Photoessay: Tokyo architecture mono, mid 2015

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To infinity

Today’s photoessay is a very limited architectural snapshot from Tokyo. I’m there roughly once a year, but the place changes so often that there’s always something new (and usually unrecognisable) from visit to visit. That is of course a very good reason to go back. This set is in monochrome I suppose as sort of contrarian approach to something constantly changing – monochrome still life or landscape tends to invoke something timeless rather than temporal; perhaps change is timeless. MT

This set was shot with a Nikon D810 and D750 and processed with techniques covered in the Monochrome Masterclass and PS Workflow II can also travel vicariously to Japan with How To See Ep.2: Tokyo.

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Shadows of structure

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Downwards detail

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Verticality 55

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After the rain

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Not everybody works late I

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Not everybody works late II

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Work in progress


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. Praneeth Raj Singh says:

    Work in progress and the shot of the roof are my favorites. Nice set, as always!

  2. I like the image of the ceiling grid (untitled following Inclination) a lot. I assume that you intentionally decided to give the image a slight asymmetric composition, can you share your thoughts regarding slight asymmetry vs perfect symmetry for this image?

    • Thanks. Simple answer to this one – the grid was slightly asymmetric to begin with! If something appears symmetric, I will generally try to go for perfect symmetry to match the expectations of the viewer’s eyes or deliberate asymmetry so it is clear that the composition isn’t just sloppy.

  3. These are awesome.

  4. Teck Hong says:

    Excellent b/w series, thanks for sharing. Are some of the shots taken thru’ glass window? They seems very clear with no light reflection from the room.

  5. Fantastic images. Thanks.

  6. nice work !! love the compositions !!

  7. Inspiring, will have to try myself very soon…

  8. Does your photoshop tools (A+A2) work the same with jpegs opened in bridge and processed in camera raw as working with just original raw images?

    • Yes, but with less latitude (due to JPEGs containing less info) and ACR does not give you kelvin temperatures for WB – just relative shifts.

  9. “After the rain” printed at 2 meters wide would make an awesome picture for a livingroom wall!
    Perspective, tonality, that fog and the fade-off towards the top are just so damn great! Incredible mood.

  10. I am really enjoying the textures and shapes in this series. I am leaving for japan in just under two weeks, you have provided me much inspiration for whilst i am there.

  11. Gerner Christensen says:

    *To infinity*, *After the Rain*, *Work in progress* and *Monochrome architecture, Tokyo* are my favorites among this strong set. Thanks again Ming for serving pleasures for almost each morning coffee reading 🙂

  12. Wow! Beautiful photos. I especially like the skyline!

  13. John Brady says:

    I’ve always had a soft spot for your architectural shots. Verticality 55 is terrific. I also love the untitled shot of the ceiling detail. Mono works very well for these images.

  14. Exceptional images. To Infinity is very sell seen.

  15. A very nice series. I particularly like the darkened buildings with the lights in the windows. They seem to me to be geometrically pleasing.

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