Ultraprint Edition 2 sale: The Cars of Havana


Everybody loves cars, and especially old cars. And Havana – well, it’s full of them, in various states of repair; a veritable photographic paradise. The mixture of textures, colours, shapes and an elegance of an age past make for some very interesting images indeed. The selection of cars may appear random, but those participants who were with me on the Havana Masterclass will know that there was often quite a lot of waiting involved for just the right car to come along to complement the scene and mood.

Following the success of the previous run, it is therefore my pleasure to open the next limited edition Ultraprint run for orders: The Cars of Havana. Read on for details, and to buy.

Beyond the obvious faded beauty of the cars though, I specifically selected these images because I believe that each one captures a little bit of the story and essence of Cuba: there are the obvious cars; the subtle hints at socialism/ Eastern Europe, either in the form of later cars from those regions, the architecture, or the statuary; there’s the nationalism in flags and colours. Overriding all of that is the spirit of the people: positive, happy, easygoing, intense but non confrontational – whether it be in the omnipresent drape of an arm over a window, grabbing on to the roof rails, or even the posture and position of the cars.

I’ll be offering the images in two sizes again – 8×12″ or 10×15″, depending on the resolution of the source file. Prints will be limited to 30 the lesser of prints per size or whatever is sold at the close of this run, whichever is fewer – as per the previous runs. In addition, there will be 10 sets of a 8-image portfolio including all of the images and packaged in an acid-free Moleskine A3 Artist’s Portfolio for storage. I’ve decided to offer a few more this time because that was the first thing to sell out in the last run.

The 7-image portfolios will include a magnifier to better examine the prints. All prints and portfolios will be signed and accompanied with a certificate of authenticity. We’re using Canson Infinity Platin Fiber Rag baryta and Epson Ultrachrome inks with 100+ year longevity; print master Wesley Wong of Giclee Art will be once again be responsible for the printing, with yours truly performing final QC on signing. For more information on the Ultraprint process, including some high magnification forensics of the proof prints from the previous Autumn in Tokyo edition, click here. As with every Ultraprint run, these are the best prints we know how to make – no time or effort is spared in proofing and ensuring that the output is as perfect as we can achieve given current limits of technology. The impression given is one of transparency; being there and looking at the object rather than through a print at a representation of one.

The sale will run for a month as usual and close on 20 June, after which we will produce and ship the prints; this is a time consuming process so please expect delivery around the second half of July. All prices include DHL Express shipping to anywhere in the world. If you would like local delivery or wish to order multiple items, please email me for details. Please use the links below to place your order – I take credit cards via Paypal (click on the links below the images to check out):

Important note: DHL requires your phone number to ship, so please add it to the comments section at checkout 🙂

8-image portfolio (all images at 10×15″), including Moleskine folder and magnifier – $2,250

_G006084 copy
Freedom – 10×15″ – $320
Freedom – 8×12″ – $160

_8A12416 copy
1957* (As people have pointed out, the car is a ’56, but I’m sure there were still some around in ’57. The title is a commentary on the general state of affairs rather than the specific vehicle.)
1957 – 10×15″ – $320

_G006622 green inclination copy
Green inclinations
Green inclinations – 8×12″ – $160

_G006002 blue hour copy
Blue hour
Blue hour – 8×12″ – $160

_8A12085 copy
The hand
The hand – 10×15″ – $320

_8A13537 copy
Style – 10×15″ – $320

_8A11909 copy
Tribute to Edward Hopper – this is my personal favourite from the set because of its tonal qualities that bring to mind both the era and sensation that you’re looking into a painting of the past.
Tribute to Edward Hopper – 10×15″ – $320
Tribute to Edward Hopper – 8×12″ – $160

_8A13916 copy
Tete a tete
Tete a tete – 10×15″ – $320

A big thank you in advance for your support! MT

Selected testimonials and feedback from the Autumn in Tokyo Ultraprints:

Jan Martin: What a nice surprise.  It is beautiful!  It is perfect.  It is my inspiration!  This and the Swan are my two favorite photos of yours. It is going on the wall directly in front of my desk.  I can’t wait to figure out how to frame it — any suggestions of what might be best?  Do I need special archival mat boards, etc? The packaging was perfect — nary a dent — so I hope this worked for all your customers. I took the print to the best local framer I could find and I must say, he was very impressed with the image and the printing.   He took out his magnifying glass to examine, and spent a lot of time thinking about framing options.  We opted for matting (otherwise it’s against the glass and that didn’t seem right!) and a thin black frame.  I didn’t do a dry mount because that also seemed damaging, so we are doing photo corners and I hope that will work well enough.  If not, I can always have it dry mounted later. You guys rock!

Andre Yew: I got the Ultraprints today, and they are amazing! Anyway, the detail and tonality look great. I especially like the highlights off the tree trunks in the color picture. I feel like the paper’s texture almost detracts from the detail because it can get in the way of the actual detail. I also have to be careful with my light source so the specular reflection of the light doesn’t obscure detail. Looking at it through a 4x loupe, I feel like I could zoom in forever and still see more detail. It’s certainly a unique and special offering that no one else is even attempting, so it’s very valuable for that alone, despite the many other considerable qualities of the prints. Thanks for offering it again, and I for one hope you don’t get the Pentax, because I wouldn’t know what to do with bigger Ultraprints!

Marcos Hatada – Just received the ultraprints. They are incredible! So unbelievably beautiful!!

Harsh Agrawal: Forest II is the finest print I have ever laid my eyes on in my entire life. My vocabulary doesn’t have enough superlatives to qualify or quantify the magnificence of this art piece. It is beyond stunning.

Matthias Gaiser: The Ultraprint has arrived – and it’s everything I expected it to be. In fact, I’ll have to rearrange the pictures on my walls to make room for it in order to appreciate it fully, i.e. it’ll get the best spot available! Wonderful work – in all respects! Thank you both very, very much!

Bob Prangnell: Received the Ultraprint – very nice thank you. Beautiful colors and amazing detail and 3-d effect. I said to my wife that I could lock you in a bathroom and you’d come out with a dozen great shots – and you proved that today with “Towel”

Junaid Rahim: Very nice prints Ming, really enjoying them. Looking at forest II I kind of rue not getting the bigger prints for the tokyo set. But the colours are lovely and definitely some lovely detail in them. I think Forest II will have to be framed. Forest II is one of those shots that really grows on you with time as you start seeing more and more detail in it. So happy at least that one is the more ‘native’ size!


H2 2014 workshops now open for booking – Making Outstanding Images San Francisco, Chicago and Venice; Masterclass San Francisco and Venice – click here to book or for more info


Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop and Photoshop Workflow videos and the 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!

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


  1. Oh Ming……

    I cannot understand why you are still no Nikon ambassador with your “amazing images/work” yet? What do you have to do in order to become one or achieve this sponsoring program? You are not interested in (not one of your aims)?

    For me its definetely ART not just only nice documentary/travel shots…all telling a certain history or you think about them……i think it is not just due to your experiences it is how you see it……this is hardly to learn it is much more a given / talent (even i know you will respond you could learn it go to my workshop, buy video how to see etc.)……;)

    Great to see that you could still make a living as an artist nowadays………..i like it if you could make a living as an artist, do it enjoying what your doing/your work….”without any passion –> no ingenuity ” (K. Lagerfeld)

    • Haha, you’ll have to ask Nikon that. Probably be exclusively on their brand only, I would imagine. I’d rather retain freedom of choice and objectivity than potentially have to promote or be associated with a product I don’t agree with or don’t use…certain other brands in the past have approached me, but only on those terms.

      I doubt I can make a living as an artist only: shooting what I want, not what the client wants. I do the print sales, but definitely don’t make much of a living out of them.

      As for talent: trust me, when I started, I didn’t have any. I was told by everybody to put my images away because they would make eyes bleed and induce blindness. So it can be learned, you just have to be willing. And yes, I have the teaching materials for that 🙂

  2. Hi Ming

    i just want to know if it is planned to get “all in one package/bundle” of your video/teaching workshops when all will be avaiable in the store?

    Meaning (all levels from beginner-intermediate-advanced and all series core photo theory, preocessive+ workflow, how to see and finally subject specific)…

    Thanks in advance for answering!

    Best regards!

    • We do make bundles that make sense, but there’s never a buy-everything bundle because we’re always adding new videos – so go ahead and buy whenever you’re ready. The $501 bundle is the current ‘master bundle’ – add on Intermediate Photoshop and Street Photography. Compact Camera Masterclass is too basic if you’ve got the rest, and the Leica Monochrom video is very camera-specific.

  3. Outstanding images here Ming. High quality work once again.

  4. Ming, awesome photos, I would like to order a print but I am really interested in ordering a print from your November run. After reading your blog posts on printing in ultra, and how hard it was to get the print of the “The Forest” right, to make you feel like your there when your looking at it. Well I would like to own it, I am sure there are others like me. Would it be possible to reprint “The Forest” in Ultraprint?

    • Thanks Tom. Past runs are closed. I cannot make any more prints because I promised buyers a limited edition in time and number; if you miss it – that’s it. I don’t plan to reprint those images in that format/size again.

      The Forest will not make a sufficiently large Ultra, but if you want a ~8×13″ that’s certainly doable.

  5. Ming, did you use a tripod on any of these shots or were they all handheld? They are all razor sharp especially knowing you are offering them as ultra prints. Thank you.

  6. You say the ultaprints “resolve at 720 ppi” – is that a rough estimate or did you calculate something to document that?

    • Calculated and measured ability to resolve fine structures of a known size. It’s actually limited by the camera at the moment: on a 10×15″, the D800E delivers about 490DPI assuming zero cropping and perfect shot discipline. It’s nowhere near as easy to tell the difference between 490 and 720 as it is between 144 and 300; we’re really pushing the limits of our own eyes here.

  7. I love the spare, melancholy quality of these photos–very unusual.

  8. Reblogged this on Resale Evangelista and commented:
    These photos of cars in Havana are not the usual, kitschy images we see of those iconic vehicles. There is a melancholy quality, due to Ming Thein’s lighting and cropping. Check ’em out.

  9. Wow…I I’d like to participate in the next Havana sojourn. Looks like a time machine. Very nice photos Ming. Hopefully the Fuji 50 MP Medium Format camera will be shipping so I can pick one up for the trip 🙂 Those old cars beckon Fuji colors.

    • I don’t think Fuji is making a 50MP medium format camera…

      • I remember thinking the very same when I heard the rumor that Sony was launching a full frame compact yet here we are. Non the less, a 50MP (Sony sensor from the Hassy) fixed lens camera will be released this summer according to a trusted source. Truth or Poppycock…we’ll soon see. Me, I’m pulling for it. I mean why not? How much fun would that be?!?!

  10. Light, composition, and color are SO good! Well done. Curious… is the largest ultraprint you can create from a D800 file 10×15? How did you create the metal prints for the gallery exhibit? Or were those not “ultra prints”? Thanks, Ming, for sharing your great work.

  11. Really great shots. I think I need to travel to Cuba as well 🙂

  12. I’m still seeing more and more detail in Forest II. It is a fantastic print (still need to frame it). After seeing the ultraprints, you kind of realise how substandard most prints really are.

    I’ll put an order in for one – need to think what appeals most to me first….

  13. Reblogged this on Mistrz i Małgorzata.

  14. Jack Hon says:
  15. Doug DeVoss says:

    Actually, the photo you have titled “1957” is a 1956 Chevrolet.

    • Yes, that’s a reference not to the car but the general state of things at that time – and I’m sure there were cars from 1956 in 1957, too 🙂

  16. Ron Scubadiver says:

    The aging fleet of cars in Havana has led to the idiomatic “cubanization”, meaning keeping a bunch of old stuff running forever, because new stuff is too expensive or unavailable.


  1. […] to truly do this project justice. Enjoy the set; you may recognise some of these from the recent Ultraprint Edition 2. […]

  2. […] from Edition 2. Once the order period is closed, the images will never be reprinted in this format. Click here to order or for more information. Thanks! […]

  3. […] There are also limited edition Ultraprints available from my Havana portfolio, available until 20 June here. […]

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