing your knowledge and talent so freely. I am just getting started in the world of photography, strictly for personal enjoyment. I am still getting to know the “lie of the land” in terms of the breadth of photographic styles, and where I fit in to the spectrum. I am looking for informal “mentors”, people whose vision and technical mastery can guide me to my own style. Though the level of technicality in your work, and in the blog, far exceeds my capacity to hope to achieve (this being a time-limited hobby for me), I am very inspired by your images, and your words. Thank you once again.

    • Thanks for your compliments, Ian. Perhaps you might want to consider my Email School of Photography? :)

      • I certainly will…once I have the basics covered, and a camera system (once i have decided what that will be…currently have an X100, which I love, and have a D800 on order – but might hang on and see what the next batch of mirrorless cameras and x-Pro 1 lenses bring). From what I can see with what you are offering, your email school (which sounds brilliant btw) will be best for people who have some insight into what they are trying to achieve, and need help to get there. So, I think it will be invaluable a little further down the line when I have identified my photographic goals and style.

        • A system isn’t entirely necessary. In some ways, mastering one camera and one focal length will give you much stronger results than if you were trying to decide which perspective of your 24-70 to use. I find one lens liberating…also to be the subject of a future article :) ‘Goals’ can be as specific as ‘master wildlife photography’ or as general as ‘I want to be able to shoot like XYZ’. Style is an ongoing process, and before you get there you need to have sufficient control over your toolbox to be able to make the changes required to try the outcome you want. :)

      • I hear what you are saying, and I am loving the freedom and spontaneity the x100 gives me, and the faith I have in it to make an image which pleases me, if I take the effort to work within the fixed lens’ limitations. I live in Derbyshire, UK, just on the edge of the peak district, and want to be able to do justice to its impressive landscapes (thinking either a Zeiss wide angle or a tilt/shift option). The reality is though, with time and transport limitations, that most of my shooting is local walkabouts, and concentrates on details within the rural and old industrial environments in my area. There are times I wish had a bit more reach – 100-200mm say. Part of the reason I havn’t jumped into a “system” is because I don’t want to waste the opportunity I currently have, being unencumbered by brand loyalty, or money invested into lenses, etc. I want to make sure I choose well. I also feel that we are currently on a cusp of change within photographic technology, and am intrigued to see what the next year or so brings in.

        • Have a look at the OM-D…I think it makes an excellent portable camera system especially if you’ve got to carry it long distances.

          • Hello Ming , hope everything is alright for you. I have a great audiovisual representation on 18m2 screen at a festival in France , and I prepare an other one, what was was missing till now was the part of story telling although my presentations although they are only about wildlife in different aereas it is the all that comes with it that I missed to shoot ,but getting the big DSLRs with the big lenses. Ready is too painful. on trip i am somehow happy to have the stoffed away. But I still need the quality and post processing capabilities, ev printing. So what do you consider to bethe best in 2013? Thank you for your reply and thank you for your continuing enthusiasm and efforts

  52. Morton Leiter says:

    How do I subscribe to his blog/column ??

  53. Nettie Klappe says:

    Dear mr Ming Thein,
    Wauw, your photo’s are great. And thanks for your good reviews.
    I’m looking for a new camera now and I love the Fuji XF1 but I doubt between Fuji and the new Panasonic LF1. I’m not a good fotographer but I will learn. I think that the camera will often stand on automatically. Please can you give me an advise wich camera you think that’s the best at the moment. It should not be too difficult to operate
    Sorry for my bad English. I’m Dutch.

    Kind regards,
    Nettie Klappe

  54. Nettie Klappe says:

    Thanks for the list.
    From what I read, the Panasonic LF1 is largely similar to the LX7. Do you now about that maybe?

    I love the Sony RX100, but that camera is to expensive for me.

  55. No idea – they’re not available yet…sensor is the same, I believe. Not the lens though.

Trackbacks

  1. […] to view Making Outstanding Images Episode 4&5: Exploring Style! by the great photographer Ming Thing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and boy am I happy I did. This new series of videos is comprised of 2 […]

  2. […] to view Making Outstanding Images Episode 4&5: Exploring Style! by the great photographer Ming Thing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and boy am I happy I did. This new series of videos is comprised of 2 […]

  3. [...] foge do escopo do Queimando Filme. O lance, porém, é que o autor – o fotógrafo da Malásia Ming Thein –  faz um excelente trabalho ao mostrar que câmeras digitais e analógicas são, sobre muitos [...]

  4. [...] Ming Thein is a member of (NPS) Nikon Professional Services and avid photographer dedicated to improving his craft and helping the photography community at large. How many professionals do you know are willing to do a photowalk with their readers while traveling? I highly recommend reading his photography blog. I personally have found the photographs compelling, the detailed explanations concise and to the point, and all of the helpful topics to be truly informative. While, not free, certainly reasonable to me and I am sure Mr. Thein isn’t going to be making a lot when all the dust settles. You can tell, he honestly is in it for the love of photography. [...]

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