MT’s scrapbook: Angled

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Lots of hard light and pointy geometry today; to the point that many scenes are abstracted into making little spatial sense. The deep shadows constrain physically but open up ambiguity and leave you to come to your own reflections on what exactly has been hidden. Mostly shot around two buildings that come alive at the right time of day with the right light (but the buildings themselves in gross form are a bit simplistically monolithic and not very interesting). We’re a good few months into the SOOC JPEG experiment now, and so far it seems to be sticking…it is forcing me to adopt a rather filmic approach to photography and the subtle but important difference of imagining what can be now, rather than what can be with a little work. Interestingly, I find my compositional balance has improved since I am no longer thinking about fixing things in post with a gradient. It of course makes post processing somewhat easier since there is less local work to be done, but at the same time overall image quality is slightly compromised as I am exposing to output rather than to maximise data collection. Still, the tradeoff in time saved and other opportunities explored seems to be worthwhile so far… MT

The Scrapbook series is shot on an Olympus PEN F, with unedited JPEGs straight from camera bar resizing (and of course some choice settings).

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


  1. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Pure joy seeing those!
    🙂 !

    And I get the feeling you enjoyed photographing them!

  2. Hello Ming,
    I get dizzy when I see all the things you are into. ” Jack of all trades and master of most.” Watch out for burnout! Slow down and smell the roses. You probably will live to 100 so you have to pace yourself. And remember, 100 years after your death, no one will remember you except for a very few relatives. Carpe Diem!

  3. Great photos, Ming. And the 12-32 is really a little gem.

    Any thoughts about SOOC color in the Pen F, in your experience?

  4. Hi Ming, great set. But my E-M 1.2 has full tone curve control when set to bw!

  5. Evgeny Zveniatsky says:

    So amazing, so talented, like graphic designer works. Follow your site more than 1 year, and always highly impressed of your artworks

  6. Wow these are really good. I tried going the SOOC route myself but failed miserably. E-M1.2 simply doesn’t have as flexible control over JPEG as PEN-F offers, but the biggest issue is that even when set to off, noise reduction seems to strip too much detail and sharpening looks too aggressive. Or maybe it’s the JPEG compression at work, not really sure.

    • Agreed on lack of control – you don’t have the tone curve, and for the smaller sensor it’s really necessary for smooth rolloff at either end. NR should be about the same, though – I set mine to off.

  7. I love the pictures…!!

  8. Bill Walter says:

    Possibly your best b&w set ever. Ralph Gibson would be proud!

    • Funny you should mention him – I’ve got one of his books sitting on my desk I haven’t found the time to open and appreciate yet…

  9. What an extraordinary series! Every image invites a longer and deeper look. Very satisfying, indeed. What lens(es) did you pair with the Pen F?

  10. 35:Chronicle Photography says:

    What an absolute treat for the eyes. Engaging, though-provoking and, keeps me looking for the un-obvious. Lovely series. 🙏

  11. jcwalmsley says:

    You have some great photography here!

  12. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I always love your architectural shots, Ming. While you seem to specialise in other areas, for the purposes of your photography business, these shots always seem to me to express a special empathy and love for your subject, a sense of freedom that seems to me to express a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment of your photography – a personal “time out” zone. I may be horribly wrong, but that’s the impression these photos always give me.
    I’m glad I am not a judge of a photographic competition – picking the “winner” out of this selection would be like the labours of Hercules!

    • Thanks! Architecture for me lacks the time pressure of most other kinds of photography because you know you’re at the mercy of the weathered light from the get-go; and yes, this as a result allows you to relax a bit more than usual.


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