Photoessay: The beginning of the end

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I suppose it depends much on your own personal perspective: it could also be the beginning of your new life, should you be one of those people who bought into the starter (or not so starter) home. But I find something rather sad in this series – which is ironic as we were staying at a neighbouring high-rise that undoubtedly was cleared out of the very same jungle not so many years before. I accept of course that change, progress is necessary, and there’s an ever-increasing number of people for a finite amount of land: yet there’s also a rather strong melancholic feeling that sometimes we are chasing our own tails in the pursuit of an ever-receding and increasingly nebulous goal of happiness, but only in the form that social media deems is correct. That said: exactly then same thing could be said about the very first people to carve a space out of the jungle for themselves, and the same thing again about the wildlife and jungle that came from the ooze: who’s right? The one thing I take away from this, and especially again in a photographic sense: change is constant, and relativity is subjective. MT

This series was shot with a Hasselblad 501CM, CFV-50c, 80 and 150mm lenses and post processed with Photoshop Workflow III.

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


  1. Frederick says:

    May I ask – how do you get the colour green so ‘close to life’? I find it is the colour that digital cameras do not (generally speaking) reproduce so accurately. Many thanks for your ongoing blog…

    • The Hasselblad sensors are calibrated to an absolute standard, so it’s just a matter of not messing around with t too much in post… 🙂

  2. John Pangilinan says:

    An interesting series of image in this photoessay Ming, it gave me the impression that it was over a series of time, but was slightly surprised to see the images were taken around the same time.

    • Yes – within a couple of days, actually. These things are usually in stages due to the physical size of the area involved, so all you have to do is turn around…

      • John Pangilinan says:

        I haven’t checked photoessays in the past, but is this one of the few photoessays you’ve made that portray a sequence of events over time in this manner? It’s an interesting concept, one that I will file away and look for in future compositions of my own.

        • Not really, and it was shot over a few days, not an extended period of time…

          • John Pangilinan says:

            Right right, I think I’m trying to say that I appreciate the concept, it gave the illusion of it being over an extended period of time, or a before and after, to my eyes at least. As opposed to a collage of images showing different features of a location at the same time.

  3. Michael Beller says:

    Love the text with this – we are readying to move across the country and to break away from all I know has been terrifying, when in actuality this part of the journey is filled with possibility and adventure. And through this the camera has not come out – however, after seeing this it inspires me to capture what is going on without pretense or expectation – thanks for this.

  4. I took some similar ones in 2016 – my brother-in-law has a view onto ‘Elmina Valley’. Like here for instance:
    I have some more, but put these two into my Malaysia 2016 folder in
    (with the rest mostly being family photos).

  5. Piss poor urban planning and the lack of desire (political will) to regenerate brown field sites / areas that have fallen into decline. It’s easier to dig up a new bit of green land and market it with some notion that if you live there you will be enriched by the experience.

  6. Déforestation, changement climatique, très actuel.
    Bravo !!!

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