Photoessay: NYC cinematics, part I

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Whilst of course there should be no reason to limit cinematic-style photography to just low light work with shallow DOF, there is definitely a tendency towards this as it’s much easier to create a controlled atmosphere with very directional light than during daytime. However, the conditions during my trip to New York late last year made for something similar while the sun was up: long shadows and strong sunlight, with intense contrast and pools of both mystery and stark exposure. It’s probably the first time I’ve been motivated to try cityscape cinematics with bright light. Even though I’ve been given similar light in dense urban environments before, I think NYC is unique in the layout of the streets and the way they cut light up into patches – this doesn’t happen with the more organic layouts of say, Tokyo or Lisbon. Admittedly, it wasn’t a photographically-focused trip – being customer events for the watch company – but I still got a couple of hours in. Naturally, this continued after dark… MT

This series was shot with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S, 50/1.8 S and my custom SOOC JPEG profiles.

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Prints 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. Those shots are amazing Ming! Keep it up excellent photography.

  2. Pierre Lagarde says:

    A place I would like to visit again. Great shots and life scenes, as always.

  3. I have the impression you paint with your camera . . .
    Very well done, lovely pics – congratulations!

  4. You have a great eye Ming! I was in New York last week and did some casual shots with my iPhone 11 pro. A selection of images via this link :

  5. Thanks. Makes me realize I am to afraid of black.

  6. Bravo! You have captured the true grit of New York! My family lived in Manhattan during my childhood years and this set took me back. Thank you! The various kinds of sound bouncing off the walls of the buildings and smell are the only things that are missing. Haha!


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