Competition: Win the multispectral Sony NEX-5!

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In yesterday’s post, I recounted the journey of modifying a digital camera with the intention of creating something that would deliver outstanding out-of-camera black and white results; I had the rich, deep shadows and light but subtle highlights of film in mind, plus the crispness of the best non-AA-filtered cameras. The result, after three days of work and testing – on a camera generously donated by a reader – is a Sony NEX-5 that has no filtration in front of the sensor other than the Bayer pattern – no UV or IR or anti-aliasing. You’re looking at bare silicon if you stare down the lens mount.

Today, I’m happy to announce a competition which will give a reader a chance to own a camera personally modified by me. The camera is as-new cosmetically, is complete with box, kit lens and all accessories as sold (except the strap, that seems to have gone missing); it is out of warranty though (and will be anyway since I ripped out the filter pack).

Since this is a photography site first, and this camera was supposed to be a monochrome machine, it can only mean one thing: a black and white challenge!

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I’ve created a new group on Flickr here: The Mingthein.com B&W Challenge specifically for this purpose.

1. Like the site’s Facebook page – title your submission with your Facebook username so I can check. Entries without Facebook usernames will be disqualified.
2. To submit an image, enter it in The Mingthein.com B&W Challenge Flickr group pool.
3. Your image must be in black and white; toning is NOT allowed.
4. Any subject, medium or cameras is fair game. You can shoot large format sheet film if you are so inclined.
5. Postprocessing is allowed, but anything overly done will almost certainly not win on aesthetic grounds.
6. Judging will be by me and the anonymous donor of the camera; our decision is final. The best image will win. And yes, it’s subjective etc – but this is a photography contest, photography is art, and art is a matter of taste.
7. Images will have a better chance of winning if they meet most or all of the important factors; you can find a lengthy discourse here…
8. You must own the rights to the image you submit.
9. The competition will run until the end of January 2013; closing time is 00:00 1 Feb 2013, GMT+8 (i.e. the end of the 1st of Feb when it hits midnight in Kuala Lumpur; easier to give the people in odd timezones a fair chance)
10. Multiple entries are allowed, but I’m going to restrict the pool to one per person per week: think carefully before you submit. You can remove and replace if you shoot something better.
11. You will need a flickr account to post images to the pool, but it’s free to sign up.
12. By entering, you give me and the mingthein.com site the right to re-post your image as part competition announcements and posts.
13. The winner will be announced in the first couple of weeks of February 2013 – depending on when I can meet up with our donor for the judging. We’ll ship the camera to you by EMS shortly thereafter.
14. There is no time limit on when images have to have been taken.

Shoot me an email if there are any questions. I think that’s about it – good shooting, and good luck! MT

Photoessay: The people of Tokyo

Another one of the continuing series from my last Tokyo trip – this time focusing on is inhabitants. Enjoy! MT

This set was shot with an Olympus OM-D and the ZD 45/1.8. As usual, click on any image to go to its Flickr landing page; EXIF data is intact on the right hand side link.

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Plenty to spare, Ginza

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Geisha in training, Asukusa

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Maid for hire, Akihabara

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Only in Tokyo would this be considered normal. Shibuya

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Putting up a wager, Asakusa

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Untitled. Senso-Ji temple grounds, Asakusa

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Coffee break, Shibuya

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A considered proposition. Somewhere along the Yamanote line

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Reading the fine print, Akihabara

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What happens after closing time. Asakusa

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Elegant shopping. Ginza

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Public opinion, Shibuya

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A Japanese cliche, Shibuya

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Even the chauffeur gets lost sometimes. Ginza

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting the site via Paypal (mingthein2@gmail.com); Ming Thein’s Email School of Photography – learn exactly what you want to learn, when you want to learn it or learn how to achieve a similar look with our Photoshop workflow DVDs.  You can also get your gear from Amazon.com via this referral link.  Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the Flickr group!

Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Photoessay: Tokyo monochromes

This set is a whole bunch of little snippets of life from around Tokyo – mostly Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ginza. I’ve tried to get into the Japanese style of street photography/ reportage a little; the intentional chaos is somewhat unnerving to my perfectionist nature and definitely not so easy to replicate. Still, I think I got just enough of an influence in there to get something different to my normal work. MT

This set was shot with an Olympus OM-D, ZD 12/2, 45/1.8 and Sony RX100. As usual, click on any image to go to its Flickr landing page; EXIF data is intact on the right hand side link.

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Shadow of a head

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Look before you leap

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Untitled

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Diagonal

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Trapped

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Meditation nap

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Lines I

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Lines II

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Overpackaged

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Ginza reflections

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Confidence

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Bad boy I

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Bad boy II

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Just another afternoon in Shibuya

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting the site via Paypal (mingthein2@gmail.com); Ming Thein’s Email School of Photography – learn exactly what you want to learn, when you want to learn it or learn how to achieve a similar look with our Photoshop workflow DVDs.  You can also get your gear from Amazon.com via this referral link.  Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the Flickr group!

Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Photoessay: Paris part three: some architectural cliches

Finishing this three-part series on Paris are some architectural shots and general cityscapes; the grandeur, oldness and overall feel of the place is something that’s evident the moment you start walking around. Capturing the atmosphere in a photograph of a relatively static scene that both invokes some feeling (and not a postcard) isn’t so easy to do; there are only so many angles of the Eiffel tower that work compositionally.

This series shot with a Leica M8, 21/1.4 ASPH and 50/1.1 in 2009, except for the Eiffel Tower shot which was with a D200 and 17-55 in 2007.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting the site via Paypal (mingthein2@gmail.com); Ming Thein’s Email School of Photography – learn exactly what you want to learn, when you want to learn it or our Photoshop workflow DVDs.  You can also get your gear from Amazon.com via this referral link.  Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the Flickr group!

Photoessay: Paris part two: the streets, in B&W

Part two continues with a series from my last visit; focusing on the people of Paris. This is a place where hyperfocal shooting, honing your distance-estimation skills and shooting like a stealth ninja are the order of the day.

This series shot in 2009 with a Leica M8, the 21/1.4 ASPH and Voigtlander 50/1.1.

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Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and 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!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the reader Flickr group!

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Photoessay: Paris part one: color vignettes

One of the spiritual homes of street photography, Paris is actually quite a challenging environment to shoot in – partially because the people are rather unfriendly, and because the urban space itself isn’t really human scale. The left bank is much more conducive to shooting.

This series is a mix of images from 2007 and 2009; shot with a Leica M8, 21/1.4 ASPH, 50/1.1 and Nikon D200 with 17-55/2.8.

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Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and 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!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the reader Flickr group!

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Photoessay: Hong Kong life in monochrome

The first set from my recent Hong Kong and Macau workshop. Click for larger versions or EXIF data via the flickr landing page. Enjoy! MT

Images shot with a Leica M9-P, Zeiss ZM 2.8/28 Biogon, ZM 2/50 Planar, Olympus OM-D and 45/1.8.

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Enter the August 2012 competition: Compact Challenge – here!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider supporting the site via Paypal (mingthein2@gmail.com); Ming Thein’s Email School of Photography – learn exactly what you want to learn, when you want to learn it or learn how to achieve a similar look with our Photoshop workflow DVDs.  You can also get your gear from Amazon.com via this referral link.  Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the Flickr group!

Video: A B&W workflow tutorial

After the series of articles on color and B&W – and of course the M-Monochrom review – I got a huge number of emails asking about my workflow for B&W conversion. I originally tried to put this post into a conventional text and image format, but gave up shortly after I realized it would be impossible. Instead, have a video! I don’t claim to be any good at video production (forays into this are are another topic for another day), but I think this should give you a good idea of how it all comes together. Excuse the lousy sound, that bit I still haven’t quite gotten figured out yet. I suppose I need some collar mics or something – the equipment buying never ends…

Anyway, enjoy the video. MT

 

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Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and 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!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the reader Flickr group!

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

More street images from the Leica M-Monochrom

This series shot with a Leica M-Monochrom and the 35/1.4 ASPH FLE.

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POTD: When color might have been preferable

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Postmen. Leica M-Monochrom, 35/1.4 ASPH FLE

One of those times where color would actually have been better. The bright blue and red uniforms of the motorbike postmen in this shot stood out well against the gray tarmac…I reached for a camera instinctively, nailed focus and exposure, but didn’t realize I was holding the M-Monochrom instead of the M9-P! Still, the geometry of this shot is its saving grace, I feel.

Today is going to be a busy day. Many people wonder what photographers do in the time they’re not shooting – well, here’s my schedule:

1. Client meetings
2. Test prints from M-Monochrom, 50 APO and D800E for clients, and if I have time, a quick article/ note on the site about relative print quality
3. Have to buy a light, strong, compact tripod in preparation for a trip (did I mention those are all oxymorons?). Tripod choice is another minefield I’ll probably write about at some point.
4. Retouching work for another client
5. Chase payments once Europe wakes up
6. Intersperse with replying email and comments to the site – between the two, I get an average of about 100-150 per day, which eats up a good couple of hours in replies. My laptop keyboard is now mirror smooth! :)

I think I need an assistant. MT

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