Photoessay: Patchwork abstract

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Today’s set was a tricky one to curate, and honestly tested the limits of my archival system. I’ve always been attracted to textural groupings like the ones you see here; the problem is they seem to come so rarely and are visually distinct enough that I never shoot enough of them within a single period to make up a coherent set. Then, you either land up losing them or not knowing where to file them because they’re so different from everything else, and by the time you’ve found the next image in the sequence – it’s been so long the way you see might have actually changed. Then you have to go back and curate again, looking for the order and evolution of texture and color, and being careful not to cast the net so wide as to lose the original intention. The idea of design and visual evolution as a texture feels…delicate, almost like the pastel tones in some of the elements; too much saturation/ reinforcement and the intent is lost. yet with others, the saturation is required for punch, but just shy of full to still be able to describe nuance. It is control, tension and pure punch all at the same time. MT

This series was shot with a variety of hardware over a period of time, and mostly processed with Workflow III; some images SOOC.

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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. A wonderful series of pics, I truly love all of them.

  2. You have very beautiful photos!!

  3. Michael says:

    Some nice items in there. Thanks for digging them out. Interesting how little the choice of camera seems to matter (seen at this size, at least) when placed in the right hands.

  4. Very very nice.

  5. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    On the assumption your library probably contains more than a hundred thousand photos – how on earth do you manage to put together such an extraordinary display?

    • Closer to a million actually. I do curation by stages – certain shoots or locations etc. will get a bunch of selected images that inevitably you remember (at least 4s on the ‘four things scale’). Within that it’s not so bad…there are maybe only 20,000 or so in total, and a lot of which were from earlier periods in my career that wouldn’t make the cut now – so at any given point you’re down to a few thousand even within wider consideration. Given that these are all of very diverse subjects, that leaves not that many to worry about.

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