Photoessay: Scattered

X1D4_B9994948 copy

I think of this set of images is a reflection of one’s rather scattered – but oddly consistent – state of mind when you see and grab an image on the way to doing something else. Being a full time photographer, I’m used to focusing 100% of my energy on shooting alone – to the exclusion of everything else. Since going pro in 2012, this is actually the first time in years I’ve actually been capturing a good proportion of my off duty images when photography wasn’t the primary objective of my day or trip. You can’t really turn your photographic eye off, but it feels as though you’re a lot more scattered and rushing to get the shot – even though the total number of photograph opportunities is of course much lower. Conversely, being in the zone really distorts your perception of time, often in both directions – moments stretch out but whole events and sequences land up passing in the blink of an eye. In essence, that’s what I feel like I’m left with here after curation: scattered glimpses of lives that are moving in different frames of reference to your own, momentarily intersecting for just long enough for you to know that you’re not going the same way. MT

Shot with a Hasselblad H6D-100c, 100mm and X1D-50c and 90mm and post processed with the Monochrome Masterclass workflow.

X1D4_B9994931 copy

X1D3-B0002202 copy

H61C-B0000166 copy

X1D3-B0001996 copy

X1D3-B0001999 copy

X1D3-B0001991 copy

H61C-B0000173 copy

H61C-B0000186 copy

H61C-B0000207 copy

H61C-B0000157 copy

H61C-B0000115 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 videos, and the individual 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 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved


  1. Let me just seize the occasion of spotting familiar places (and subjects) to say that the work you do with the Hasselblads (on the job and on the side) is impressive and captivating; your eye and feel for opportunities and composition is as inspirational as it always was, now brought out even better by what truely appear to be the best tools for you.

    • Thanks Matthias – I use whatever is to hand. The best certainly helps but we must of course remember that composition is independent of hardware 😉

  2. Egmont Bonomi says:

    Images and text are both on par with what I have become “accustomed” to in your articles. Love the monochrome images shot around what looks to be Europe (Zurich and the UK?). Number seven with the harsh geometrical shapes and distant humans being broken by a bird zooming by and having what looks to be like a whole lot of fun… Such a scene leaves us viewers with much room for interpretation, the essence of a great street photography image. Keep up the good work!

  3. Excellent set, Ming. Very rich and textured—and soulful. 🙂
    (…and congratulations on the runaway success of your watch line!)

  4. David Beaton says:

    Really like this set Ming – particularly #8 with its 3/4 abstract 1/4 real life composition creating a very futuristic impression to me at least!

  5. Very Fan Ho. Excellent.

  6. #8 is wonderful. It makes me think people are walking away from a memory of the past towards the concrete and glass of the present and future.

  7. Great set. Fabulous shapes and atmosphere.

%d bloggers like this: