I’m currently finishing off some retouching from my last assignment before preparing for the Hanoi Cinematic Masterclass with Zeiss, but once again, as curiously happens the same time every year…it’s my birthday so I’d like to celebrate by giving you all a little gift – a thank you for your support over the last couple of years.
For the next week, using the voucher code ‘MING2015’ gets you $30 off any video or bundle on the teaching store for purchases over $100. There’s no limit on the number of vouchers per person – use as many as you like in combination with whichever videos you wish – but the total number of vouchers is limited. First-come, first-served and valid for one week until 23.59 KL time (GMT+8) on the 25th of July 2014 – or the vouchers run out, whichever comes first. So if there are any videos you’ve been curious about, or need to complete your set, now’s the time 🙂
And as a gentle reminder, there are some places left for the Chicago workshops in September/October – won’t last for long though, I’m sure!
26 July: the week is now up, thank you all for your support! MT
An overview of the video workshops
Postprocessing (A, A2, B, C, E5, M)
Learn how to enhance the presentation of your image through curves, tonal management, dodging and burning and sharpening; rebalance the composition towards the subject through the use of managed contrast; familiarize yourself with advanced photoshop techniques for compositing, retouching and final output. More importantly, learn to develop a fast and powerful workflow to consistently produce great results from any camera. Based on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Camera Raw.
Making Outstanding Images (D, E1-5)
This video series covers the core content from the workshops of the same name. Learn the fundamental underlying principles of both technical imaging and composition through a structured and methodical series of exercises. Understand why some images ‘work’ despite breaking conventional rules, and others don’t even though they tick all the boxes. Build a toolkit that lets you not just consistently translate your ideas into an image, but go beyond to take that and put an individual and consistently recognizable style on the output.
How To See (H1-4)
Travel vicariously with me through foreign cities and look over my shoulder as I shoot; you see both the surrounding context and the specific individual elements I find interesting enough to compose and shoot. I explain what attracts my attention, how I compose and my thought process at the time of capture, as well as a more formal explanation of the finished image and some discussion on the postprocessing choices made to get there.
We reserve the right to change the conditions of this promotion without prior notice; service is provided on a best effort basis. There are a limited number of vouchers available and they will be applied on a priority basis. Valid on new purchases only
Selected recent testimonials from previous customers:
Mark Sisco (PS Workflow II): I am very grateful for the videos. Well done! You’re workflow is much simpler than I expected, honestly. It has been very enlightening, especially steps for using LAB, how you process bright files and subsequently apply your curves, and sharpening.
Arpit Srivastava (PS Workflow II): I had purchased your photoshop workflow video a while back and havent had the chance to implement some of the learnings. Today I pulled out the color passport and did the color caliberation and WOW – what a massive difference it made. Even with the caliberated monitor – I had no idea the nikon D610 native color response was so different from actual colors. I opened up some old photos and applied the color profile on them and the difference is just so remarkable – they started looking so natural – the one big complaint I had with all my photos – the colors just looked off. I would say just for that bit only the videos are worth the money – and there are so many other things in it to improve my photography.
Caleb (Intro to PS, Intermediate PS, PS Workflow II, Monochrome Masterclass, Outstanding Images Ep. 1-5): After many classes/workshops with excellent teachers, including Sue Ann Hodges at NESOP, George Dewolf at Maine Media Workshops, Steven Johnson at Mono Lake, Paul Caponigro in Camden Maine, several at Santa Fe, I find your depth of knowledge, clarity and guidance to be the guiding light (greatly complemented by the wisdom from those above). I’ve invested ( intentional use of word) in all your PS and Outsatnding Images series 1-5 videos. While combined not inexpensive (and for many users not all required to learn deeply) I find the cost vs benefit ratio to be unmatched (again not taking away from the great learning above).
Great job Ming!! I look forward to more and hope you stay with us for years to come ( but appreciate the sacrifices you make for that…I’m VERY happy to give a little bit back and truly encourage others to view his videos for the modest price vs gain received!!)
Mikko Ritala (Photoshop Workflow II): Just wanted to chime in shortly on this. I downloaded WF2 recently and it has made a big difference. The most important lesson for me was calibrating my cameras properly. I shoot mainly landscapes and nature, and nailing accurate color was always difficult for me, requiring extensive HSL adjustments. Now I simply set the WB correctly and get accurate, pleasing color straight off the bat – it just works. Overall contrast is also improved, I don’t have to recover shadows or highlights nearly as much as before.
I’ve re-edited some pictures from the past year with this workflow, pictures that I wasn’t confident in publishing before. I’m extremely pleased with the results and I’m proud to say three of them have made it into this group. It gives me confidence that I’m moving in the right direction.
I want to thank Ming for all the hard work he has put into his site, education videos and this Flickr community. It has made all the difference for me.
John Moran (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1-5): I also wanted to thank you again for your excellent videos. I have bought and studied the entire Outstanding Images series. They are the most insightful and practical photography educational resource I have found.
Tom Morgan (Monochrome Masterclass): A few months ago I purchased your Monochrome Masterclass videos and thank you so much for them as I found them to be the most useful purchase changing the way I now edit my photos. I do read all your posts and check on your latest Flickr images. It has now become part of my daily ritual and a very pleasant one at that.
Jessica Winograd (PS Workflow II): I recently purchased Photoshop Workflow II and have enjoyed working my way through the course. Not only have I learned valuable techniques but I have also been learning what it is about your photos that I find so magical and appealing. I hope this will help me as I develop my own style.
Mikko Ritala (PS Workflow II): I highly recommend this video, I’ve only spent about 10 hours practicing with this workflow and my images are already starting to turn out much better than before. I took a small catalog of old pictures that I edited with this workflow and then compared to previous exported versions. The difference has been an eye-opener. I still need to get my cameras profiled correctly to get the most out of it.
David Fisher (Email School of Photography): I really enjoyed the class Ming, and appreciate the honest and timely feedback. It was a real pleasure and I definitely learned a lot. I can really tell how I’ve raised the level of my photography and am not satisfied with images that last year I would have thought were good. Thank you again.
John Weeks (Compact Camera Masterclass): But after going over Mings Compact Masterclass I learned its all about the eye, and some knowledge. He kicked my fanny in that video. All the gearheads should have to view it. I am happy with my tools…eye…sometimes.
Mark (PS Workflow II): After trading in a BHC (Big Heavy Camera) for a NLC (nice light camera), I had some money left over, so I figured that as education is better than gear I should give this (and the Monochrome masterclass) a shot. The Monochrome video is useful and interesting, but the PS Workflow is even better. I’m highly impressed. The nice thing about these videos is that they are immediately applicable, but also have enough depth of ideas and details to bear repeated viewings. I just signed up for the trial run of CC2014 (PS and Bridge) and having seen what they can do, I will be subscribing to the monthly model, if for no other reason than to be able to put into practice everything mentioned on the Workflow 2 video. I haven’t run any files through this workflow yet, but I’m very much looking forward to the results. Seeing the examples on the video going from rather “meh” looking files to highly striking finished products was quite enlightening. The improvements to ACR are nice too. As the “nice light camera” I picked up was a used X100, the section on X-Trans was appreciated too. Thanks for two excellent products!
John Moran (Intro to PS, Intermediate PS, PS Workflow II): I bought and am studying Intro and Intermediate PS. All 3 PS videos are concise and very well done. I simply cannot sit through most video tutorials because their baud rate is so excruciatingly slow. So thank you for making those.
Arpit Srivastava (PS Workflow II): The workflow video is very good – I’m already seeing improved results in my images and a lot more consistency. I think I will be buying your B&W video eventually as well.
Andrew Murray (Fundamentals, Outstanding Images Ep.1-3, How To See Ep. 1-5) – I completed the purchase of the Fundamentals +Outstanding Images Packages 1-3… so I am very happy thank you ! Funny having time to reflect on How to See 1 through 5. Not sure what you hear from people I am surprised how much I Enjoyed H1 KL and H3 Penang. H2 – TOK was equally inspirational. H4 MELB is my goto city in Oz my wife and I go there to take photos and have any down time a few times a year and always love it simply for the change. H5 Havana. What a special joint ! So rich in colour. But If I was forced I am going to choose and say something unexpected. I think I enjoyed H1 KL the most and I never expected that. H2 and H3 equal in second place for me. Tokyo is obviously so special photographically,the light seems wonderful in that video. But Penang was great, much better than I was expecting. Melbourne is Melbourne I loved it too. But there you go push comes to shove. thats my little bit of feedback I loved them all, I didn’t not like anything thing. and importantly you have helped me on my journey with this passion / hobby.
Graeme Allan (PS Workflow II) – After purchasing ‘Photoshop Workflow II’ I suffered an identical epiphany following application of the principles in ‘Monochrome Masterclass’: I undertook a major ‘delete’ of most of what I thought I knew and returned to ‘Square One’. Significantly, for me and my output, this is entirely ‘pleasurable pain’. Thanks Ming for quality instruction, quality methodology and helping to increase my potential to find possibilities, and alternatives in my editing.
Klifton (PS Workflow II) – Just a quick note of gratitude for all your hard work. You’ve enlightened me in more ways than any other photographer. Your style, your tools, and your methods. They’re all right! I’m making my first trip to Asia in a week. I can’t guarantee I’ll come back with anything earth shattering, but my chances are greatly improved thanks to you. I purchased a GR (using your Amazon link), and I couldn’t be happier. Complimenting it will be an FX Nikon body with 60 2.8G and 85 1.8G. I also purchased and studied your Photoshop A2 video (along with the Intermediate and Monochrome). Your usage of the dodge/burn tools have been hugely useful, as well as the lab mode in Photoshop. I’ve used PS for well over a decade, and always avoided the dodge/burn tools for some reason or another, but thanks to you… I’m now using them to great success. Thank you for all you do! You have single-handedly made me a better photographer, more so than any one else. Keep up the great work!
Mikko Ritala (Making Outstanding Images Ep. 1-5) – Outstanding Images is the best money I’ve spent on photography.
Andrew Hiscock (PS Workflow II, Intro to PS Workflow) – I am working my way through your photoshop workflow videos at the moment. I purchased the first set (I & II), and they are wonderful. I have gone back through my catalog and edited some photos in which previously I was not able to bring out what I saw when I took the picture, and now I have finally a result I am happy with. Also, while I already knew before that education is more important than simply buying more gear, after watching these videos I now 100% believe it. For example, where I used to run into situations where I would think “maybe I’m just running into sensor limitations” I now think “I can fix this with curves”.
Andre Yew (PS Workflow II) – The rest of the workflow is pretty marvelous. Editing in Lab mode is really satisfying. Thanks for showing us all of this, Ming! I also found I could almost everything in LR that Ming does in ACR, so LR users, don’t let that stop you from adopting this great way of editing. The only exception is the really useful-looking area-selection for the WB eyedropper tool, but you can always do this manually by averaging measurements at many points. In fact, many of the things Ming discusses in ACR (negative value sliders, many different settings applicable to the gradient tool) have been available to LR users for quite a while now.
Jonathan Usher (PS Workflow II) – What a wonderful Photoshop workflow resource – thanks Ming; I’m getting a lot out of the materials and the many samples that you work through. Thanks again for a wonderful video course.
Eric Hanson (PS Workflow II) – Just finished watching Photoshop Workflow II video parts 1 and 2. Highly recommended. The new process is simpler, takes less time and results in cleaner output of files and more accurate color. I use to love the old curve adjustment in the previous videos however the new curve adjustment is two part and preserves both color and saturation. Part one occurs in ACR and handles the proper roll off of highlights and part two occurs in PS and handles the shadows. Also the color profiling of the camera is a step I have never done before and this technique is included in the video. This will make my configuration much closer to Ming’s. Essentially closing the gap further. Ming explains what shortcuts to configure in PS to speed up the flow. He also explains a few of the tools he uses in PS. It is very nice to see the video in the latest version of PS as now everything matches very closely. The new process is very easy to adapt to the previous processing videos. The inclusion of several RAW files and finished JPEGs is a game changer. I am going to copy the RAWS to a separate directory, process them and then compare to Ming’s processed files to see the differences. It is fun having Ming’s RAW files loaded up in Adobe Bridge. Gradients take a more important and more precise role than before. The ACR filter is a great addition to PS and Ming explains its use in the workflow well using a mossy fallen tree image and a very large image from his trees series. From time to time Ming will pause and explain a point or two at a beginners level without taking away much time or distraction from the flow. It’s almost as if someone is reminding him from time to time to explain a point at a more basic level. 🙂 I am quite sure it is Ming catching himself. If you own a Fuji X-trans camera and /or are considering the purchase of one this video is perfect. This is covered as the final topic and Ming explains that almost everything still applies except for some steps which are either different or reversed. The samples are well chosen to demonstrate the uniqueness of the sensor and really show how processing them in adobe in the same manner as RAW files from a Bayer filter camera results in poor image quality and how to turn that around to get proper output. The changes needed are clearly explained. I Really like the section on curation. The intro and section on curation are the first 46 minutes of the first video. It is very helpful hearing Ming discuss strengths and weaknesses of various images. I wanted him to keep a few of the images he discarded. He also explains why he picks one over another and I learned a lot from that as well. This is something he does as part of his Master Classes and it was fun to see it in action. The examples section is key to understanding the new process. The two images from San Francisco are nicely captured and processed and will allow me to see those type of images in the future. There are several edge cases in the selected images and Ming does a great job to explain these points. A very well done video.
Gerner Christensen (PS Workflow II) – Beside the very useful repetition of the curation part of the workflow, the color management and camera profiling comes as a gift from heaven. Furthermore I have seen new tips and very useful stuff in the ACR filtering part. Great Ming! Next, the Lab Mode post processing flow is a huge improvement on how to preserve your colors. The files comes out cleaner and to me with far more appealing colors. This is a huge advancement to the former set of working steps. It is faster that way and the file quality has been vastly improved. What is there not to love about these new videos! Thanks again Ming.
Eric Hanson (PS Workflow II) – Really like the section on curation. The intro and section on curation are the first 46 minutes of the first video. It is very helpful hearing you discuss strengths and weaknesses of various images. I Also like the included RAW files for some of the images. I have them loaded up in adobe bridge and look forward to experimenting with them. The section on color profiling is very nice. Also the ACR updates. I like that you are using the latest versions of ACR and CS as the sliders are different. I also like the updated and simplified workflow. It is easier to do and follow. Looking forward to the examples section and working along on the included RAW files.
Ross Waugh (How To See, Ep.5: Havana): Hi Ming, Thank you so much for sharing the Havana video for free. I really enjoyed watching it, and picking up the tips on composition, framing etc. I found your style relaxed, and your communication clear. What an interesting place Havana is. On a secondary level, I was quite interested in how Havana looks and feels – which came through the video.
Mike Chen (Outstanding Images Ep. 4, 5; Monochrome Masterclass): Being a long time fan of your blog, I finally made the decision and purchased your “Making Outstanding Images Ep.4 + Ep. 5 + Monochrome Masterclass” bundle. Gotta say I’m quite impressed with your insights. Thank you for making them and all the incredibly informative articles on your blog.
Michael Letchford (How To See, Ep.5: Havana): Ming this is a masterpiece! For anyone interested in travel, in social history, in art, and of course, photography, this is a world class documentary. The BBC would have been proud to broadcast this video. Entertaining, insightful, educational and uplifting. Loved it!!
Kai O’Yang (How To See, Ep.4: Melbourne): I’ve finally finished watching this video. Living in Melbourne, I’ve shot Fed Square and Southbank multiple times and I didn’t see those frames you saw. Really refreshing and enlightening on helping me to improve my seeing.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Be inspired to take your photography further: Masterclass Chicago (27 Sep-2 Oct) and Masterclass Tokyo (9-14 Nov) now open for booking!
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!
Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved