Photoessay: Uniformity

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Today’s photoessay is a slight evolution on the previous theme. We still remain in an urban setting, but we look only at the uniform, the monolithic, and the stark. They are almost dehumanizingly abstract and yet instantly identifiable as artefacts of our own ambition and desire for bigger, better, more. There is a sort of progression in entropy here – we start with aspirational order and end in decay. Perhaps it is a metaphor for the nature of all things, or perhaps it’s just a consequence of requiring scale for abstraction and visual interest – read into it as much or as little as you please. Enjoy. MT

This series was shot in several countries with a Nikon D810, 24-120/4 VR, 45 PCE, 85/1.8G and Voigtlander 180/4 APO lenses. Postprocessing and color management was done using Photoshop Workflow II and The Monochrome Masterclass.

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Be inspired to take your photography further: Masterclass Chicago (27 Sep-2 Oct) and Masterclass Tokyo (9-14 Nov) now open for booking!


Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


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


  1. John Brady says:

    I and IV are superb images, but VI is on a different level. I suspect that at scale (or as an ultra print) it is something else.

  2. some very strong shots in this set Ming.
    nicely done.

  3. great set, loved them all, sifu.
    11 + 12 in particular strikes a chord with me. for 12, is that somewhere along jalan alor or jalan raja laut?
    wishing you a good weekend, cheers.

  4. VI is a masterpiece, Ming (you probably know it yourself!)

  5. These are spectacular shots. It strikes me that in those I find most striking (II, VI, and X), the uniformity is highlighted by departures from it. Thank you for a truly inspirational resource!

  6. Good you included a natural one (IX, the trees). Nature too has ample uniformity. But it isn’t always as clinically precise and geometrically perfect as buildings and other human-made objects. IX is a visually comfortable example in and contrast to this series of much harder and edgier structures. Well done. As usual.

    • I have shot a lot of other trees in other sets. The only reason the trees make sense here is because they too were artificially placed and somewhat ‘man-made’…

  7. Inspirational series! Thank you for sharing these. I know you have discussed transparency before but IV is an outstanding example. I would love to hear more about how you achieve this effect.

  8. I found VI, IX and XII very impactful but VI especially. It provoked a sense of terrible smallness and loneliness. Seeing it provoked similar emotions to the ones I feel when I see van Gogh’s Irises but your image does so using a far more modern/technological theme. Absolutely fantastic.

    • Thank you. I confess to being a bit obsessed with the melancholy and isolation themes of late…perhaps it’s the environments I find myself in.

  9. Very nice series.

  10. John Nicholson says:

    I so admire your eye for structure, pattern and muted colour. Thanks for this latest collection.

  11. Gerner Christensen says:

    I just love these small exhibitions of photographs. Opening the PC in the morning the first I do is to take look inside here to see what’s up today. I am guaranteed inspiration each and every time. Amazing Ming you can maintain such a high standard, appreciated very much and thank you 🙂

  12. My Dear Sir Ming,

    you don’t need anyone’s certificate, but you’re simply the world’s best Photographer + Blogger, that there is.
    Thanks for all the stellar images you produce, and information you share with us, so that people like me can know what it is like to photograph. It’s a sheer Delight & Honor to be able to talk to you. I salute you & your body or work. I am at loss of words of admiration.

  13. Dear Ming, how are you? I am sorry to have missed the reader meet-up in KL a while ago. But I’m also impressed with our coincidence of subjects in a couple of photos you’ve shown here and the last post! I have made (much less impressive than yours, of course) similar photos of the Petronas facade and of the cocoon building in Shinjuku just recently! This can only mean that great minds think alike (heheheheh!)

  14. Stunning photos, great photo essay! Your photography is truly inspiring.

  15. Excelent! Number II is number one for me…

  16. Awesome images Ming! Can’t pick a favorite but IV is amazing…

  17. Amazing photos!

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