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.

_M8_L1025466 copy

_M8_L1026299 copy

_M8_L1026229 copy

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_M8_L1025305 copy

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_M8_L1025260 copy

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_M8_L1025741 copy

_M8_L1026176 copy

_M8_L1025475 copy


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


  1. Love that blurry horse and rider! Something timeless about it.

  2. Great post, Ming. Makes me consider keeping my M8. You are one of the best photography bloggers out there — great writing, and photos that are a cut above the rest. Keep up the good work.

  3. Really beautiful work, Ming, as always. Makes me want to keep my M8. And damnit, you write well too. You are one photography blogger that really has the goods.

  4. Yeah, the old couple, that is it! It is Paris! Good enough for an exhibition in the Centre Pompidou! 😉

  5. A wonderful set, Ming.

    I really love (among other things) the softness of the light in your day photos (the Delice City for example, but all of them, basically). Was the light like that, or is it your metering or PP?

  6. ” the people are rather unfriendly”.

    I’m a Parisian and unfortunately, I agree with you. Sad, but true.

    That being said, your photos are lovely as usual.

    • Thanks Richard! There are exceptions to everything, though. 🙂

    • I was in Paris a million years ago ( 1968 ) and thought the Parisians were unfriendly. However I returned this summer, older and hopefully wiser and found Paris, lovely beyond compare and the residents delightful and friendly. I actually had avoided returning and now regret it. If there is a city that embraces culture in all its aspects more, I have yet to see it. Now if I could only learn the language!

  7. Great photos! I would love to see more! When I went to Versailles, people at the market were really friendly…. Perhaps not in the city lol

  8. Tinker's Realm says:

    Wonderful-I so want to go here & take my own pics but yours will hold me until then-Thanks!

  9. William Jusuf says:


    I really love the people photos in this set..

    esp the old couple with matching coupling color of the coats with another blurry couple in background
    and the 3 people portrait
    the skin tone is so real…

    Love your works and always learning a lot from your talents


    • Thanks – this set was actually shot with an M8 back in 2009…

      • William Jusuf says:

        do you think, it is the M8 ? or the lens ?
        I mean for the color skin tone like that… (without too much post process in that skin tone)..
        is it the M8 ? or the lens ? or simply your set up (u can do it with any other camera).. resulting in that kind of skin tone

        if you dont mind to enlighten a new starter like me

        Thank you

        • Can’t be the M8 or lens, because that particular shot (Delica) was with a Nikon D200 and 17-55.

          A lot of it is in your processing – I aim for tonal and color consistency with all of my files regardless of the camera. You might want to consider my Photoshop Workflow DVD, which covers all of this. 😉


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  2. […] 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. _M8_L1025466 copy · _M8_L1026299 copy …  […]

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