Photoessay: Bauhaus nights

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Think of this series as a proof of concept for the previous post – not only do we now have very fine tonal control with few limitations on execution, but smaller form factors are beginning to catch up (good luck trying to identify which were shot with the phone). I started with one image first, and then couldn’t help seeing more and more of these – so I grabbed what I could, and curated them down into what I think of a series of strange sentinels in the night; they feel isolated but with suggestions of internal life. Unrelated, and curiously, it seems few people use curtains or blinds even in private residences (I obviously did not shoot these) – perhaps this is a holdover from the days of socialism…? MT

This series was shot with mostly with a Nikon Z7, 24-70/4 S and 85/1.8 S lenses, using my custom SOOC JPEG picture controls. There are also a couple of images from the iPhone 11 Pro in here, too.

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Prints from this series are available on request.


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


  1. Carsten says:

    Some very nice images, Ming.

    Wih respect to the use of curtains, however, I doubt this has anything to do with the days of socialism. First, at least some of the images seem to be taken in West Berlin. Second, (as a West German) I am not aware of any former differences in the use of curtains beween East and West Germany. If at all, I suspect that more curtains and blinds were used in East Germany. In fact, a quick Google search resulted in the following: “Over ninety percent of new residents used curtains and drapes.” Guess why.

    On a visit of friends in the Netherlands a few years ago I was very surprised to see that almost no curtains and drapes are used there. Even with living room windows on the ground floor, which are only 1.5 meters from the footpath in front of the house, there are no curtains. I was told that this is due to the Netherland’s Calvinist tradition.

    • Thanks.

      Yes, given the nature of things in East Germany, privacy would undoubtedly have been very high on everybody’s list of priorities! k

      I have to admit (probably due to a lack of familiarity with the religion) it’s hard to see why Calvinism would also suggest some degree of exhibitionism…

      • For the calvinists allowing a wide view of your most private rooms was a way of showing that you had nothing to hide. That you were proper under all circumstances. At least that was what I’ve been told in class (architectural history) years ago.

        Hans Kolhoff (architect of building 3) will probably come after you with drafting pen if he ever finds out you’ve put his buildings in a series of photos with a bauhaus title 😉

        • And now i’ve spelled his name wrong it’s Kollhoff. We’re both doomed.

        • Makes me wonder how Calvinists had children…

          Kollhoff: it still feels very much bauhaus and doesn’t really stand out too much from its surroundings even if the intent wasn’t there…the current modern glass evolved from Bauhaus, no?

          • The building in question is more Chicago school influenced. Chicago school is a bit earlier than Bauhaus and doesn’t have the radical component. Factories and commercial buildings (Chicago school) had vast amounts of glass before Bauhaus. I wouldnt associate Bauhaus with glass but saying that Mies van der Rohe (head of Bauhaus for a while ) did a lot of glass buildings.

            • Carsten says:

              This is correct. But the Kollhoff-Tower is not a glass but a brick building and shown in the 5th image from the top. The building shown in the third as well as the first image is the Piano-Building by Renzo Piano. So, beware of the drafting pen, Sigurd.

            • I think that’s where my personal confusion comes from – I tend to associate Mies with his glass buildings…

  2. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I love it! Cities crawling with tourists taking selfies are rather uninteresting – but these photos are stellar!

    This should open other photographer’s minds & eyes, to new ideas and opportunities!

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