Lisbon Masterclass 2016: the student gallery

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Following recent Masterclasses, it has become a tradition to post a curated gallery of student work: I think this is far more meaningful to judge the value of a workshop with me than a series of images of people shooting or in conversation (though these make for interesting student portraits, which will be an ongoing series) We had great weather for pretty much the entire Masterclass and an incredible location – it feels like one of those places you could shoot for a decade and only barely scratch the surface, and I think the inspiration it produces really shows in the strength of the work that came out of the group that week. I’m going to stop talking now and let the strength and diversity of the group’s images say the rest; there were a very different range of objectives and very strong images across the board. I’m happy to say that everybody produced something that made the rest of us jealous! Sufficient to say that many of us will be going back, and if you happen to have a chance, Lisbon has to be one of the great urban photographic destinations of the world – a blend of Havana, Venice and Prague in feel – and should be towards the top of your list.

Note: name links are to the photographers’ respective websites or flickr portfolios.

Lastly, I’ll be announcing details of the next Masterclass in Singapore tomorrow, and Prague is likely to be back by popular demand for September this year…please send me an email if you’d like to be put on the list for either. Thanks! MT

Patrick Hautle – I guess as a returning participant one has high expectation to the MC and especially of oneself. The latter had me running around a little bit too much, always expecting an even better setting around the next corner. It was kind of half a year’s photo opportunities and expectations packed in a few days. It took a while to get me into a more relaxed way of shooting – more picture making and less taking. Definitely the half day with you Ming was a highlight and good fun even though not much of that session passed the curation. It was a great experience to shoot alongside with you, exploring possibilities, discussing ways to approach a scene, or cope with the very situation when you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a political rally.  All in all, I can’t think of a better way to push ones photography. You have a few days where you can concentrate exclusively on one thing, get constant feedback from a great teacher, discuss, share and hang out with like-minded people, enjoy great food – Ming is a real gourmet -, and all that at a perfect location. Ming, a great thank you for having made this week possible!




Gerner ChristensenThe Masterclass Workshop in Lisbon was my 4th workshop with Ming Thein and there’s no doubt the Masterclasses has matured over time. What makes these Masterclasses so utterly effective is the concept where you bring your own ambitions to the table and from there on having both Ming’s and the groups support and help to bring you there during the days and the time to come.
So it all becomes solely about “your” photography and nobody else’s. You have the greatest support from Ming you could ever ask for and not to forget the fantastic group who willingly share opinions and points of view. I cannot think of any better atmosphere where to have that extra kick that elevates your photography to the next level. The art of photography. It’s a priceless experience of feeling growth now and here. Not much else to say beside thank you very much Ming for the exquisite education and inspiration. Thanks to you and the wonderful group for the very pleasant atmosphere everybody was contributing to.

Letter to a Cavaleiro.

There's always a way out of it.

At the source of life

Birgit Rabanus – I really enjoyed the Masterclass very much – I learned a lot (Thanks, Ming!), but I also relished the good atmosphere, the fruitful and pleasant discussions and your very enjoyable companionship.




Claudia M




Franz G – The very unique combination of two qualities makes the masterclass of Ming a very special, absolutely rewarding and inspiring experience: Ming is a gifted photographer AND a born teacher. His profound knowledge of photography, its fundamentals and technical aspects, has opened new perspectives and leads to new goals. After attending a masterclass one looks through the viewfinder with new eyes. I wholeheartedly thank Ming for organizing this masterclass. It’s been a wonderful source of inspiration.




Rudolf FI would like to express my sincere thanks for the wonderful opportunity you provided for me (and I am sure for all the participants as well) with your masterclass in Lisbon. It was again an intensive learning experience, and while it may not have shown immediate fruit, it will nevertheless have an enduring effect on my skills as an amateur photographer. I thoroughly enjoyed the program, your teaching, the comradeship with you and the other participants, the city of Lisbon, the weather, etc., etc.




Francois G I am tempted to say it was bad – just to make sure I can get a slot in a future Masterclass. That’s how good it actually was! I have been back from Lisbon for several weeks and I still have my nights filled with images. And my hard disc too: I am currently in the process of going through the photographs I took, and with the hindsight, it is a wonderful feeling the see the progress I have made: if I had one “keeper” from the first day, I have about ten per day for the last two days. My standards may not be as high as Ming’s, but I have plenty of photographs I am very happy with and this was my main goal. If it is also hard to get all the key components right (light, subject, composition, story…), I can now see a pattern in my work and I have a strong framework to continue learning and experimenting. Over the course of the six days, I had plenty of opportunities to get feedback and guidance from Ming, as well as a daily dose of points to work on. I was also extremely pleased with the attendance: Ming’s has this unique ability to attract like-minded people: talented, passionate, open-minded and humble amateurs, and I have been truly inspired, motivated and challenged from our daily reviews, the common shooting sessions and the late night discussions. It was good to see that some of the participants had been to Ming’s previous master classes, and I for sure will come back. 




Marc HFirst of all, I would like to thank you for a truly great experience in Lisbon. Having done other workshops with other organizations and photographers in the past showed me that you should always be ready for a surprise. Your approach in teaching us students your way of photography was something I did not experience prior to this workshop. You really took your time for each student, and in my case you helped open my eyes to see the world in a different perspective. I have to admit that I struggled the first day. I found it difficult to follow all your instructions and suggestions, but your feedback helped execute my ideas in a way I just wasn’t aware of before. By the end of the workshop I was overwhelmed with the photos the group captured and also pleased with my own results. Ming, your masterclass definitely has addiction potential and won’t be my last!




Leo G – The workshop was something that I wanted to do for a long time; finances would hold me back. Yes, it is not cheap, but you should ask yourself two questions: do you want to improve your photographic skills? If the answer is yes then, why don’t you think about it as a investment? So I did wanted to improve and yes, I took it as an investment.
What I can affirm is that it is worth of 100%. Personally, I have my self-confidence shaken and I’ve realised that I’m not as good as I thought. Period. Ming is straightforward and honest when critiquing something and that’s something that we all need when the time comes for constructive critique: we have to let go the thought of having friends and family telling is how much they like own work and step into the realm where we are students, we need to keep learning and therefore we need somebody to guide us. I learnt a lot, and every idea acquired is being used in the field nowadays.
Would I do another workshop? Of course: I think learning is a never ending process as long as perfection is out of the hand of the human being. So if you want to improve, stop thinking about it and do it!





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  1. Pixelgreat says:

    Great images from all your students Ming. I seem to agree with a few earlier commentators that Gerner’s images definitely have an extra edge to them. I shall keep practising!

  2. Gerner Christensen ‘s work is really impressive !

  3. Lets just add this MC to another in the list of “damn I wish I had been there”. Looks like amazing conditions were enjoyed by all! Wonderful work!

  4. Jorge balarin. says:

    “A blend of Havana, Venice and Prague”, that sounds really wonderful, and what a group of photographers !

  5. Kenny Younger says:

    Nice work, everyone.

  6. Yup, beautiful city (now firmly on my list of places to visit) and some really awesome work from all concerned. Fantastic timing on the bike shot, Gerner 🙂

  7. Lucy March says:

    Wow, fabulous work, everyone! And I can’t help but see the inspiration of Ming everywhere in the great placement of subjects in the frame.

    • …but at the same time, there are a lot of compositions here I didn’t see – so that can only be down to the skill of the students 🙂

  8. Look what resident photographer Rui Palha does.

  9. Stefano says:

    Impressive. These shots really make me want to go out and take pictures.
    My compliments to all of your students, Ming!

    My special mention goes to Gerner’s pictures, amazing in their minimalism.

  10. Brett Patching says:

    Wow. Some really good work here guys!! I really hope that you keep running at least a few masterclasses each year in the future Ming, so I have a chance to experience one when I’m well again.

    • Trying to, Brett – 2-3 year seems to be sustainable; more than that is a little bit too difficult to manage logistically and with the rest of my schedule. 🙂

  11. Excellent images.Some made my jaw drop and eyes open wide; images that deserve to be printed and hung on a wall.

    Well done Sifu, well done students.

  12. I thought that Portugal was azulejos, fado, porto,bacalhao- muito obrigado e legao. 🙂

  13. Awesome! Such great colors everywhere.

  14. That’s a lot of fine image-making going on there. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun too.


  1. […] two statements; in this case, partially because I was demonstrating for a couple of students at the Lisbon Masterclass, partially because I felt the aesthetic suited the feeling at some of the starker and heavier […]

  2. […] set of images to an objective. You only need to take a look at the work produced by students from Lisbon or Tokyo to get an idea of the level achievable by the end of the […]

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