Photoessay – Architectural details of Aalen and Schwäbisch Gmünd

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A few more images from my time in Germany earlier in the year – there are a lot of geometrically simple yet interesting architectural details dotted around the towns of Aalen and Schwäbisch Gmünd; of course I suspect they might be rather more depressing without the benefit of such strongly directional autumn light. I would consider this set to be mainly studies of form and texture; distillation of a scene into almost unrelated and non-contextural component elements and nothing more. Regardless of the subject, the aesthetics of an image boil down to this – every compositional element has different visual weight and presence that’s contingent on color and the amount of image it occupies, in addition to relativity to the rest of the frame. Sometimes it’s nice to be free from the expectations and preconventions a particular subject might imply – portraits must include the eyes, for example; or buildings a sense of scale. Enjoy, and lastly, Happy New Year! MT

This series was shot with a Sony A7RII, Zeiss 1.8/85 Batis and 2.8/35 PC Distagon. You can learn the underlying postprocessing in the Weekly Photoshop Workflow series.

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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. Ming, I live in Aalen since about 4 years, but you have spotted views that went unnoticed by me. Pity though that I did not know about your trip in advance, it would have been lovely to have the chance to meet you in person. Anyhow – happy new year – I am looking forward to your future work and photoessays.

    • To be honest, I didn’t know about it til the week before, and it was supposed to be secret because of the Zeiss embargoes…ah well, there is always next time 🙂

  2. Lucy March says:

    Another great set, Ming. Sometimes “nothing more” is still a lot!
    Here’s wishing you and your family all the best in 2016.

  3. Kenny Younger says:

    Beautiful. Incredibly life-like.

  4. Thanks for sharing Ming.
    The black and white one really hits me!
    Best wishes for you and your loved ones and a happy and creative 2016 to all.

  5. Michiel953 says:

    Beautiful Ming; the light really worked with you here.
    If these images are seen as the impression a town and country made on the unsuspecting visitor, camera in hand, one would think that impression is one of extreme orderliness and cleanliness, devoid of human beings.

    Is that the interpretation you intended to lend to the impression the place made on you?

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