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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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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The eternal question: why I use Photoshop over Lightroom

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Right after ‘what should I buy’ comes this series of questions: why don’t you use Lightroom? And what does Photoshop give me that Lightroom lacks? Moreover, is your workflow applicable to Lightroom? I received a slew of emails recently following the release of LR CC/6 and realised I’ve never really answered any of these questions. Today we’re going to fix that.

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Curate curate curate (and, coincidentally, post #1,000)

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Tribute to an American painter

I’ve never really talked much about what is probably the most important process in photography other than conceptualisation and capture/execution of the image itself. Even though it isn’t directly part of the photographic process, curation has probably the greatest impact out of all of the possible things you can do to control the way your work is perceived. Coincidentally, we’ve been running for a little over three years now, and this is also post number 1,000excluding the reposts. At an average length of 1,500 words per post (and many well into 4,000-5,000 range, plus the mammoth Camerapedia), that means there’s around ~2,200,000 words of primary content on the site, not including the comments. Not bad considering an average paperback is in the 100,000 word range. I suppose it’s therefore also somewhat fitting (and perhaps a touch ironic) that I celebrate being prolific by discussing the opposite. It seems it’s simpler to do it than talk about it, but equally important to do so in order to understand why…

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Photoessay: Abstraction and reflection in Chicago

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Only one place in Chicago…

I think without reflections, urban photography and architecture would be pretty boring. There’d certainly be no opportunity for the sort of ‘continuity errors’ that make for interesting juxtapositions and impossible geometries; the kind of thing that adds depth, complexity and texture to a scene. These were shot in Chicago with a GR, 645Z, D810 and Otus 85 and processed with PS Workflow II. Enjoy! MT

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Portraiture, part two: candids, reportage, street, and the ‘happiness barometer’

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Chopper

In part one we looked at why images of people fascinate us, and the nature of portraiture. However, this only covers half of the possibilities for ‘images of people': instances where the subject is a conscious and cooperative part of the process. What about the other possibility: where the subject is not aware the photographer, or only aware of them in the most fleeting of moments before any conscious self-image or rapport can be built?

The images in this article are all candid: unposed, unplanned, and with subject unaware. Even if it appears they may be looking at the camera in certain situations, it is a result of conscious timing, observation of something behind me, and/or a particular moment rather than catching a long stare. None of them showed any acknowledgement of my presence before or after the shot was taken, which was actually quite surprising in some situations. They saw me, but my presence didn’t register.

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Thoughts on portraiture

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Style

Today’s article is the first of two parts focusing on portraiture and human subjects as the focus of an image. It is not something I’m normally associated with because I rarely choose to show my work here; it doesn’t mean I don’t engage in it for personal reasons (which are usually not shared, obviously) or professional ones (I do have clients whose mainstay subjects are primarily human). Whilst curating images for a recent assignment, I had a couple of little personal epiphanies which I’d like to share with you all.

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