Photoessay: Aerial aquatic studies

H51-B0008218 copy

Today’s photoessay continues the series over Australia – specifically, the westernmost patch of the vast continent about halfway north. Most of these images were shot over the bit of water between Francois Peron National Park and Dirk Hartog Island; they weren’t the primary objective of the shoot, but still – when you’ve got this kind of variation in the water, there’s just no way you can not shoot. I’ve always been amazed by just how much the texture and feel of water changes with light direction and incremental amounts of breeze; what’s under the surface is hidden or revealed, almost regardless of depth. (The black patches are seaweed and seagrass.) I suppose it’s one of those fractal subjects that once again has the power to hold your attention for a significant amount of time because there are never two identical instants. I’ve printed several of these at 24″, and I feel that’s just the beginning of the ‘right size’ to allow the images to breathe – of course, being shot on the Hasselblad there’s plenty of scope for enlargement…enjoy! MT

This was shot with a Hasselblad H5D-50c and various lenses, and post processed with Photoshop and Lightroom Workflow III and techniques in the Weekly Workflow.

H51-B0008800 copy

H51-B0008148 copy

H51-B0007953 copy

H51-B0008282 copy

H51-B0008124 copy

H51-B0008805 copy

H51-B0008400 copy

H51-B0008413 copy

H51-B0008121 copy

H51-B0008805 copy<

H51-B0008389 copy

H51-B0008390 copy


Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


More info on Hasselblad cameras and lenses can be found here.


Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop and Photoshop Workflow videos and the customized Email School of Photography. You can also support the site by purchasing from B&H and Amazon – thanks!

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

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


  1. Really beautiful images!

  2. David Lupton says:

    These are very beautiful works, they have soul, they dance float whisper, they have substance yet have nothingness, beautiful.

  3. These pieces work for me on many different levels. Frex the penultimate and final image… is it a probe flyby of a newly discovered alien planet? Maybe an Asian watercolor? Your work always engages the viewer’s imagination and allows them to become co-creators, of sorts. This is not passive work but true mind candy!

    • Thanks – that’s always the ideal intention (so that the audience is intellectually invested and in turn makes the image more memorable/lasting) – but it of course requires the right audience, too!

  4. I like the black border around the photo’s! More contrast of the colours.

  5. I love abstracts like these, so thank you. It’s very difficult to do “water on the web”, I think. An image can be just right at full size, as it is intended to be seen, but the (false) impression of oversharpened detail can start to appear when the image is reduced by the auto-sizing sites like Flickr. And monitors/screens likely make a difference here too. Or that’s what I’ve found, anyway. It’s a tricky one, at least for me.

  6. Ming
    Great set of images, thanks.
    I think this set needs to be seen from flickr.
    Normally when I click on your images to see them on flickr I notice better tonal confidence, micro-contrast and just a bit more detail (if any), however with this set, some of the images have a whole additional scale of wave detail visible in parts (at least on my screen).

  7. As an Aussie, I reckon it’s great to see the way you create wonderful images of our fantastic land in a way that shows it as it is, not super saturated as seems to be the norm, but as we locals see it in it’s real colours, textures and light. Many more images please.
    Our Government Tourist bureaucrats should employ you full time to show the world at large what Australia is really like.

  8. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Magic photography, Ming – thanks for posting them!

  9. Amazing abstracts. A feast for the eyes. Thank you.

%d bloggers like this: