For those of you who’ve wondered how I create my images – both the compositional and in-camera portion, as well as the postprocessing afterwards – I’ve created a number of distance learning options if you can’t make it to one of my workshops.
Video A: Introduction to Photoshop Workflow for Photographers. US$60. Runtime 1h13m
This video covers the core elements of my postprocessing workflow via Photoshop. It includes a runthrough of the important features in Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop itself; this is the process I follow for the vast majority of my images to achieve the look you see here. With practice, it’s efficient, fast – I spend no more than a minute on each image – and delivers consistent results with a degree of control impossible through any other method. Each image and situation is different – why settle for filters, plugins or batch processing? No actions or plugins required, my workflow uses only the standard tools available in Photoshop and ACR.
Video B: Photoshop Workflow for the Leica M-Monochrom. US$65. Runtime 2h10m
The Leica M Monochrom is a camera with a unique tonal signature and a huge amount of potential – but it requires some care in processing to maximize this. Learn how with my workflow specifically customized for the camera.
Video C: Intermediate Photoshop. US$63 Runtime 2h20min
Six months is a reasonably long time: enough that if you’ve had a chance to view and master the Introduction video, then chances are you’ve probably encountered a few situations in which you’ve wanted a little bit more processing horsepower; this video covers methods, use and application of masks; use of layers; retouching with the healing brush, clone stamp and airbrush – including re-rendering of simple surfaces; compositing images; liquefy; stitching; actions and batches. I use multiple commercial image examples. It’s impossible to demonstrate these techniques solo, as they’re often paired together in real applications to achieve a particular outcome or effect. Together with the Introduction video, it covers effectively 99% of all postprocessing situations a working pro is likely to encounter.
How to order the videos:
Just hit the checkout button under the desired video – please remember to include the email address you’d like your download link sent to. If you don’t receive a link within a day, please check your spam filter – sometimes things get lost. The videos are also available via my iPad app.
2. Ming Thein’s Email School of Photography
A personally tailored, one-on-one photographic correspondence course that takes the form of one portfolio review and nine lessons for just US$800. Determine your photographic objectives, and I’ll figure out how to get you there through a series of exercises designed to improve both your eye and your technical skills. Take as long as you need and learn exactly what you want – no other course offers this level of personalised, individual tuition. As at May 2013, there are over 100 students currently enrolled!
3. Portfolio review video
If you feel you have the skills but just need an objective, detailed critique of your images to set you on the right track, then the portfolio review video is for you. A longer, more detailed version of the one included in the Email School, I will review an extended portfolio of your work and provide suggestions and tips for you to try in order to address any potential shortcomings.
4. Portfolio review session
If you live in Kuala Lumpur, I offer a 2-hour portfolio review session in person for US$300.
If you’d like to sign up for any of the above, or would like more information, please contact me here or email firstname.lastname@example.org – thanks!
Student testimonials and quotes
Graham Wood (Intro to PS DVD): Someone wrote above “precisely what I was looking for…”. Having just absorbed Video A, I fully second that. There was no waffle and no fluff. Just very very useful stuff, with all the right context to make it meaningful. Thank you Ming.
Tom Liles (Intro, Intermediate PS DVDs): I had a go on a couple of Ming’s PS videos recently and find them useful. There’s an important difference between saying that and “found them useful.” Happy customer I would frame them as cast-off points rather than top-down “do this, do this, do this, do this…” cookie cutter type instructions. They make you want to play with PS, but honestly my over-riding desire after watching was to go out and take some pictures; to have some fresh meat, as it were, to try the new approach — a better phrase than ‘new tools’ — on. Give them a go.
Valerji Tomarenko (Intro to PS DVD): Just received the DVD (it took it less than a fortnight to reach Germany). Very happy about it. Exactly what I was looking for, against the backdrop of all these books, tutorials etc. on PH. Thank you so much!
Luis Meirinhos (Intro to PS DVD):
(What I like)
1. I really like the simplicity of the workflow to change a set of photos.
2. Workflow based on 1 application with 2 modules . (Bridge + Photoshop)
2.1 I use 3 applications and wast so many time changing between them (ViewNX, CaptureNX, Photoshop).
3. Photo ranking process with good use of method (FBLW – First BEST Last WORST)
3.1 I use numbers instead of stars on ViewNX, but my method is FIFO – First In First Out. It’s good because it’s one method but, for this propose, i don’t think i have good results. I have many medium quality pictures processed that I’ll not see them again. I’ll try your method to have better use of time.
4. Many sharpening filters have better results.
4.1 I never realise this. The results are much better compared to one sharpening filter more aggressive.
(What I improve…)
1. Use photoshop non destructively for everything!
1.1 Is there any difference if we use one layer with 50% of grey (Overlay) for dodge and burn?
1.2 this way if I wish to revisit one photo latter I don’t lose the original.
2. Workflow of one picture that you have to fix or remove something. Ex: dust, cable,…
I really enjoy the DVD because I learn new ways to improve my photos and have more time to do other things instead of post processing.
R. V. Abbott (Intro to PS DVD): I found that all the principles you discussed in your basic photoshop and color correction videos (e.g., regarding the relationship between the saturation and lightness sliders) applied equally well in LR. I used to struggle with skin tone color corrections, but thanks to your video, I’m finally able to do it easily!
Kim Davidson (Intro to PS DVD): After receiving your DVD I installed Adobe Photoshop CS6, never having seen it, camera raw or bridge before. I would not have believed it possible, but thanks to your great instruction on your DVD, I worked my way through bridge, camera raw and successfully processed photos in Photoshop CS6 in just one day and i keep going back to your DVD to learn more. I can’t thank you enough.
James (Intro to PS DVD): I just wanted to say thanks for the very informative DVD. I know photoshop pretty well, but you have taken the way I’ll use it from now to another level. I was always scared of that Curves line as it seemed to be really sensitive and easily ruin my shots. Now from your DVD I know how to use it and have already transformed a few of my photos and they look so much better. Also your dodge, burn, sponge and sharpening tips were a revelation for me. I won’t list all the things you went into, but suffice to say I’m looking forward to going through my photos now and seeing the results.
Djoko Susanto (Intro to PS DVD): I had watched your your photoshop workflow dvd, it was shock me, much.
I never thought, it was so easy techniques, but it’s awesome.
I learned so many techniques in photoshop but never realized yours is the best and simple, great job Ming.
Dimitris Glynos (Intro to PS DVD): Hi Ming! I just saw your “Photoshop workflow DVD” and it was really amazing! The resolution of the mov file (1440x900px) is very very good and your workflow both on color & b&w images is pretty impressive! Thanks a lot!
JP Kornberg (Intro to PS DVD): I am happy to support the use of your PS DVD. Your workflow really is easy even for PSphobes.
Joey (Intro to PS DVD): I received your PS workflow dvd a few days ago and have enjoyed it very much. Though not familiar with Photoshop I look forward to trying out the many techniques you discussed and feel confident it will start me on the right path as I step into the often confusing world of post-processing.
Keith Nisbet (iPad app, general): I read all the major review sites and drive myself crazy pouring over reviews trying to figure out how to make the best purchase decision as a nikon F3 owner with some nice old Manual focus lenses that really needs to move into the digital era, but, works on a limited budget.
When I came across your blog it was arresting. Your photos… composition, humanity, beauty, perspective, such a quality that is so difficult to put into words. There’s just something special abut your work that engages one for far longer than a quick peek. Your reviews…read like seeing with a translucent film removed from ones eyes for the first time. The detail, clarity and sheer intelligence is so refreshing. Thanks so much. I can only imagine the time and energy you put into your site and its content.
I did purchase your brilliant Compendium iPad app. It’s the least I could do. Best wishes for your continued health and contribution to Photography.
Jo B Grasmo (Image critique): Wow! Precisely what I was looking for! Thank you very much! I guess I’m “too afraid” of breaking rule of thirds and having anything in the middle of the image. Balance is indeed something I need to think more about when composing my images, which fits with another goal of less cluttered images – making them simpler and more peaceful. Again, thanks!
Stefan Decker (Email school): I also see a great improvement in my photos and I am so happy that I take your lessons. (Best spent money on photography!)
Pete Saunders (Email School): I certainly have benefited greatly from Ming’s mentorship. Don’t expect his critques to be sugar-coated. He will be honest (brutally so at times) but fair. If you want to be on the path to developing useful and creative photographic skills, this is the person to go to. I have been fortunate enough to have had the ear (and eyes) of Ming these past few years in guiding me to the satisfying levels I’m at today. Ocassionally, he even likes one or two of my photographs.
Roger Wojahn (Portfolio review): Thank you so much for your patient, thoughtful, encouraging and brutally frank comments on my portfolio as well as my strengths and weaknesses. I have taken them all to heart and feel like the goals are tangible and understandable. Edges, exploring the vertical, eliminating random extra space and many of the finer (and larger subject) points all taken. A few of the comments about, for example, a boat on one side and needing a bit more of the mountain line descent on the other were merely a shortcoming of having one lens on the camera and little room to move closer or further from the scene. Still those points are instructive. (Follow up:) I first wanted to say that you have completely changed my perspective having been so forthright in your review of my portfolio. It may not seem like much has changed from your end, but I am practicing every day. Instead of making one casual shot and moving on, I am trying to improve, strengthen my subjects, watch the edges, shoot in vertical format, and a host of other things you mentioned. Part of the reason that I shot landscapes was my love for individual travel and discomfort with shooting in a crowd. It’s still quite a transition toward street photography but I am trying. For example, both shots that you chose of mine today were shot without looking through the viewfinder. The Mimosa, shot from well overhead (very clunky) with an M9 and the other, hanging around my neck, sitting on a subway. I’m trying to learn zone focusing, etc. Anyway, too much info I’m sure, but I’m doing my best to improve and practice is helping given your commentary.
Chris Suan (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): I have recently been reflecting on the workshop and my picture taking. I seem naturally to be gravitating toward the principles of your class. Because I never had any real instruction prior to your class, your principles filled the vacuum nicely so that I naturally reach for the structure of your instruction. In other words, in the absence of other competing instruction, my mind seems naturally to gravitate toward what you taught. Thanks!
Peppo Aragon (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): Fantastic workshop. Tks Ming. Hopefully you can come to Panama some day.
Peter Boender (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): The workshop is highly instructional and valuable. The learning curve is steep, but (and someone already mentioned this) if you have an open mind and approach you will learn a tremendous lot. I really liked the deconstructive approach: it’s a bit like starting all over again and built from there with basic elements from an artistic and compositional standpoint (you should know your technical stuff and camera specifics). Finding good light and using (natural) compositional elements (leading lines, framing, mirroring for a second story) really forces you to look with your eyes again, and not so much with the camera. After the course I did notice a change in my photography and my approach to shooting: I now look much more consciously and with more predetermination about my desired results. Quite a feat for such a relatively short course, which for me made it invaluable! Great job Ming, I really did enjoy my time in NYC with you and the other participants. Seriously and highly recommended!
Andrew Marrero (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): I had a great time getting to learn from you was well as getting to meet both you and your wife. I’d love to be able to join you again in the future with camera in hand. I had a blast, would love to get with you again soon Ming!
Jim Lozier (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): Thank you again for an excellent workshop. In looking over the images I took over the course of the two days I can definitely see a progression which is pretty amazing for such a short period of time. I hope that you enjoyed your time in the states and have a smooth trip back home.
Dr. Paul Lewis (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge of photography with our group of nice people. I enjoyed meeting everyone and the amount of instruction that was presented during the three days. I would need at least two or three more workshops to get all the information that was given…Your workshop exposed me to a lot of things that I knew nothing about before attending…If I live long enough, I would certainly attend your workshop again. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us. I had a good time.
Chris Suan (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop) : Thanks for a great workshop. I really feel much better about knowing how to take some great pictures.
Jed Best (Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): I just wanted to thank you for a very interesting and informative three days. While I may not have showed it, it was great and I learned a lot. Hopefully, if ever I am in Asia or you are NYC again, I can take another workshop with you. In the meantime, I look forward to reading your blog and site assiduously.
Jill Maguire (Apr 2013 San Francisco Workshop): Ming, I had a great time at your workshop and learned so much. Safe travels home for you both.
Jesse Hall (Apr 2013 San Francisco Workshop): Thank you, Ming! I did learn a lot — although I’d read what you’ve written about these topics, spending real time practicing specific things and getting feedback helps much more than reading. Plus, it was a lot of fun!
Gian Dionisio (Mar 2013 San Francisco workshop and Apr 2013 NYC workshop): I can confidently say that attending this workshop has been the best investment I’ve made for my photography; the knowledge and techniques that he taught us apply not only to street photography, but all photography in general. From the fundamentals of finding good light and basic compositional balance, to more advanced concepts such a layering and storytelling, all of these ideas can be applied to any style of photography. Ming’s teachings have completely restructured the way I see the world photographically, and I would definitely attend his workshops again in the future. PS: One of the most important point of this workshop is being near the master himself. Watching him in action as listening to his commentary as he shoots is in itself incredibly insightful. Additionally, having instant and personalised feedback during the shooting process is…. I’ll let you assess the value of that.
Ciao Pui (Mar 2013 San Francisco Workshop and Apr 2013 NYC Workshop): Sitting next to Ming in San Francisco while he was processing these photos, I can attest that his “judicious application” [of Photoshop] is faster than using any presets, not to mention consistency. His workshops will demystify and challenge your views on photography… if you’re open.
Richard Sandor (Mar 2013 San Francisco Workshop): A short note of thanks for having provided such an informative workshop. I’ve been to a number of workshops, but none have had the structure that yours did.
Leslie Gleim (Mar 2013 San Francisco Workshop): First let me say thank you very much for truly pushing my work and thinking around how to use the language of photography! I did want you to know that you made Photoshop more understandable than any person whose tried to explain/teach it me. It seemed FAR more intuitive — today was mainly me figuring it out and playing!! Thank you so much for your insight and help! Safe travels and thank you for making the journey over! Your workshop was invaluable and I learned to look through “new” eyes. Awesome!
Azhari (Nov 2012 Melaka Workshop): Truly a work of a master! Love them all. Glad i attended this workshop and had the opportunity to see how the master did it. Thank you very much Ming.
Doyle Shafer (Oct 2012 Tokyo Workshop): It was a challenging and interesting workshop. I would have never forced myself to see Tokyo in different ways. To be honest I was happy with my photography for the most part and had little interest in branching out. But as I mentioned earlier, after the workshop it’s like seeing The Matrix for what it really is: some basic “code” and infinite possibility. Now when I walk through Ginza it’s going to take me much longer than before the workshop. It’s funny because I used to think that place was kind of dry and boring! It’s all still sinking in, but my photography has already tightened up quite a bit. And I won’t even get into post processing…that rocked my world like when we did layering in Ginza @. @
Erwin Kindangen (Oct 2012 Tokyo Workshop): I had a great time there and my photography definitely improved after the workshop. It taught me how to “see” scenes and what scene would actually make a good photo and not just randomly shooting at people. Plus the basic wizardry of Photoshop at the end of the workshop definitely ties it all up. In the meantime, I’ll keep perfecting what I’ve learnt before I jump to the next workshop (I hope there will be a follow up).
Andrew Yaw (Sep 2012 Finding Light workshop, Kuala Lumpur): It was an awesome day out. Second round of beating from the master after the ‘Making light workshop’ . This workshop changed my perspectives on street photography. Looking at not only the life around you but also the architecture, reflections, natural frames and much more. I have never walked around KL that much before. I plan to do it again alone this weekend. Who says you need to travel far to take pictures? The challenges were all interesting and some tough to train us into seeing things in ways never before. It really sort of reminded me of the “Wax on, Wax off” training technique in ‘Karate kid’. Lol. Really, for me it was. Especially the part where we had to shoot with our 2 second timer on and stage the subjects on a particular part of the frame. Epic fail at 1st. After a while though you slowly learn how to anticipate the subject’s movement and then.. ‘click’. Success! and then again and again. It was a full on day with tons of learning and perceiving. Ended the day at 8 PM after a slight debriefing and chattering in a cafe. Thanks Ming for a great day out. Can’t wait for the next one. Have a great time in Japan.
Andrew Yaw, (Sep 2012 Making Light workshop, Kuala Lumpur): Excellent workshop! Great teachings from honing the basics of photography to managing light in a controlled environment followed by hands on guidance while shooting the model for the day. The day ended with a bonus. The shared knowledge of the art of printing which is a totally different ball game. Went home feeling overwhelmed with awesome knowledge and information. Thank you Ming for sharing so much of your knowledge to all of us! Can’t wait for the next workshop!
Ciao Pui (Sep 2012 Making Light workshop, Kuala Lumpur): What a great day! Between the inspiring morning session studying Ming’s jaw-dropping photos and an amazing afternoon shoot with the gorgeous (and funny) Aliza, what Ming didn’t mention was the mouth-watering Malaysian Beef noodles lunch he took us to across the street at the road-side stall! I’ve been reading this blog for months, but I didn’t realized how much more I could learn in person until I took his recent workshops. For example, I’d have missed out on the important training where he raised both arms (see pic #13) waving them vigorously while shouting “Light on, light off” to perfect my shooting methods. Ok, just kidding about the above. On a serious note, the man is a machine! He got in way before everyone else (I know because I arrived an hour early). Then he spent the whole day teaching, instructing, demoing, shooting, working with model, showing his equipment, while tirelessly and patiently answering every questions the workshop participants had, not to mention the 2-hour impromptu print demo/admiration session after the workshop. Great value, great company, great images. I would take his workshops again. Highly recommended.