Now available: The Monochrome Masterclass workshop video!

I’m pleased to announce that after a very long gestation period, including filming in some foreign locations 😉 the video is finally ready and available immediately here.

Video M: The Monochrome Masterclass, Part I & II. (US$80, 1h39min and 1h36min)
The Monochrome Masterclass is a comprehensive 3-hour epic in two parts that examines every aspect of creating strong digital black and white images in several different styles, from the portions of the capture workflow that must be done in-camera to detailed postprocessing steps with both completed and fully worked-through examples from a color starting file. We cover use of the channel mixer and gradient filters to replicate color filters used with film. If you’ve ever had trouble with achieving the tonal quality or style you want in your black and white images, this is the video for you. It’s so comprehensive we’ve had to split it into two parts again to keep the download manageable.

Note: it is NOT the same as the Leica M Monochrom workflow video; that’s camera specific. The the techniques used in this video are good for converting from color output from any camera.

As usual, we’ll be running some special launch bundles – in this case, in various combinations together with Video A: Intro to PS workflow, or Episodes 4 & 5 of Making Outstanding Images (Exploring and Processing for Style). Video A is highly recommended as a complimentary set, and Ep. 4 & 5 as a complete and detailed workflow to integrate style, color and monochrome workflow from capture to postprocessing. Those bundles are available here.

The Monochrome Masterclass standalone is available here., and the full range of workshop videos here – 15 in total, including this one

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Selected testimonials from previous workshop video customers (many, many more can be found here)

Gerner Christensen (Monochrome Masterclass) – I have now finished viewing the video and it is again a most inspiring one. As with all Mings videos it is a showcase on how to improve yourself in the entire workflow as well as learning how to become efficient in PP.
Time ago I did not believe I would need any efficiency through-putting my pictures, but as the hit rate rises step by step it has become more important to me not to sit too long at my desk and repeat over and over again the necessary clickings for each and every image. This video is full of hints and tips for fast and serious PP. By shortcuts and action recordings the dull part of PP can be eliminated.
I found the part using non-destructive curves interesting, but will park it for later usage until I am more certain in what I want to achieve.
The prelude about seeing the world in B&W and how filters works for your images is very fruitful to watch as well.
I will see this precious video again and again, just like I did with all the other videos. Seeing a video again after some time unlayers new facets of photography.
At last this video actually came to me as a kind of saviour in order to see my local boresome surroundings in a new way. How many times I saw an interesting scene spoiled by mismatching colors, things that should not be there and made me think ‘this does not work, but the shape or texture is interesting’ … suddenly the entrance door could be capturing it in B&W. I don’t know why I didn’t really see the B&W as an option, but now I do.
Thank you Ming for adding another valuable video to the already precious collection.

Michael Letchford (Monochrome Masterclass) – I’ve just bought the long awaited Monochrome Masterclass. Excellent job. Very much worth waiting for 🙂 .Like all of the other workshops you’ve done, I’ll have to watch it 10 times before it all sinks in!! Lots to think about and experiment with. There are also some cracking images used in your examples, which are inspiring in themselves. Loved the Havana images. Well, I would, wouldn’t I?

Eric Hanson (Monochrome Masterclass) – Just finished watching The Monochrome Masterclass workshop video parts 1 & 2. Very enjoyable and highly recommended. I broke it into three evenings. I really enjoyed the lecture portion that is shot in B&W where the filters and light change to illustrate the various points and B&W conversion options and the fact that you covered colored filters in this section. I also like your set and the composition and leading lines as well as the color of various objects to illustrate your point. Every potion of the lecture was instructional and very intentional.
I also like the photos chosen for conversion as well as the sample photos. The example photos have a variety of lighting conditions and on my way to work it was cloudy and almost rainy but I could see opportunities to shoot, the potential in the scene and what the finished output would look like. These were things I would have passed by the day before. And the good thing is we have this weather often and it is nice to shoot in a wide range of conditions. I see the Monochrome treatment really extending the number of shooting days.
I also really like the low contrast photo section for foggy weather etc. These are some of my favorite scenes and I will see the potential in them the next time I see them. For the low key high contrast portion I learned that you expose to the right (ETTR) and then bring them down in post. This was very helpful. Also the concept of high contrast low key was an insight that I had not thought of much before. Many of your images are shot this way and I really like them and I now know how to shoot and process them. The photo of the three people on the sea wall with the sunset was inspirational. I hope to shoot a low key high contrast series using the ideas in this video soon. I am most excited about the section on balanced monochrome images as I have been trying to figure this out for sometime. Trying to get close to some of the photos you have taken. You clearly show how you obtain the results and I know I can get much closer now then I could before.
I also like the pace of the video and the vary intentional use of props and lighting in the first part. You have also convinced me to get a Wacom tablet finally… 🙂
Well done. I really appreciate the information and newly learned skills.

Andre Yew (Monochrome Masterclass) – Crepuscular dodging! When do we burn the ephemeris? 🙂
I was surprised to find myself inspired by the high-key, low-contrast examples, so I have to go make some of those images now. I also liked how you showed the video in the various styles — green filter is really not flattering for humans!
Finally, I hope people realize and appreciate how comprehensive an approach you’ve presented. It’s not just another filter program slapped onto a random image, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some who were expecting Mingstagram filter will be disappointed … their loss. Instead the B&W conversion takes into account artistic intention and what the image needs to present itself strongly. One of your best videos: thank you!

Todd Lawton (How To See Ep.3): I look forward to these as much as buying new gear – seriously. They’re like travel documentaries, on steroids, for photographers!
Karev Nikolay (Outstanding Images Ep. 4, 5): I want to thank you for making outstanding images 4&5 I bought recently – they’re brilliant! And I see you almost abandoned micro 4/3 for larger formats? I know it makes sense given the style you’re pursuing – total clarity of Ultraprints, but it’s so far from us poor amateurs still taking images with old good E-M5 🙂

Mark (How To See Ep.2, Tokyo): Glad I got mine in time! This seems as good a place as any to mention that the How to See: Tokyo video is fantastic: professionally produced, informative, and really rather inspiring. Easily worth it even without a discount. I will be watching this one over and over.

Gerner Christensen (How To See Ep.3, Compact Camera Masterclass): How I loved the take around the lake. No chance your enthusiasm about the unique light there doesn’t reach the viewer of the video 🙂 I was taken away during the time it took and forgot time and place. Again a very inspiring video. I also enjoyed the the compact camera Masterclass video I downloaded. Even I don’t have exactly a compact camera by definition, a lot of things applies for bigger cameras too. It is always good to receive say a refreshment reminder about the basics. Tights up the awareness while shooting. Finally it is beneficial to see where and how the images used in episode 4-5 were taken.
Solas Beag (Making Outstanding Images Ep.1): Following reading the review by Eric Hanson I downloaded EP-1 two days ago and found it a great learning resource. I can now critique my images concerning good light, framing, isolation of subject etc and understand why some of the photos in this pool get rejected. The practical techniques Ming displays while out shooting cannot be found in photography books. I am not a beginner to Photography but having completed viewing this first video I realise my approach to certain aspects of photography was haphazard and I had not mastered all of the fundamentals. His style of delivery, presenting assignments and practical approach to completing the assignments is superb. I intend purchasing the rest of the series.

John Weeks (How To See Ep.1, Kuala Lumpur): I just finished watching the first how to See video…what a help! I have been to seminars, etc., where final shots are shown and someone says why they did this or that…but to hear and watch the process as it takes place is so much more revealing. Your comments at the end I think were most helpful too about starting to see because of becoming so familiar with a particular focal length. Love the shot of the taxi driver by the way. I am not a big street shooter. I tend to go for landscapes or long exposures or see a small portion of something whereby you seem to take the whole world in because of so much happening in your area and condense it. I must work on this. Anyway, again, watching a pro go through the process is very telling and I think you for actually being open to do this…at the same time it indirectly opens you up as a person and who you are my friend…rather than some private person one could not connect with. All the best…was very helpful indeed. I continue to believe you are something very special in this industry.

Adriaan Goossens (Making Outstanding Images Ep.1): Just to let you know, I’ve finally worked through your Outstanding Images Ep 1, taking my time, assignment by assignment. And I thought I’d let you know I really enjoyed watching it and you did a great job making it. It’s thorough, well structured and your assignment based approach works. And most importantly, I’ve learnt and am still learning a great deal trying to put it all to practice.

Eric Hanson (Making Outstanding Images, Ep. 1-5; comment from flickr reader pool): Here is my review of Making Outstanding Images Ep1-5 after re-watching them from beginning to end recently.
I am posting it here because the series is a great way to improve your photography and I have found it very helpful in understanding and working with the Reader pool.
There are seven videos that make up the Making outstanding images video series EP1-5. Episodes 1-3 teach you the tools you need to make outstanding images and should get you well on your way to understanding Ming’s Reader pool criteria. Episode 4 & 5 are the crown jewels of the series and make up the final 4 videos. Episodes 4 & 5 cover four styles and encourage you to find/develop your own styles. In addition the Ep. 4 and 5 really show you how to fine tune specific details of your images.
Here are some of the things I learned:
1) How to better critique photos for both my own photos and for others. How to see that a photo is outstanding or not as well as how to explain why it is or not. Understand how to do it better next time, also appreciate and understand what went in to making the strong image.
2) How to appreciate art. I understand the compositional techniques used to create balanced images. As well as using negative space to tell a story. I really get the idea behind the art. Watching EP 1-5 for me was if I studied art in college. Painting and art work have an entirely new meaning to me. Whenever I watch a movie I understand the work that went into each scene of the move. They are one huge balanced scene from beginning to end. Ming’s advice is also consistent with Disney animated movies.
3) I understand what good light is and how it makes a photo strong or weak. That even with good light you need to position yourself and the camera properly to take advantage of it.
4) I understand how to make a balanced image. How exposure impacts composition. Many instructors say exposure does not matter, just fix it in post. This could not be further from the truth. Also the Quadrant Geometry information here is a key piece.
5) I understand how to use additional subjects to tell a story. Many folks say to exclude as much as possible. However Ming shows that this is ok in the commercial style but not optimal for some other styles.
6) In EP-4 & 5 I learned four different styles and how to create my own style. I learned the ability to visualize the finished photo before lifting the camera to my eye
7) How to use style to create a series. Project or exhibit
8) EP5 has many tweaks and ideas to take your photos from great to outstanding. It is also very good to see the little house keeping things you need to do to make an image. Also when to straighten verticals (When is it expected).
After re-watching EP-4 and 5 it is clear that Ming has shown how to tweak the tools in EP1-3 to make them very finely controlled and repeatable. Also there are some hidden gems and moments where it just all makes sense.
Ming is able to teach art in that he leads you out of traps that a camera presents you with. (For example poor matrix metering and a fixed aspect ratio of the sensor). After watching the videos there are facts that apply to every single shot that are no longer necessary to wonder if you are or are not doing it correctly. He guides you into balanced shots and how to isolate and light a subject. I feel that most people will never learn the contents of video one unless they watch the video. Very few people will ever advance beyond EP1 either without watching the series. The videos apply to photography in general and not a specialized aspect (such as landscape or portrait work). Teaching you how to get proper shots in a wide range of settings and subject matters.
Highly Recommended.

Henry Beckmeyer: I am working my way through this video series and I am quite enjoying it. Each video gives me something (really, many things!) to think about when I am out shooting. Not technical, camera things, but rather using my eyes and brain to discover possible photos in the world around me.
I do agree that much art is intuitive, but without a good grounding in the fundamentals of your chosen art form, your results will tend to be haphazard at best. You need a foundation and experience using that foundation in order to reach a point where you can begin to discard certain things and begin to experiment. To find your own voice. These videos help me in that way.
I don’t think the goal of Ming’s teaching videos is to have everyone shoot “Ming Thein Photos”. Rather, by learning what makes photographs “work”, it frees you creatively to explore breaking those rules, trying new things, but still having a framework in which to evaluate your experiments (your intuition, your voice) honestly.

Matthew Stark (Intro to PS Workflow, Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): I recently purchased the “Intro to photoshop workflow” and “Making Outstanding Images 4 & 5″ combo. As I went into these lessons with a large amount of experience in Photoshop, I found the more practical stylistic examples in the “Making Outstanding Images” videos more useful than the “Intro to Photoshop Workflow” video. The quality of all the videos was fantastic – very well filmed and edited. The thing I enjoyed the most about the “Making Outstanding Images” series was getting to see Ming’s shot discipline in practice. In his own words, “you have the choice to take the shot, or not…” It was amazing to see the clarity with which he approached each scene, spending a large amount of time observing and considering what he was looking to get out of each frame, and how that needed to be accounted for, before ever firing the shutter. The “Editing for style” segments were where all that shot discipline clearly paid off. Ming’s processing techniques gave me a new appreciation for the power of RAW images, and how to get the most out of them. His black and white conversion techniques were eye opening and have given me a great feeling of control over what, in the past, felt like a fairly abstract process. For beginners, these videos are a must have – insightful, inspirational and informative. For seasoned professionals, they are a fantastic source of knowledge to add to or refresh your current workflow. Thank you to Ming and “KH” for their continued hard work. I am glad I finally got the chance to provide you with some small token of financial support for the months of great reading and insightful reviews I have enjoyed through your site.

Gerner Christensen (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): Your episodes and teaching are really unique. This is some of the best bucks I ever spent on photography in general. You are really an ‘institution’ of knowledge and skills rather than a person who ‘just’ knows his skills and how to make them work for him and only him. You are much more than that. You can teach in a way that I believe most could benefit and become much much better photographers. Beside that you a a fantastic writer as per your blog.
I have to practice your teachings for a period of time and maybe later on I’ll consider to attend an email course.
It was my hope buying your lessons that I was able to use parts of your ACR/PS techniques to improve my PP in general. But I see now how difficult it really is and how crippled LR is compared.
That’s why I will purchase ACR/PS now and adopt your PP teachings more efficient.
It does not make much sense to practice your learning’s and not having the PP toolbox required.
I mean I can’t think of any photo connoisseur who can’t get a hint or two from your inspirational videos.
It was really the moment to jump on your train Ming. You can’t imagine how much this has blown life into my photography. Even this early stage of my remaining photolife it is awesome.
Thank you Ming.

Eric Hanson (Intro to PS Workflow, Intermediate PS, Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): The processing videos are amazing. I would also recommend the Making Outstanding Images Series Episodes 1-5. I learned a lot form the videos and have really improved in my photography and also art appreciation.

Jorge Ledesma (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 4 & 5): Purchased last night your 4&5 and I’m blown away with the level of detail. Very well done!

Ralf Rehberger (S1 Street Photography Ep.1): I am following your blog since a couple of weeks and I’m deeply impressed by your pictures! I appreciate your essays a lot, too. They are not only interesting in terms of photography but also because they show your deeper understanding of so many different things as much as your very sharp analytical mind. And last but not least they are a pleasure to read. Because you know how to transfer your knowledge and experience! Finally, I’ve bought your Street Photography video and find it much more helpful than any book. So all in all: Bravo!!! And: Thank you!

Eric Hanson (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 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.

Eric Hanson (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 5): 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.

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.

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…
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamashton/10798901194/
…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 Wisgard (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.

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Limited edition Ultraprints of these images and others are available from mingthein.gallery

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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

Comments

  1. Ming, I really envy you for your style and expertise! I’m enjoying your blog for a while now and constantly find myself trying to get somewhere close to the look of your images. Unfortunately I’m not able to afford a powerful tool like Photoshop, but I decided to get me the Monochrome Masterclass nonetheless. Will try to make the most of it using Lightroom and an old version of PhotoPaint :).
    Best wishes from Germany and keep up the great work!
    Lasse

  2. Well, that is a very extensive set of testimonials! If I buy this, can I download it to my Mac and to my PC, that would be useful.

  3. Hi Ming,
    for 12 years I played and learned with my hobby from many books and dvd, i know what i’m doing in photography.
    But it’s not the same with all of your videos teaching, I liked so much how you described about light, perspective and metering.
    Now, my style is never the same, for example i got many layers before and now 1 layer is enough and i tested from your first video.
    You”re rare Ming and never stop to create something new, i ll wait your next video, thank you.

  4. I have now finished viewing the video and it is again a most inspiring one. As with all Mings videos it is a showcase on how to improve yourself in the entire workflow as well as learning how to become efficient in PP.
    Time ago I did not believe I would need any efficiency through-putting my pictures, but as the hit rate rises step by step it has become more important to me not to sit too long at my desk and repeat over and over again the necessary clickings for each and every image. This video is full of hints and tips for fast and serious PP. By shortcuts and action recordings the dull part of PP can be eliminated.
    I found the part using non-destructive curves interesting, but will park it for later usage until I am more certain in what I want to achieve.
    The prelude about seeing the world in B&W and how filters works for your images is very fruitful to watch as well.
    I will see this precious video again and again, just like I did with all the other videos. Seeing a video again after some time unlayers new facets of photography.
    At last this video actually came to me as a kind of saviour in order to see my local boresome surroundings in a new way. How many times I saw an interesting scene spoiled by mismatching colors, things that should not be there and made me think ‘this does not work, but the shape or texture is interesting’ … suddenly the entrance door could be capturing it in B&W. I don’t know why I didn’t really see the B&W as an option, but now I do.
    Thank you Ming for adding another valuable video to the already precious collection.

  5. Ming,

    I have purchased and watched the B&W masterclass. Outstanding! Thank you.

    I have a question; you do go into detail with the brush preset picker panel. However, I’m curious what settings you are using for the brush panel with the wacom tablet, ie. shape dynamics, transfer, etc. Also, which settings if any that you recommend for the wacom tablet preferences within the Mac OS system preferences pane.

    I apologize if I overlooked this info but I do not believe it is in the videos.

    Thanks!

  6. Ming, great news indeed, is there a coupon discount for repeat buyer ie. more than 3 videos. Thanks in advance.

  7. Just finished watching The Monochrome Masterclass workshop video parts 1 & 2. Very enjoyable and highly recommended. I broke it into three evenings. I really enjoyed the lecture portion that is shot in B&W where the filters and light change to illustrate the various points and B&W conversion options and the fact that you covered colored filters in this section. I also like your set and the composition and leading lines as well as the color of various objects to illustrate your point. Every potion of the lecture was instructional and very intentional.

    I also like the photos chosen for conversion as well as the sample photos. The example photos have a variety of lighting conditions and on my way to work it was cloudy and almost rainy but I could see opportunities to shoot, the potential in the scene and what the finished output would look like. These were things I would have passed by the day before. And the good thing is we have this weather often and it is nice to shoot in a wide range of conditions. I see the Monochrome treatment really extending the number of shooting days.

    I also really like the low contrast photo section for foggy weather etc. These are some of my favorite scenes and I will see the potential in them the next time I see them. For the low key high contrast portion I learned that you expose to the right (ETTR) and then bring them down in post. This was very helpful. Also the concept of high contrast low key was an insight that I had not thought of much before. Many of your images are shot this way and I really like them and I now know how to shoot and process them. The photo of the three people on the sea wall with the sunset was inspirational. I hope to shoot a low key high contrast series using the ideas in this video soon. I am most excited about the section on balanced monochrome images as I have been trying to figure this out for sometime. Trying to get close to some of the photos you have taken. You clearly show how you obtain the results and I know I can get much closer now then I could before.

    I also like the pace of the video and the vary intentional use of props and lighting in the first part. You have also convinced me to get a Wacom tablet finally… 🙂

    Well done. I really appreciate the information and newly learned skills.

  8. Hi. Is your workflow with ACR transferable to Lightroom? I am interested in that B&W series but not sure how it can help as I am not using PS. Thanks.

    • The theory is the same, but there are some finer control elements such as multiple curves and dodging and burning in specific tonal regions that are PS-specific.

      • Thanks. I think I’m gonna jump into it.

      • You can have two curves in Lr, sorta. There’s a point curve and a region curve (highlights / lights / darks / shadows) which can be tweaked independently, though the second one provides less control. You can also dodge and burn highlights and shadows locally, though, annoying, not the midtones (maybe in Lr 6?).

        Have purchased the video, btw – about to dive in.

        • That’s not the same, and visually the result is very different. Here’s a bigger question though: why try to force something to fit when there’s a much better solution, and the PS/LR combo is only $10 a month anyway? That’s two or three bad cups of coffee for something you’ll use on every image.

          • A question of workflow probably – many people familiar with Lr (which takes some time too), might find Ps, with its myriads of options, daunting. (not saying it’s a *good* reason, but you know how our minds work sometimes). And just to say – there are some things that are still easier to do with Lr than in Ps – many of the adjustments that would require layers and masks in Ps can be done with local adjustment brushes in Lr, which is far more intuitive.

            From my side I wish Adobe would add dodge, burn, and multiple curves (and whatever other tweaks Lr is missing) to Lr and be done with it.

            • I’m not sure I agree with that – there are a lot of ways to do things in PS, and that’s half the problem: it’s confusing. I’ve spent long enough navigating its functions and workflow to know that there are very efficient/fast ways to achieve certain things that do not actually require layers or masks with experience; I use them in my workflow videos because you can always go back and edit them again later if you change your mind, but there are also destructive/sequential ways of applying curves/ HSL etc. which I personally use because it’s a lot faster…

  9. Hi Ming Thien,
    Downloading… 🙂 in progress.

    Just to check do you happen to cover also on “Printing” monochrome on your part of workflow ?

  10. I admire the M Monochrome. I bought one in July and loved the files. But, having been an M-240 user, and having bought the M-240 as my first digital M, I had gotten spoiled by the better engineering of that camera. The slow buffer, loud shutter, and unusable screen of the MM did my head in and I sold it the day before your post! But having used it, I have no doubt that those who persevere with it have something very special.

    If I had kept the camera, having purchased some of your other video tutorials, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy your M Monochrome tutorial. The cost is a drop in the ocean compared to the camera (!), and your tutorials are very well thought out, clearly communicated, and very very useful.

  11. A 3 minutes masterclass workshop video for free? thanks you dear.

    • It’s a trailer. Because like everybody else, you expect everything else to be on the Internet for free. Oh never mind the fact it takes a week to produce one of these and a whole production and editing crew. I suppose those growing trees too, so you can get the benefit of all of our experience – which you clearly value – without having to pay for it? Do you work for free? I thought not.

  12. Crepuscular dodging! When do we burn the ephemeris? 🙂

    I was surprised to find myself inspired by the high-key, low-contrast examples, so I have to go make some of those images now. I also liked how you showed the video in the various styles — green filter is really not flattering for humans!

    Finally, I hope people realize and appreciate how comprehensive an approach you’ve presented. It’s not just another filter program slapped onto a random image, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some who were expecting Mingstagram filter will be disappointed … their loss. Instead the B&W conversion takes into account artistic intention and what the image needs to present itself strongly. One of your best videos: thank you!

    • Haha, thanks Andre! We spent a bit more time thinking how to conceptualizer the visualization process and results for this one, and I’m glad to hear it got through! As for green not being flattering for humans…it ought be the subject matter :p

      • So I finally finished both parts, and have a couple of questions:

        1. Are the B&W versions you processed available on your Flickr feed? I looked quickly, but didn’t see them.
        2. In the first batch of pictures processed as balanced, you didn’t sharpen any of them before saving. Was this intentional?

        The thunder during the balanced processing was cool. I think one of them actually punctuated something you said, something like: “And we’re done.” (Thunderclap.)

        The HSL gradient trick is really cool, as is the posterization layer for seeing where your dodging and burning is doing its thing. It’s great to have finally see a demonstration of the use of multiple tone curves as well as your highlight burning. It’s really striking to me that the workflow is actually quite simple, and the hard part is seeing and capturing the picture with the 4 things in the first place.

        • Thanks Andre. To your questions:

          1. Not uploaded yet, but eventually…I have to sequence images consciously because you can’t change the order on Flickr.
          2. Not sharpened because there’s no point in watching a progress bar – I noted this earlier on, I believe. The step is the same as for everything else, I just omitted it because the video was already 3h10m long…

          Got lucky with the thunder 🙂

  13. I have been looking forward to the Monochrome Masterclass. I have it downloaded. Thanks for doing this!

  14. Great job again, Ming! Thanks for finishing this one! (Downloading now…)

  15. Sorry to go OT Ming…but I like the watch! Care to tell what it is? Thanks. 🙂

    • It’s a JLC Amvox I.

      • I much prefer your Reverso Latitude 🙂 From a resale value point of view, they’re all good investments I guess. I wish the same was true for photographic equipment. Well, maybe it’s true for some fully mechanical lenses like the ones from Leica or Zeiss, but I’m not even sure. – Anyhow, your teaching videos are excellent investments from a completely different point of view. Thanks for sharing your knowledge! I’m downloading now!

Trackbacks

  1. […] This series with shot with a Nikon D810, various lenses and processed with Photoshop Workflow II and The Monochrome Masterclass. […]

  2. […] you’d like to learn more about how to create great images in black and white, the latest Monochrome Masterclass workshop video might be of […]

  3. […] Reference bear #4; looks like #2 but isn’t – much like how a D810 and D750 look similar to your spouse. If you like this tonality, I cover black and white conversion methods extensively in The Monochrome Masterclass video. […]

  4. […] you’d like to learn more about how to create great images in black and white, the latest Monochrome Masterclass workshop video might be of […]

  5. […] you’d like to learn more about how to create great images in black and white, the latest Monochrome Masterclass workshop video might be of […]

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