On Assignment Photoessay: Abstraction in the machine

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Today’s photoessay is something a little different: the curated results from an assignment last year where I had an open creative brief; I was to document and photograph everything and anything at the given locations. The client was a heavy engineering/ construction company with everything going on from schools to subways to airports; it was both one of the most interesting assignments I’ve undertaken as well as one of the most satisfying – and simultaneously challenging.

Some of these images will be part of the larger exhibition in Hong Kong in June, so if you’re around, please come and say hello.

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Photographic detox, part two

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Part two: get creative (continued from part one)

The camera companies and retailers are going to hate me for writing this, because it’s not going to sell any more equipment. If you were hoping for a quick solution that involves a credit card, I’m sorry too – there is no substitute to better photographs other than hard work. But this doesn’t mean it can’t be fun or creatively liberating – after all, isn’t that one of the key reasons we shoot at all?

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Photographic detox, part one

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And now, for something a little different. We all fall into creative ruts occasionally, and we can all benefit from a little reboot from time to time. Think of it as the closest we’re going to get to a creative diet plan of sorts. It doesn’t involve more fibre, or workouts, or stairs, or eating things that might look healthy but taste terrible. I promise not to make you develop your own film, though you certainly can if you want. Read on if you want to tighten your photo-chops.

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My first exhibition of 2015: ‘Connection’, at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in conjunction with Chun Wo Development

MING X ChunWo_Poster_A4 I am very pleased to announce my first exhibition of 2015, in partnership with Chun Wo Development of Hong Kong: Connection. The theme is “constructing bonds to improve life”, and it features a body of work that is largely documentary in nature which celebrates the efforts and labours of the workers who create the places in which we as people live and work. They are more than buildings or roads; they are enablers that bring people together and provide a conducive environment to build relationships with others – the connection. It features my work on 102 large canvas prints made by printmaster Wesley Wong, some of which are up to 6x9ft in size, together with a special contribution by fellow photographer and company chairman Derrick Pang. The purpose of the exhibition is both a showcase as well as a charitable effort in support of LifeWire, Chun Wo’s children’s medical foundation, and the Hong Kong Construction Workers’ Charity Fund. There will be a charity auction of one-off signed prints during the opening night, and individuals or organisations may sponsor a print (please contact me for details). The exhibition will run from 11-17 June at the Pao Galleries, 4/5th fl, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai. I will be in attendance for most of the days, so if you’re around, please drop by and say hello! MT [Read more…]

The Q&A post: ask me anything! (form now closed.)

At the suggestion of one of my readers, I’m going to try something a little different for today: Ask Me Anything, and I mean literally, anything – photographic or otherwise. There’s a question submission form after the jump which will be open for a few days; and at the end of it I’ll pick the most interesting questions to answer in detail. These will then be published in a future post. One caveat though: I won’t be answering any ‘what should I buy’ or equipment speculation type questions, because they are meaningless. MT

Update, 8 May: After receiving an overwhelming number of entries, the form is now closed.

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Long term lens review: the Nikon AF-S 24-120 f4 VR G

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Yes yes, I know I’m late to the party. Very late, in fact. The AFS 24-120 f4 VR G has been available for a good four years now, replacing the much-maligned AFS 24-120 f3.5-5.6 VR G. By a curious coincidence, I’ve actually owned and shot extensively with both versions. And even more curiously, my experiences have been fairly similar with both lenses. You could say you’d be glad you had them if you did, but you could also probably do without if you didn’t. And then there’s the 900-pound (or $1700 dollar) gorilla in the corner: why not just buy the 24-70/2.8 and be done with it?

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Photoessay: Urban observations in monochrome

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Fragmentation in the face of modernization

Today’s photoessay is a short series of urban observations and abstractions in black and white; I like to think of them as the things I (and presumably others) notice but either pass by or seldom bother contemplating. They are the little slices of whimsy that can make for an interesting interlude to an otherwise routine day. The captions are integral, I think. Enjoy! MT

This series of grabs was shot with various vintages of iPhone; mostly 5/5s and processed with the Monochrome Masterclass workflow.

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Mini-photoessay: Czech minimalist interlude

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Inner fire

In the spirit of the subject and post, no words today. All images are available as Ultraprints on request; please shoot me an email if you’re interested. Enjoy! MT

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Apple PC hardware choices for the photographer

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Choices, choices. Image from the Apple Malaysia homepage.

At some point early on in the digital era, the world decided that Apple was the way to go for serious photographers and graphics professionals – granted, there were applications that were Mac-specific or just worked so much better on a Mac than a PC that it made sense. I’m sure some of that was image and hubris, too pricing be damnmed, the hardware just looked sooo much cooler. There was also a point in not so distant history at which we weren’t held hostage by Apple’s upgrade options, either: you could buy the base version, and upgrade certain components yourself if you were handy with a screwdriver, which brought the cost of performance down. The cost of ownership wasn’t (and still isn’t) as bad because Macs maintain their resale value – probably because the new machines are never much cheaper than the old ones. But a) does Apple hardware still make sense for photographers, and b) if so, what hardware?

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Second session open for the Cinematic Masterclass with Zeiss: Hanoi, Jul 28-Aug 2 2015

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Due to popular demand, I’m taking bookings for the second session of the Cinematic Photography Masterclass with Carl Zeiss in Hanoi (click here to book and for more details) It will run from 28 July to 2 August and follow the same format as the first one – hope to see you there! MT

After the jump, a few snippets of thought from previous Masterclass participants…

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