Photoessay: Architectural shadows in monochrome, Prague

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Intense light, hard shadows, either end of the day: don’t be afraid of the dark, and let some of the negative space define the object’s form – or imagined form. Without shadows, we have no texture, no depth, no spatial separation. It’s interesting just how much of a suggestion of soft and hard you can get out of it even though all of the subjects are physically rigid – clean, dense shadows suggest crispness and hardness; feathering and irregularity suggest a certain yielding texture. Do buildings have personality? I think so, especially if they stand in contrast to their surroundings. Does this sense of texture contribute? Probably. MT

This series was shot with a Hasselblad H5D-50C, H6D-50c and various lenses and post processed with the Monochrome Masterclass Workflow.

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Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


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


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


  1. Ming — Interesting images, as usual. Observation & question: nearly all of the images have been corrected to remove keystone and show the buildings in full upright. I think most of us strive to do this. But, when viewed by eye from street level (at whatever the full-frame equivalent focal length of our eyes), there is in fact a keystone effect as receding lines tend to merge. This leads to corrected architectural images sometimes seeming a bit unnatural to me. I find this most pronounced in your image 16825bw. I’m sure you’ve thought about this. What do you see as the pros/cons of full upright vs. leaving a eye-equivalent amount of keystone in the image when correcting? Frank

    • Yes, there’s a keystone effect – and I don’t always fully correct for the reasons you’ve mentioned (or not at all, as in the Verticality series). However, when the edges of frame come close to the edges of the buildings, we have to do something because there’s a reference line that’s imposed which makes the convergence obvious that doesn’t necessarily exist in real life (since there is no ‘frame’).

  2. stanis riccadonna zolczynski says:

    Where is Ginger and Fred in wild motion? They are still dancing on the same spot.

  3. PraneethRS says:

    Fantastic set Ming!

  4. Fantastic!

  5. Ming, I really like the series! The strong lines and geometry of structures combined with good use of light and shadow create a graphic image that I find appealing. The first is my favorite. Wish you joy, hope, and prosperity in this new year.

  6. Awesome series, Ming. I particularly love the first one.

  7. Oh my dear, your were lucky .. you had sunshine in Prague 😉
    On the 30th I was there for a day … and it was ugly cold and overcast.
    I liked your detail images.Structures all around … and lots of light and shadow 🙂

  8. Your work is so inspiring!

  9. F U L L S P E C T R A says:

    What a way to start the year.. aaaaand.. BOOM! MT is in the room. What else can I say but, what incredible compositions?! Thank you, Ming. We’re not worthy!! 🙌

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