Photoessay: At the food trucks, under the power lines

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I realise this is an exceptionally strange title for a post; almost whimsically offbeat Murakami in flavour. But sometimes you go to try something different for diner, and come back with a full memory card instead of a full stomach. Something about the atmosphere struck me as poignant: a little sad and wannabe hip, but still with distant threads of aspiration and hope. (I suspect the reason for this is as with everything, Malaysia is late to the party: we criticise anything new that’s of local origins, but will be the second people to jump onto a hot overseas trend – go figure.) Mostly though, there are a lot of vignettes of waiting and going through the motions – what are the people waiting for, I wondered? What epiphanies were they hoping would come? Perhaps the enjoyment promised by social media wasn’t quite up to expectations, but everybody wondered if it was just them who didn’t ‘get it’. Ironically, the only people who actually seemed to be really having fun in that group were the two young kids dancing amongst the milling adults…MT

This series was shot with a Nikon Z7 and 50/1.8 S. SOOC JPEG using my custom profiles, available here.

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Ultraprints from this series are available on request here


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


  1. Adored “1q84”, couldn’t finish “What I talk about when I talk about running”.

  2. Awaneesh Baibhav says:

    beautifully capture. i specifically loved the pictures shot during night time

  3. I’m not sure you should have started off with that first photo. It’s a really hard act to follow. They’re all good or great, but the two children dancing is exceptional.
    From friends who have travelled there, I’m told that Asian street, (or truck), food is really good. It’s very good where I spent most of my life, in Toronto. Here in France, not so much. But then again, the quality of food here has been in a slow, steady decline for ten years.
    Only the Mighty Ming could take something as commonplace as eating at food trucks and make an enjoyable photo essay of it. I’m really glad there’s a website that concentrates on photography and life instead of glass and aluminium and electronics.

    • I’ve always thought it best to start and end with the strongest images, then adjust the flow between to suit – this way you attract and hold attention, and then finish with something memorable…

      I’m glad there are still a few people who aren’t just interested in glass and aluminum and electronics 🙂

  4. Now you‘ ve got it. Your one Robert Doisneau Pic! Immortal! Congratulations!

  5. Truly fantastic set of food truck photos, trucks you’ll find almost everywhere in the world, but rarely in Sweden, due to hygienic food handling laws but in effect after a lot of cases of food poisoning!

    Seems you agree well with your new Nikon!

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