Photoessay: Night falls

H51-B0011757 copy

With the benefit of an unusually clear evening in the usually quite overcast tropics, it’s possible to appreciate the subtle and wide variety of hues the evening sky transitions through – and the interesting interplay off the mirrored glass and water between artificial and reflected light. People often ask why I like to shoot in cities; it’s partially because of the difficulty in finding similar natural environments which are close enough to allow you to photograph in often, and partially because only the built environment gives you this kind of transition. It’s also a glimpse into somebody else’s imagination and vision to some degree; how did they envision their creation in the existing environment. Even if it’s merely a product of corporate averaging, we still get to see what the collective masses expect and deem to be ‘good’…MT

This series was shot in Singapore with a Hasselblad H5D-50c and processed with Photoshop and Lightroom Workflow III.

H51-B0012621 copy

H51-B0011702 copy

H51-B0011847 copy

H51-B0011756 copy

H51-B0011775 copy

H51-B0011834 copy

H51-B0011764 copy

H51-B0011820 copy

H51-B0011770 copy

H51-B0011784 copy

H51-B0012670 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. Scott Wood says:

    Hi Ming, it’s Scott Wood here from Tucson Arizona. I read your column every day and enjoy it very much. My wife and I were in your your home city Kuala Lumpur for a half day last April and got to see the Petronas Towers among other sites during the brief stopover there. This was part of a 2-week cruise on the Queen Mary 2 from Singapore to Dubai. Wish we could have spent more time in KL and had the opportunity to meet you (if indeed you were there last April) but our stay there was too short to even consider contacting you.

    Anyway, the purpose of this email is to get your further impressions of the Hasselblad X1D. I assume that you have now taken delivery of your personal copy of this excellent light weight medium format camera and have had some time to use the production version of it free of whatever bugs, if any, the beta copy you shot with earlier had. I was impressed with the MTF curves for the 3 lenses expressly designed for the X1D which presumably will all be available in 2017 and notice that, lens for lens, they are superior to their counterparts for the H-series primes. I know that Hasselblad has been swamped by orders for the X1D and has had to make considerable additions to its plant and staff to accommodate the unanticipated interest in that new camera. I currently shoot with a Phase One IQ3 100mpx camera which is excellent but extremely heavy and think that the X1D would be a good substitute as a light-weight travel camera. In the past I’ve owned several medium-format digital camera systems including Phase ones, Hasselblads, Pentax 645Zs and Leica S’s but the resurgence in the medium format sector is producing a host of new and interesting cameras. I’ll be interested to hear your comments on this when you have a chance to respond. Regards, Scott.

  2. Philip Brindle says:

    Hello Ming, thanks for sharing your photos from Singapore with us. My favourite has to be the photo of the Fullerton Hotel. Very nice and the framing is excellent – good job. I lived in Singapore from 2006 -2012, gee so many exciting places to shoot.

    I guess what I like about your work is what you shoot actually looks like what I would see through the viewfinder. So many photographs these days seem to be so over processed, they look like digital art. Software tools are great, but for many too many sliders and options.

    I am always so happy to see your work. As always, very inspiring.

    Best wishes to you…

    • Thanks Philip. Transparency has always been my personal objective…whilst photography is a realist/literal medium, I think there are only two ways you can really fully exploit it: either make something apparently impossible appears convincingly real, or make something real and plausible appear interesting and uncommon. 🙂

  3. Samuel Jessop says:

    Such a beautiful set of images. The “trees” of Singapore look wonderful, and I love the detail of the geodesic roof.

    I hope to visit Singapore eventually, but in the meantime this set makes me want to dig out my tripod. Thank you.

  4. Great images as always Ming, but what on earth are those structures in image #2 and the last image?

    • Singapore’s attempt at synthetic artificial trees…personally, I have to be honest: I like the natural versions better, even if these ones do light up in many different colours. 🙂

  5. Pixelgreat says:

    Fantastic urban images. I knew it was Singapore as soon as I opened it (and that’s because we’ve just had a David Attenborough nature programme running here in the UK which showed the “trees” of Singapore !)

  6. Werner Walther says:

    Congratulations – just photography at its best (hope, I said it right, as English is not my mother tongue).

  7. These images are amazing! KC

  8. photos by perfection and joyfull !!!
    thank you.

  9. Superb imagery. Keep in mind you could gotten many of those shots hand-held with the new Oly 12-100 Sync IS 😉

  10. Rich Southgate says:

    A really lovely set of images Ming. Beautiful colours, and creative composition as always.

  11. Gorgeous images, striking colors, shapes, and lines!

  12. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Failing ight, or night shots – while they aren’t “most” of my photos, they are certainly the ones I love creating, the most. So I love these photgraphs, Ming – thanks a zillion for posting them – they take great technical skill and great artistic creativity, and they epitomise why I appreciate your articles so much.

  13. Beautiful ✨

  14. richard majchrzak says:

    favorite :the second to last , first one is very strong , the bridge like a futuristic creature , the pedestrian bridge with the lighted windows in back , very well thought through , i guess you have to with the tripod load…thanks, great inspirational work

  15. clean shots!

  16. Absolutely stunning images.

%d bloggers like this: