Photoessay: On reflection, Lisbon

H51-B0003153 copy

Probably the easiest way to ‘wimmelbild‘ a scene is to add reflections: the more reflections, the more layering and the more complexity can be built in. Of course it then becomes difficult to create structure in the image that allows space for a clear primary subject, and then find a physically/spatially possible way to actually insert that subject – it’s no good if your free space is on the ceiling, for example. The light in Lisbon on severals of the days I was there was just so conducive to creation of these types of images I couldn’t help myself – strong, intense colors, clean plate glass (or car glass) and one or two clear human subjects meant that it was a wimmelfetishist’s dream. I’m sure somebody is going to say I’m being overly pretentious about this, but there’s surely got to be a metaphor in here for life – every person surrounded by complexity and layers of thought, or places surrounded by unseen/ unacknowledged history. It’s a bit more personal than idea of man because the images need the specific individuals to work, and somewhat different to the ‘traditionally expected’ street photography – I find that it’s much more contingent on the environment and finding the right individual to fit your expectation of a story than vice versa. Enjoy! MT

This series was shot with a Hasselblad H5D-50C, various lenses and post processed with Photoshop and Lightroom Workflow III.

H51-B0003945 copy

H51-B0003141 copy

H51-B0002063 copy

H51-B0003481 copy

H51-B0002929 copy

H51-B0003030 copy

H51-B0003497 copy

H51-B0001714 copy

H51-B0001844 copy

H51-B0002722 copy

H51-B0003064 copy

H51-B0003019 copy


Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


More info on the Hasselblad H5D-50c 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. Beautiful reflections of Lisbon!

  2. I really enjoyed these, Ming! I like your analogy of people being surrounded by complexity and layers of thought, pretentious as it may be 😉

  3. The fourth one from the bottom is really clever. I love that you have been able to fit a windows within a window.

  4. Well done 🙂 plus it’s in Lisbon, my hometown! Amazing! PedroL

  5. Wolfgang Weidner says:

    This is true art. 3497 ist a masterpiece.

  6. Great images ✨❤️

  7. Hugh Rigley says:

    What to say? Soulful and Terrific. Love these pictures. They move you. You can feel them… Lightmaster.

%d bloggers like this: