Photoessay: The streets of Yangon, part two: the city

In a continuation from the previous photoessay, part two covers a few vignettes of the various urban scenes I encountered in Yangon – again captured with the Ricoh GR1v on Ilford Delta 100, and scanned with the Nikon D800E and 60/2.8 G. Enjoy! MT

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Unconscious echoes of the previous

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Workers – Hommage a Sebastiao Salgado


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


  1. Amazing Ming, thanks again!

  2. Carlo Santin says:

    Very nice images, I quite like them. Try Delta 400 instead. I was never able to get rid of a very slight greenish tinge to the shadows in every roll of 100 that I shot. It was probably my processing, but every image from various rolls had that same quality. I don’t really see it in your shots though. I find Delta 400 to have a smoother transition from light to dark and a creamier overall tonality. It also does well pushed to 1600.

    • I’m running through a roll of that at the moment. But I have a feeling Acros 100 is going to become my film of choice after seeing the results from my recent shoot in Japan…

  3. Being a great fan of yours Ming, I’m still going to have to be a bit of a spoil sport on these images. I don’t feel that they have the usual “Ming” feel to them in the way they are processed. Mostly a bit dull or too harsh I guess. Wonder if it’s the method of film+scanning? If I’m all alone on this view, I guess I’ve missed the boat on this one. Anyone else feet this way? Thanks again Ming for your outstanding work.

    • Possibly it’s the developing, or because it’s not digital – the reason I’m shooting film is both to slow down and get away from the digital ‘look’. That said, I’m still not happy with the way Delta 100 handles very harsh light; it may just be the film, though, as I’ve discovered Acros 100 is far, far superior. Have a look at the photoessay I’m going to post in a few days.

  4. More of a general comment on your recommendation to look at photographs of others to improve one’s own work, especially composition. Having tried this for some time I have come to the conclusion that it is far better to look at the work of painters on, e.g., the Web Gallery of Art, especially the work of the impressionists. The reason is that a more expert selection is usually applied to collections of paintings than to collections of photographs. Setting portraits aside, what I find most interesting is the heavy use of the rule of thirds and the use of straight lines and s-curves to draw the viewers attention. Painters do not use depth of field in the same way photographers do so I suppose one should look at some collections of photographs to form an opinion as to the value of this technique.

    • There are two things at play here – firstly, painters see everything in focus, and not being restricted by technical limitations (thus overlaps in subject have to be carefully managed – and are usually avoided since the painter is in full control of the composition). The second is subject matter: there simply wasn’t as much built/ man-made/ uniform environment back then as there is now; it’s difficult to avoid, so all you can do is make the most of it…

  5. Steve Barnes says:

    Just wondering Ming: do you think you could have achieved similar results using your GRD3? I have the GR1v and the GRD3. I like them both very much; I can never decide which one to take out with me, and which one will stay at home. Just curious as to your thoughts. And thanks for such an interesting blog!

    • Compositionally? No doubt. Tonally? Tough, I think. Replicating the native tonal map of film is rather tough. I had both, but landed up selling the GRD3 after getting the RX100; then got distracted by film again and added the GR1v. The real question is: will it get displaced by the Nikon A?

      • Steve Barnes says:

        Thanks for the reply. Yes, it is tough to replicate the tonal qualities of film, especially with a small sensor camera. Still, the output from the GRD3 can be very nice. The Nikon A, I’m sure, will be most excellent (pricey though). Cheers!

        • The samples that have been shown so far are very encouraging, even when shot wide open. And it has no AA filter, either – an X2 killer, perhaps…

  6. Dean Forbes says:

    You used the D800E and lens to do copystand work to make a digital image of the negative?

  7. hmmm, mixed set from my point of view. I like the first and the one with the street food vendor (?) but otherwise it doesn’t have the effortless feel to them as your normal sets – almost as if you were trying too hard to find the shadows and leading lines.

    Processing again excellent!

    • Well, I didn’t do anything different compositionally to the usual, perhaps it’s the dynamic range of the medium that emphasizes it?

  8. Ming: Good work. The quality is great. When you write ” scanned with a D800E” does it mean that you took a picture of a print? if so of which size? Pardon my ignorance but I am intrigued. Best

  9. Inspirational BW work Ming!

  10. Wonderful Ming! Great Hommage to Sebastiao Salgado!

    Best Wishes – Eric

    • Eric….. please….nice work Ming but they are not SS…..I think you’d appreciate that Ming?

      Nice B&Ws……

      • Well, one was meant to be in tone and spirit, the rest weren’t.

        • I assume you are talking about “The Workers” theme Ming in #6 or the last one? The last one one certainly in spirit….the light unfortunately just seems too harsh, imo. Gotta love that harsh sun you can get in that part of the world.

          It makes you appreciate just how good Sebastio is as catching light and subject.

          • I’m referring to the last image. The rest – agree, the light is far too harsh; there’s nothing in the atmosphere to provide that layer of diffusion all of Salgado’s image seem to have. Dust is his friend, as it were.

    • Thanks Eric!


  1. […] In a continuation from the previous photoessay, part two covers a few vignettes of the various urban scenes I encountered in Yangon – again captured with the Ricoh GR1v on Ilford Delta 100, and sca…  […]

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