Today’s photoessay is something a little different: the curated results from an assignment last year where I had an open creative brief; I was to document and photograph everything and anything at the given locations. The client was a heavy engineering/ construction company with everything going on from schools to subways to airports; it was both one of the most interesting assignments I’ve undertaken as well as one of the most satisfying – and simultaneously challenging.
Some of these images will be part of the larger exhibition in Hong Kong in June, so if you’re around, please come and say hello.
Those of you in the audience involved in creative industries of any sort will know how rare an open brief is; it’s something to be treasured and at the same time very careful with. On one hand, it’s the chance to go crazy and try everything you’ve wanted – but at the risk of producing something far too out of expectations, which would not be good. At the same time, being careful or safe is a waste of an opportunity. In short: you really, really don’t want to screw up. Hence the balancing act: my solution was to think about end usage cases and try to make the images as broadly applicable as possible, but at the same time aesthetically satisfying and consistent in style.
This set isn’t representative of the whole assignment or majority of images by any stretch, but I think they’re reflective of my current creative state of mind and what I produce when it all comes together – I’m very pleased with these because they straddle the line between documentary, product and abstracted art. Some were shot under controlled conditions (tripod etc.) but most were run and gun grabbed between documentary or formal architectural stills. The subject matter caught my eye because of color, form or shadow – or all three – and I composed by broad perspective (‘wide’/’normal’/’tele’) inclusion first, deciding which elements were of interest, which additional ones were required for balance or context, and then picking a focal length to suit. I suppose in that sense they were instinctive, which is not a term I can generally apply to my commercial work (‘planned’ comes to mind).
My thanks to the client (who is in the audience) for the confidence and opportunity! MT
I used a Nikon D800E, D810, AFS 24-120/4 VR and AFS 80-400/4.5-5.6 VR lenses and processed with the ‘commercial’ style described in Making Outstanding Images Ep.5: Processing For Style.
Turn the mood and style up to 11: the Hanoi Cinematic Masterclass in association with Zeiss (21-26 July and 28 July-2 August inclusive) is now open for registration – click here to book and for more information.
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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved