Now available: Making Outstanding Images Episode 4&5: Exploring Style!

I’m pleased to announce the final two videos in the Making Outstanding Images workshop series: Exploring Style and Processing for Style are now available for instant download!

Style is a very complex subject that extends from the point of capture through post processing and eventually, output. We examine what style is; break it down into constituent quantitative components; look at four styles in detail, shoot live examples on location in Penang, Malaysia and then bring the whole thing back to the studio to complete the post processing. It’s more than six hours of video in total, spread over two episodes (you can buy the style portion and the post processing portions separately) and four parts. It is easily the most comprehensive, time consuming and extensive production we’ve done, so advance warning is necessary: it will cost a little bit more than the previous videos, but you get what you pay for 🙂

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Making Outstanding Images Episode 4: Exploring Style Part I & II (US$80, 1h42m and 1h24m)
We begin by questioning and explaining what style is, and the quantitative hallmarks/ tools that can be used to define, control and create a particular impression, and more importantly, why. I then take four popular, easily defined styles – commercial/travel, high contrast photojournalist black and white, fine art black and white and cinematic – and deconstruct them to their constituent elements, looking at examples and precisely defining what gives them their unique visual look. I then take these elements on a live demo shoot for each style on location in Penang, and discuss the finished images to explain why they work.

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Making Outstanding Images Episode 5: Processing for Style Part I & II (US$80, 1h42m and 1h27m)
The final video in this series brings everything together to the point of output: we take the sample images shot in Exploring style, and examine the postprocessing techniques required to complete the intended style. Starting with the raw files, we put 50+ examples step-by-step through Photoshop and demonstrate exactly what you need to do out-of-camera to put a distinctive flavour onto an image. We use PS CS 5.5, but the core principles apply from CS3 to CC.

The videos are meant to be viewed as a pair to be complete, so as is now traditional, we’re offering a special bundle price for the launch month: US$130 for both (save $30).

The images from both videos are slowly making their way into this set on flickr.

Click on the title links above to go to the store to order, hit the homepage here and scroll down for the bundle.

Testimonials from previous videos:

Jeff C (Intermediate Photoshop): I just was able to set some time aside and sit down and watch the second installment of the photoshop tutorials (damn kids make life so complicated and busy) and just wanted to say the intermediate vid was great. It’ll take some time for all the information to sink into this thick skull of mine, but over the long haul I will benefit greatly! Thanks Ming.

Larry House (The Fundamentals, Making Outstanding Images Ep.1): I’ve watched both videos once, and will need to watch them at least once more. They are very good, by the way. No-one should be deceived by the “fundamentals” title – it is on another level than what might be expected, and should be required viewing for every photographer.

Jerome Walsh (Fundamentals, Making Outstanding Images Ep.1-3, How To See Ep.1, Compact Camera Masterclass): I have found all the lessons I have previously ordered; D:The Fundamentals, E1: Outstanding Images, H1: How To See, & F:Compact Cameras, to be excellent, inspiring, and above all useful. I am choosing to further develop my creative photographic skills, along with a greater understanding of digital techniques. Your video lessons are providing a rich and solid foundation to build on. I look forward to these two new lessons I have just ordered… E2 & E3.
Ming…I find you to be a great teacher and I highly recommend your video lessons. Thank-You.

Dan Friedman (The Email School of Photography): Wow! What a great review of my work. I really appreciate the candid comments and they’ll certainly have an effect on how I look at things through the viewfinder. I’ve printed the “Observations” bullets that you provided and will keep in my pocket when I go out shooting. Clearly, I’ve developed some bad habits that I need to correct. Now, it’s a bright sunny day with lots of shadows and I’m going to grab a camera and go out shooting. Thanks again – your review alone was worth the price of the course.

Jeffrey Littell (The Email School of Photography): You in very short order have identified my single biggest problem and the key one in my frustrations to date in attempting produce better images: My images are flat! Oh golly, are they ever flat!
Looking at the images you sent to me, I SEE very clearly why your images are great and why mine are not particularly interesting. Even your most simple image is interesting.
I now see much more clearly that the world of photography is about contrast, for without it you have my images. Bland and flat. Seeking contrast to make the key image “pop” involves the sky, time of day or night, and as you so clearly state several other factors.
I must get busy studying these fundamentals so they become my primary criteria for shot selection. I see that I have a lot of work to do but I am not intimidated by what you say because although at times it might be frustrating it will still be great fun.
I like your rules. Tell me anything, make it a teaching tool for me to work on, and we will see a nice progression in my work.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Mark McDonald (Intro to PS Workflow): I just got your introductory Photoshop workflow video – it’s excellent. Makes a very complex program seem logical and simple, and I now have a much clearer view of it. I will likely get the advanced one at a later date. 

Stephan Ralescu (Fundamentals, Making Outstanding Images Ep.1-3, Intro to PS Workflow): I look at Ming’s sample photos and my jaw drops: “can the camera really be that good.” So I decided to take Ming Thein at his word and invest more in my education rather than the gear. I’ve got Ming’s fundamentals, his outstanding images, and intro to PS videos, and I can now see how Ming is able to achieve such high quality output. And also how much more I have to learn before I start going for the gear once again.

Eric Hanson (How To See Ep.2: Tokyo): Just finished watching – How to See EP2: Tokyo. The information is enjoyable and extremely helpful. The episode covers a large number and variety of scenes. I really enjoyed the locations selected. In particular the visits to gardens and landscapes was very illustrative and the photos wonderful. Also the street and building photography. Can’t wait to get out and shoot and apply these things locally. If I get to Tokyo I will have a huge list of sites to visit.

Ansgar Trimborn (How To See Ep.2 Tokyo, Street Photography Ep.1): Got myself H2/S1 videos as a Christmas present and find both well worth the $$$. Really like the look over the shoulder learning perspective.

Andre Yew (How To See Ep.2: Tokyo, Street Photography Ep.1): If you get a chance to see the two latest videos from Japan, you’ll be impressed! Carrying a Hasselblad with a giant eyelevel finder, big digital back, big lens and big grip, and a tripod all over Tokyo, fueled mostly by Calpis soda, shooting street photography, there is no doubt when Ming’s taking a picture of you. Those commentators who think Ming’s allergic to camera weight have no idea at all … nor those that think certain cameras are too loud.

Gary Greenberg: (How To See Ep.2: Tokyo) – Watching “How To See, Ep2, Tokyo” now… perfect as I get ready for my upcoming photo-shoot in Paris. Very highly recommended!

Todd Alexander Lawton (How To See Ep.2: Tokyo) – Ep2: Fantastic. Not only hugely educational, but a joy to watch. A final note: I’ve bought various other tutorial videos this year (combination of several photographers I admire releasing videos at the same time, and reaching the point with the hobby where I’m more interested in learning how to do it properly than getting more gear–four and a half years in!), and yours absolutely dump all over the others.

Alex Lemon (How To See Ep.2: Tokyo) – Ep2 Tokyo is great, really enjoying it. Look forward to checking out Street next.

Andrew Yew (Making Outsanding Images Ep. 2, 3) – Quadrant geometry just blew my mind. What a simple way to describe balance, and with a learning curve that’s not too steep, so beginners can look for the easy quadrants, while more advanced photographers can start looking for more interesting, complex compositions. I also realized that many of my images that work have quadrant balance, and now I can understand why many of those that don’t work, don’t work. For me, that little section is worth the price of the whole video!

Todd Alexander Lawton (Making Outsanding Images Ep. 2, 3) – Episodes 2 and 3 purchased; Star Wars fans will be happy to learn that they have nothing in common with their prequel trilogy namesakes. I have an insatiable apetite for these videos now! Stayed up till silly-o-clock watching them. If you decide to start selling apparel in the store, my vote’s for a “Quadrant Geometry Changed My Life” t-shirt 😉

Eric Hanson (Making Outsanding Images Ep. 2, 3) – Just finished viewing Outstanding Images Episodes 2 and 3. Episode 2 will change how I take photos from here on out. My keeper rate will greatly increase. The compositional information is invaluable and the quadrant information is simply amazing. In particular it is hugely liberating in that it allows better subject placement and a more comprehensive definition of balanced than I had previously understood. I have anticipated Episode 2 since you announced it and it has exceeded my expectations. Episode 3 helps greatly with what to include in each frame and how to tell a story. This greatly simplifies taking the correct picture in the first place and identifying which images are keepers. It is wonderful that you know these things and even more wonderful that you are able to explain them in a clear and usable fashion and share them with us. My objectivity and experience in evaluating images has increased from watching the first three videos in the series and the fundamentals video. The example of the man on the beach with the leading lines and frame is very helpful as well… I was always able to enjoy that photo but I now can explain why it is a strong image and look forward to creating my own images using the same techniques.

Jan Martin (Fundamentals, How To See Ep1, Making Outstanding Images, Ep. 1, 2, 3) – Ming, I truly appreciate all the effort you put into your blog and website.  I ordered your videos and am blown away by the amount of information you provide and the style with which you provide.  I am normally hesitant on any coursework because it is frequently too elementary or padded with redundancy.  Yours are succinct and overflowing with ideas.  I am actually taking notes!

Andrew Yew (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – I just watched the KL episode, and it was really good and well worth the price. All street photographers should watch it to see how one should work a scene. I don’t feel so bad anymore loitering in one place for 15 minutes taking dozens of shots when I see much better photographers than me do it as a matter of course! That is also a very clever use of the video recording feature of the E-M5 as a teaching tool, especially with that amazing 5-axis stabilizer. BTW, CC masterclass is amazing, especially the 2nd half in the field. It was really nice to see how fluidly you used that little Sony (TX30?), and the really nice results you got out of it. It was nice to see that in contrast to all of the pixel-peeping techno angst on the rest of the Internet. I wonder if a real-world field presentation like that of a camera would result in more sales for it … The way you presented it too was quite a contrast to Sony’s fairly insulting anti-DSLR ads, and it makes people (well, me at least) want to go out and take pictures, because it feels like I have the tools now to make good-looking images.
Ironically, the CC masterclass will do more for most people’s photography than a sensor of any size…In it, Ming uses a cheap, discontinued Sony point-and-shoot to photograph various subjects, including portraiture, with the typical Ming-like results. And he explains what he’s doing and why, too. It’s about as pure a distillation of what photography is about as I’ve seen, and everything in that video applies to all cameras. I go between that video, the KL walk around, and the outstanding images episode to remind myself of certain concepts before doing assignments for Ming’s email school.

Graham Ashton (How to See Ep1) – Hi Ming. Last night I finished watching episode 1 of “How to See”. I wasn’t sure if this shot…

…would make it into the group, but now that you’ve seen it, I thought you might like to know how it came to be.
Basically, I set out for lunch today with some of the scenes you discussed in your video fresh in my mind. I noticed this arrow on the building adjacent to mine and paused in a doorway opposite to shelter from the rain for a minute or so. A guy walked past with a cigarette. For some reason it didn’t work and I didn’t press the shutter. He turned around almost immediately and walked back against the flow. More of a story perhaps (going against the arrow), but he looked too small.
The cyclist came out of nowhere. I pressed the shutter instinctively, then went to get lunch.
If I hadn’t watched how to see I wouldn’t have seen the arrow on the wall, stopped to see who passed by in front of it, taken the shot, or (and I think this is the most significant bit) deemed it worthy of keeping/uploading.
It’s not one of my favourite shots, and I think it’s got its flaws, but at the same time I think I may be learning to appreciate something new here, and I wanted to say thanks. I’ve been a hobbyist photographer on and off since I was 12 (27 years!), and it’s not often I’ve been able to say that about photography recently.
I think episodes 2 and 3 of Outstanding Images may be in my immediate future…

Mark Chai (How To See Ep1) – Hi Ming Thein, your ‘ How To See Ep1 ‘ is awesome! Does this mean there will be an Ep2 ? Could hardly wait if there is Ep2. Your video is worth every penny and beyond!

Kumi (How To See Ep1) – Finished watching How To See Video last night. This is the first time I bought these kind of work shop video so I wasn’t sure to pay that price…I am glad I did, it was GREAT! For me it was very informative in good balanced … I means you are leaving some space for us to think, too. I also enjoyed as a documentary film. Love the scene of the cafe in KL. Look forward to see Tokyo ver.

Eric Hanson (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Just finished watching both videos: How To See Ep1, and The Compact Camera Masterclass. WoW!!! They are incredible, I really like the use of technology in both. The Compact Camera Master Class is proof that most people don’t know how to use a camera. Your images and ideas taken with that little blue point and shoot are stunning and very doable. Well done in both!

Corey Vickery (Compact Camera Masterclass) – Ming, I am thoroughly enjoying your Compact Camera Masterclass video and I will be purchasing the rest of your videos very soon. I hope someday you will do a review of the Sony RX1R (my camera) as well as a workshop in Los Angeles. Take care!

Michael Tapes (How To See Ep1) – Excellent. I think that this is the first time someone has done this type of see through my eyes instruction, and your use of video to go along with your thinking process is an GREAT way to teach. As with my previous teacher, with you, that is specifically what i want to learn. HOW TO SEE. I had done a walking tour of my neighborhood in NJ with my teacher as he explained what he saw, and that was very valuable to me at the time. Having this and future videos will be great. The exact thing that I have to learn is to talk to myself as I am looking at life and work my way to finding and making good pictures. So congratulations on the concept and execution, and I look forward to more in the future.

Amy Wexler (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Just finished both the new videos. Wonderful stuff. The walkarounds are particularly useful – very informative to understand how you reduce the complexity of various scenes into photographic opportunities and apply the theories/practices you describe in your various videos and articles. I’d like to emphasize how helpful for my current state of development I find the settings comments you make along the way – such as, focal lengths and apertures, in the case of the KL video, and where you’re metering (in the case of spot) or where you’re using another mode, in the compact masterclass video. Great products (also appreciate the introductory discounts!). Thanks for all the work you put into them.

C Scott Pollock  (How To See Ep1) – I just watched “How To See.” Excellent and fascinating work — I could watch this type of thing all day long. 

Sergey Landesman (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Thank you for very good video lesson!

Sirmo (How To See Ep1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Just purchased the new videos. I watched the Compact Camera Masterclass and I love it! Keep up the good work!

Todd Lawton (Fundamentals, Outstanding Images Ep. 1, How To See Ep. 1, Compact Camera Masterclass) – Awesome, will probably get that bundle [Outstanding Images Ep. 2+3] later today. A quick watch of the first four over the past week (I will surely be studying them intently for months to get the most out of them) left me gagging for more. Addicted to knowledge! They are exactly what I wanted; so happy. Thanks Ming.

Jeffrey Littell (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I came across your website and decided to purchase your video lesson entitled “Photography; The Fundamentals”. I enjoyed that video so much that I subsequently purchased the video entitled Making Outstanding Images”.
I’m an amateur photographer who has studied with several professional photographers. What I find in comparing your videos with my sessions with the pros is that you bring the many components and aspects of photography together in an easy to understand format. You answer the “why” factor in the philosophy and psychology of photography, which is something that none of the pros I have studied with have been able to do for me. Additionally, reading several books on photography didn’t provide me with the clarity of thought that you do in your video presentations. This of course only lead to more and more frustration! Knowing the “why” factor provides me with the foundation to work from in creativity with my work.
I will admit to two things up to now with my hobby: first, I became entrapped in the marketing by the manufacturers in having to have the most expensive gear (and lots of it!), and second knowing most of the various aspects of creating a great photograph but not being able to put them together to actually produce a great photo.
Of the thousands and thousands of frames that I have shot, I never quite knew why say 10 or 20 of those images were great when I shot them. It was more luck than anything else. And, some of the better images were ones I thought were mistakes when I shot them!
So, there you have it. I’ll study the two videos that I purchased and absorb all I can before moving forward in purchasing additional videos in your series.
Thank you for saving me in bringing the components together for me that have eluded me to date and lead to massive frustration.

Michelle Wolschlager (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I stayed up entirely too late last night watching (and rewatching) both videos. Then I fell asleep on my laptop (out of sheer exhaustion–nothing more!) whilst reading your articles, and in many cases, rereading articles I’d already read in the past but that suddenly made so much more sense after watching the videos. I learned a LOT. I’m so happy you’re doing this! It is exactly what I was I was looking for to learn how to capture better images! I’ve been frustrated by the fact most courses/videos/books either assume you know absolutely nothing at all and merely regurgitate the exposure triangle and rule of thirds, or they assume you’ve got a PhD in math and physics. Anxiously awaiting the next videos… I’m not willing to wait for the bundle deal pricing and will be ordering them as you release them–they are absolutely worth the cost.

Per Hildebrant (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Thks for your fine introduction today of the new videos, I am still repeatedly now and then looking at the first 2 launched by you, and I am also enjoying the extreme fine technical quality of the videos…thanks!

Mark/ JTL Photography (Making Outstanding Images Ep.1, The Fundamentals) –  I just finished my first viewing of the two above videos (Fundamentals and Outstanding Images 1), and initial impressions are as follows:
1) The first video (Fundamentals) is like a mini-encyclopedia. I thought I knew a bit about photography, but the first video has put into words things that I’ve only up until now grasped in an intuitive manner, as well as things I just didn’t know at all (DOF scales generally not updated for digital cameras? Interesting in its own right, and something of a commentary on how digital manufacturers see the average photographer as not interested in manual shooting…or maybe it’s just laziness!). Some of it can be applied practically, some of it is “just for knowledge”, but the whole thing is a fascinating look at what photography is and where it came from. I can see myself going back to this one time and time again.
2) It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who reads the site, but Ming is a highly articulate and enthusiastic guide. It’s clear that he lives and breathes photography, and this comes over in his presentation style. He paces the material well: not too fast, not too slow.
3) The second video (Outstanding Images 1) is also very good. Possibly because I’m basically self-taught, I shoot in a very instinctive manner – I see something and say “yes, that!” – and it’s served me quite well. However, I can’t always tell WHY I like a picture that I’ve taken, or HOW I can take more like it. This video’s breakdown of a photo into light, subject, idea, frame, etc, has already given me the impetus to look at things in a more analytical way. It might be difficult at first because I’m not a very analytical person, but I have no doubt that it will add a new dimension to how I approach photography. 
Watching Ming himself shoot and explain why and how he does what he does is a very valuable experience, and the resulting pictures strengthen his already good verbal explanations of the concepts. The analyses of his pictures are also useful. I was especially pleased to see an analysis of the “Yin Yang light” picture (with the woman’s shadow), because I’ve always really liked that one.
Like Ming says on the video, it’s a little overwhelming at first, but slowly and surely you’ll start seeing things in a different way. Again, this video will require multiple viewings to get everything from it.
Overall, no regrets whatsoever about paying the (very reasonable) asking price for these videos. I will be giving very strong consideration to the upcoming volumes as well…once I’ve absorbed everything on the first two!

Amanda Koh (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – My mind is a little bit blown by @mingthein‘s observation that changing exposure affects composition (by changing the visual weight of things). It’s making me question my whole shooting technique. Thank you for your videos. 🙂

Francois Arbour (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I bought your package «The fundamentals» and «Outstanding images» recently. I am very satisfied with the content of the material, very interesting.

John Kelly (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals, Intro to PS, How To See Ep.1, Intermediate PS) – I’ve purchased all your videos and they’re equally fantastic.

Alan Morris (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Very unique approach. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Albert Setiawan (Making Oustanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Just purchased and watched both videos yesterday, I have to say I’m very satisfied with the contents.

Guillaume Pont (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1) – I’ve bought Episode 1 and just watched it. For one of your first videos it is great ! Well done Ming ! I’ve found your explanations very clear. I am not a total beginner so I knew already most of fundamentals (by observing and practicing myself, with experience) but you made these concepts clearer and more precise in my mind so I guess I am now willing to use these concepts on a more regular and thought basis when I shoot 🙂 Can’t wait for other episodes !

Alan Morris (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Just ordered the workflow video. I am working my way through your new video series. It is excellent. I look forward to future videos in this series.

Todd Alexander Lawton (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I’ve been offered these wedding gigs through word of mouth, and that’s very much thanks to the amazing tuition and advice that I’ve got from this site and your iPad app. So thank you very, very much. I’ll be thanking you further by buying your latest series of videos (and hopefully some one-on-one tuition) as soon as I have the spare cash.

Uktu Oguz (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I also bought your new video series, and I really congratulate you for your dexterity.You are a great master of this craft and your knife-sharp analytical mind is something to envy for every human being.
Your presentation skills are excellent too. I normally have a very short span of attanetion but I could watch your videos in one breath. Kudos. Waiting for the next ones.

Louis Woolf (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Hi Ming, I just downloaded your videos of your workshops. I previewed them briefly and they look amazing. You are truly awesome and I so look forward to watching and learning. I am a big fan and I love your passion for what you do. I will continue to follow and support you and I hope that some day we can meet and shoot in person. Thanks for all that you do for the photo community.

Robert Mars (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – Bought the package today and received the download link seconds after PayPal confirmation, smooth ! Yeah and those very first videos are great btw, keep them coming ! Rob

Derek Daniels (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1, The Fundamentals) – I recently purchased the 2 videos you have released so far. Just wanted to say they are great and no regrets what so ever.

Kathleen Bowers (The Fundamentals, Intro to PS, How To See Ep.1, Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1-3) – I have watched the videos – leaving PS till last. What a revelation! I can’t wait to become familiar with your workflow! My post processing skills are so very limited by comparison!

Dr. Elliot Puritz (PS Workflow for the Leica M Monochrom) – I am enjoying your video on PS and the LMM! Learning quite a bit; obvious that PS has some advantages over LR. The use of the gradient tool and the ability to use more than one curve might make the cost of PS worth it!

Sven W (Intro, Intermediate PS) – Personally, I’ve bought a couple of your videos and down the track I’ll be a candidate for the email school. Why? Because the quality of your content is absolutely first class! Many thanks for being a major source of information for a hobby photographer, like me.

Jeff C (Intro to PS) – Ming if you are reading this….. the tutorial is great, I’ll be hitting you up for the next part here in the near future. Just need some time to work through what I’ve learned already.

Toby Smith (Intro to PS) – Just finished Ming Thein’s Photoshop workflow video – awesome stuff! Great workflow tips, and I especially like the sharpening process he uses – will put that into practice immediately.

Todd Lawton (Intro to PS DVD) – I’m currently trialling Photoshop CC (I use Lightroom at home, but have been using its big bro for much longer, primarily at work these days), so had cause to bust out your iPad videos again (I got a load of them as a Christmas present to myself, but had to use my parents’ iPad, so I don’t have access to them most of the time!); really excellent. There’s something visceral and satisfying about the hands-on nature of your Photoshop workflow (particularly multiple curves and the much more precise dodge and burn tools) that Lightroom/ACR alone can’t match; the greater degree of control afforded makes processing a more right-brained and fun experience, IMO. Hearty endoresement from me to anyone reading this that hasn’t tried Ming’s videos.

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.

Tamas Varosi (Intro to PS DVD): I loved it, especially the B&W part.

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!

Yee Suan Poo (Intro to PS DVD): I love your first PS video. It helps me a lot especially the sharpening part.

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.

Lucia Prosperi (M Monochrom DVD): I just finished your video, and I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed watching it, and I think I’ve learned quite a bit.


Places left for 2014 Making Outstanding Images Workshops: Havana and London – click here for more information and to book!


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  1. Hello Ming,

    I really want to get these videos but I do not have the enormous download quota required to get them here in malaysia (bear with me – im on mobile internet). Would you consider burning these vids on a DVD or 2 and sending them over to me in Melaka Town ? I would pay for the postage. Let me know please


  2. Just finished watching Making Outstanding Images Ep. 5 Parts I & II. The videos are extremely helpful. Below are some impressions from watching the videos:

    Commercial – Lots of fresh examples (all new) including an outdoor scene with a tree and other green things (handling greens) . Builds upon the intro to PS Video with what seems (to me) to be several bonus steps/tweaks to fine tune the image. Sharpening is a bit easier to follow. Plus an example of sharpening files from cameras without AA filters also a file shot past the limit of diffraction. Also a better idea of when to balance an image warm or cool based on dominant colors in the image (white balance).

    High Contrast Photo Journalist – I really like the processing here. More examples with a more comprehensive view than in the intro video. I really gained a much better understanding of the process. I also really like this style as shown that it can be used for still life and more artistic style of photos. You really get the flow for the amount of dodge and burn to apply. Also a really nice explanation of high key -vs- low key when using the curve adjustment. Two examples that show clearly the correlation to histogram to which portion of the picture will be impacted. A better explanation of the curve is learned watching the examples. I really like the palm tree and the door in this set as I learned a lot form each. They also fit some shots i have been attempting recently.

    Fine Art B&W – I really like the sailboat example. Also the forest example from the ultraprint run and the photo of the highlight in the forest pictures where you burned the highlights. The focus stacking example was also very nice to see. A nice explanation of dodging and burning. I also enjoyed learning about the Fine Art B&W style and how to process for it. We have a lot of sailboats and trees. I am looking forward to shooting more of these.

    Cinematic – This really showed how to adjust colors to get them correct after dramatic white balance shifts. Nice to see the many examples of gradients. Also the dark gradient from the bottom, light from top. I learned a lot of refinements in the process. Also a deeper focus on saturation and desaturation.

  3. Hi Ming, I just finished part 1 of episode 4. Wow, this is going to take a while to get through — not that I’m complaining about the wealth of material!

    Have you considered interleaving the processing sections with the style shooting sessions? It may be easier to remember everything if the whole workflow is contiguous. Of course, I say this having yet to see episode 5.

    And thank you for making the comment about not taking pictures of disabled people. It’s not only a street photography cliche, but as you say, exploitive especially since most photographers are not going to use their pictures to help those people.

    • We did, but after much debate made it separate – there are a lot of people who just want the processing bit, so it doesn’t make sense to offer them together as one enormous monster. But since you have both, it’s easy to open two player windows and watch the chapters sequentially 🙂

      • Haha, I’m not sure I need more distractions! 🙂 I did consider for a nanosecond cutting the two videos together, but laziness got the better of me.

        Your comment about your style moving beyond cinematics was very interesting. How would you describe it now?

        • I don’t know if I can describe it. I’ve got the conscious colour of cinematic; the tonal control of fine art B&W, the punch of commercial, the timing of PJ, and the freedom from perspective which isn’t really in the other styles…

          • Sounds intriguing! I was thinking of some of your Tokyo pictures, and trying to place them in a particular style, but they seem to have elements from at least the four styles.

            BTW, I take back my comment about Lightroom: it really is just ACR with the controls moved around. Watching episode 5, I see you solving a lot of problems I encountered when using a Lightroom-only workflow that I thought I had to live with. The biggest one being compromising on global contrast so local areas don’t turn too dark or bright. But I suppose I’ve adapted my shooting style by looking for scenes that work in that kind of limited tonal treatment. Call it Lightroom style! 🙂

  4. Finished watching Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4: Exploring Style Parts I & II. Highly recommended.

    The four shooting styles are carefully selected. Concepts from Ep 1-3 are applied to make the various styles.

    I really enjoyed the first section covering the commercial/travel style. The Temple in Penang is an incredible site to photograph. I learned a lot from watching over your shoulder as you shoot as well as your comments. In addition I learned alot about critiquing photos of my own and others. You clearly take this style up a notch. I made a very careful note to use this where it applies but to also use the others styles.

    The high contrast photojournalist black and white style section is very informative. I can now see in B&W and identify scenes that would be well adapted to this style. I learned a lot about composition watching you shoot in this section.

    The fine art black and white section was my favorite part. I had my camera in hand in the parking lot at work today and I immediately saw a Fine Art scene and snaped the shot. On a photo walk today I saw two more frames and captured them.

    The cinematic style was helpful in that it all makes sense now. In particular the part about composing when all the frames are portrait.

    Today I saw many strong compositions on my commute that I had never seen before. And for the first time I knew exactly which style I would process for before raising the camera to my eye. I took a cinematic, several fine art B&W and a commercial. I also now know which styles work with which subjects and lighting. This is a huge step forward. I cant wait to see Episode 5.

  5. I like the red ring on the Ricoh GR. While watching the video I thought I saw a Sony camera on your wrist a some point? I could not tell if it was an orange ring of a Sony lens or the red ring on the GR…

  6. Downloaded last night. Excited to watch them! – Eric

    • Thanks for the support Eric – the new downloads are quite chunky as the videos are very long, I hope they went okay…

      • Things went really well. I think the main tip is once the first video downloads, and it is time to download the second one, either return to the link in the email with download instructions and click on it again or use the back arrow twice in the browser to return to main selection window.

  7. Oh noooooo … did not even managed to think of all the stuff I learned from the earlier videos. 😉
    Anyway, I have to buy these as well. Analog = Ansel Adam’s books, Digital = Ming Thein’s Videos.

    Immediately noticed the titanium Panerai. Looks really great!

  8. Great Panerai … 😉

    … and great series also.


  9. PURCHASED! I should set up a direct debit with you Mr Thein!

    • Haha, thank you for your support, Todd!

      • Thanks for linking to Flickr sets of the featured images, too.

        • No problem.

          • May have spotted a couple of mistakes in Ep4, Ming:
            1) Part 1, 01hr 33m – 01hr 35m the commentary describing the photo with the car is repeated over the picture of the door;
            2) Part 2, 00hr 50m you’re talking about the photo of the static motorbikes and a group of workmen in the rain but I’m initially seeing a photo of a lady wearing sunglasses!

            Apologies if these are just the result of my computer/network mucking around, or they’ve already been pointed out/fixed 🙂

            • We’re aware of it – somehow it slipped several rounds of proof watching. We’re fixing it and should have an updated version to download (use the same download links) once we get back from Melbourne next week 🙂

  10. Christian says:

    Hi Ming, love the series so far. Will the post-processing video be helpful for people who use Lightroom?

    • Thanks. Episode 4 is shooting only; Episode 5 is the post processing video. The core principles are the same, but some things you may not be able to do such as multiple curves and certain dodge and burn operations.

      • I remember you once mentioned that you were considering the idea of doing a video/article on lightroom, how is that project going? Still on your radar?

        • On the radar, but I struggle with the idea of producing a workflow video for a workflow I don’t use because it isn’t capable of delivering the results I want…a 100% result is not possible. 95%, perhaps. Is this good enough? For me, no, but it might be for some. If anything, LR demands much better in-camera discipline and fundamental light.

          • I do a mixed LR/PS workflow based on the video. I might switch all the way to PS at some point. You will get a lot of useful information from the videos that apply to LR but will not be able to do the entire workflow without PS as well. I sometimes do not do the PS portion for some photos. Once I saw the video I knew I wanted PS though.

            • Me too. The last few photos I’ve posted, I’ve really not used PS at all, and did basic adjustments in LR only. As a hobbyist, the only time I need PS is if I want to do very targeted or extensive tonal adjustments. The tone curve in LR is OK for basic stuff, but not really usable for anything beyond that. I think of LR as ACR with a simple tone curve, along with a nice library.

              • You can do the same tonal adjustments in LR and ACR. LR is basically ACR with the library and output modules; there are some local adjustments possible via a very rudimentary masking brush, but they’re not going to let you make multiple fine adjustments (and certainly not meaningfully with a tablet/ pressure sensitivity) as you can with the brushes in PS.

                • True, but the tiny size of LR’s tone curve makes it difficult to do very fine curve adjustments, even on a 2560×1440 27-inch monitor. And the blue curve’s histogram is almost illegible on that dark grey background. I sometimes wonder if anyone in Adobe has even tried using the blue curve …

            • I think you’ll find with Ep.5 that you *really* need PS. The $10/month they’re asking for CC now isn’t too bad, to be honest – especially considering how much we sometimes spend on other gear we never use or use minimally…


  1. […] recently got the chance to view Making Outstanding Images Episode 4&5: Exploring Style! by the great photographer Ming Thing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and boy am I happy I did. This new […]

  2. […] more time to shoot. It is of course back-compatible with both the Monochrome Masterclass and Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5: Exploring and Processing for Style. It works on JPEG images if opened in ACR or opened in PS then acted on using the Camera Raw […]

  3. […] though I do a reasonable amount of work for clients in this style, and it’s one of the most popular things I teach, I personally have been moving away from it for some time; perhaps partially out of saturation/ […]

  4. […] recently got the chance to view Making Outstanding Images Episode 4&5: Exploring Style! by the great photographer Ming Thing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and boy am I happy I did. This new […]

  5. […] recently got the chance to view Making Outstanding Images Episode 4&5: Exploring Style! by the great photographer Ming Thing from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and boy am I happy I did. This new […]

  6. […] it appears to make a significant difference on two of the three cameras we have here (all of the workshop videos are filmed with them, we have a spare, and I shoot one […]

  7. […] In hindsight, I realized that it might not be something that a lot of photographers consciously consider at the time of capture; it might come up come post processing time, but you really need to have it in mind before you even hit the shutter. There is of course far more detail than I can possibly cover in a single post – we tried to put everything into a single 2h video, but we landed up needing 6 hours in total to be comprehensive. I probably should have reposted this as an introduction to the latest two videos, but better late than never! Think of it as context, preface and explanation for Making Outstanding Images series: Exploring and Processing for Style. […]

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