Photoessay: Enclosed

_Z702389 copy

It felt appropriate to follow on from the previous post of ornamental architecture with this – a sort of evolution towards function (but ultimately, still with the primary purpose of entertainment-generated revenue). Whilst the Hudson Yards structure leaves the visitor to fill it with their own imagination and selfies, Gardens by The Bay defines the contents for you: nature, sanitised and presented in a consumer-friendly manner, complete with gift shop. In a way, it’s philosophically very similar to Singapore in general: efficient, stylised, modern, clean, but somewhat, well, rigid. Maybe it just feels strange to have trees inside a dome; no matter how well presented. Surely we aren’t at the point where nature is so scarce even in the developing tropics that we need to treat it as ornamental…or perhaps this is the only way some people can be motivated to appreciate nature in the first place at all. Between the weather and the underlying sentiment…I intentionally chose a heavier, darker presentation which I think conveys the mood quite well. MT

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

_Z702419 copy

_Z702418 copy

_Z702406 copy

_Z702411 copy

_Z702425 copy

_Z702412 copy

_Z702409 copy

_Z702394 copy

_Z702392 copy

_Z702388 copy

_Z702391 copy

_Z702407 copy

_Z702430 copy


Prints from this series are available on request here


Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop videos, and the individual Email School of Photography. You can also support the site by purchasing from B&H and Amazon – thanks!

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

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


  1. Can you tell us which photo is shot with the 50mm and which is 24-70mm?

  2. “or perhaps this is the only way some people can be motivated to appreciate nature in the first place at all”.
    I think you’ve probably hit it there. How many people now will go for a walk in the woods, or even a park or zoo? They have little interest in it, there are no bars and Wi-Fi points, and there may possibly be, like, insects or something.

    • I get the feeling this is changing in the post-COVID reality, though. Get cooped up inside too long and you start to appreciate the spaces outside – even without wifi. How long that lasts is of course another thing entirely.

Thoughts? Leave a comment here and I'll get back to you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: