Photoessay: travels in hard light II

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Trying the sun on for size

Monochrome, today. The variation of weather in Istanbul can be spectacular; one moment you have brilliant sunshine, and barely 30min later: hail. I suppose such are the joys of a maritime climate. Regardless of weather, Istanbul seems to be one of those places that has realities of so many different eras that it’s almost timeless; the modern overlaps with the ancient in the sort of organic way that can only happen over centuries – millennia, even – of continuity. I was there at the time of the constitutional referendum; there were fears that it might get ugly, but the reality is life would continue as normal – daily ups and downs being relatively minor blips in the grand scheme of things – short period transience and a sort of lack of definition for individuals, and a much slower erosion for the surrounding environment. What holds it together? The framework is left in the shadows, and only when you look closer (at these images, too) is it clear that things are not always as they seem.

This series was shot with a Hasselblad H6D-100c and 100mm. Post processing was completed using the techniques in the weekly workflow and Monochrome Masterclass.

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Lantern and shadow

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Evening bread

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Eyeline and oversight

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Beauty, concealed

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Where’s mummy?

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None may look in (Topkapi Palace harem courtyard)

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Multiple personalities

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Recent additions

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Dog in mosque

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Shadow economy

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Fish under the bridge

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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. Hugh Rigley says:

    Excellent, excellent photos. I am really enjoying this series. As the first set they are extremely real and resonate. Maybe actual, factual might work? Very nice. Cheers.

  2. As always, great images. The first one is is a great street photo, (something you don’t see often), and has a very funny side too.
    I’ve often wondered, when you are taking pictures, close to someone, with a large and sophisticated camera, doesn’t it attract their attention and make them look at you? How do you avoid it?

    • Thanks. To your question – I’m there in plain sight for some time, and they can choose to walk out of the frame if they wish. No hiding or avoidance or dissembling…

  3. Ombre et lumière d’une cité magique !!!
    Bravo !!!

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