Photoessay: Florentine nights

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Even in the off season (and what now seems like another lifetime ago) – Florence felt like it could easily challenge New York for the title of ‘city that never sleeps’. Thanks to jet lag, we’d go out for a late bite or an early walk and still find crowds; you had to go quite far off the regular thoroughfares and find small residential alleyways before approaching anything deserted. And even then, somebody would come along soon enough. Being a pedestrian scale city following a layout from the time before cars, it’s hard to imagine the city without people – just like Venice. I for one never thought I’d say this, but sometimes, you actually miss the crowds. MT

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

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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. Remember Ming, enjoy it while you can! I travelled extensively in my youth ( and still now ), while all my friends told me to save my money for retirement. I mostly travelled and saved “a little” money. Now, I kick myself for not extending my January vacation to the Galapagos. I should have done 16 days in the Galapagos and while there 10 days around Machu Pichu. The sailing boat I was on broke down and I only did 8 days! Probably will never get there again. At 76 I’m not buying any green bananas! My health is excellent but with the Corona Virus, who knows. Carpe Diem!

    • I agree with you – carpe diem, indeed. We do what we can when we can, and a little extra spontaneity isn’t going to break the bank…

  2. Spectacular! Must be refreshing not to haul a tripod. Freedom!!!

  3. Nice series. When were these photos taken?

  4. I think Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Your photos capture the magic of a summer night there. I tried this around 30 years ago but your results are much better than mine!

  5. Wonderful imagery, as usual. Are all the 0.5 sec images hand held?

    • Thank you. Yes, didn’t bring a tripod with me (and haven’t since switching to the Z7) – everything is handheld. Some required a few attempts and some breathing discipline, though – 0.5s and critical sharpness at 47MP is pushing things a little 🙂

  6. Probable typo: “it’s hard to imagine the city people”

  7. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    This is seriously good fun – you are following in footsteps I left behind decades ago – Venice – Milan – Florence. Next is Rome?

    I never took any photos, then – I had the camera with me, but I was enjoying things far too much to spend time playing about with a camera. That was when I still had my Italian girlfriend, and she was taking me all over Italy, giving me a guided tour – before we reached Rome, and we said our final farewells – she returned to her home in the north of Italy and I returned to Australia.

    So these photos have an added significance, for me. Special times, special places.

    And enhanced by a particularly special standard of photography, rarely seen with “available light/night/street” photography.

    Thanks for sharing yet another stunning selection of your photos, Ming. Tell me – ignoring discards, have you any idea what the total number of photos in your library is, now?

    • If and when we eventually can travel again…I feel Rome is one of those places that requires a couple of weeks (at least) on its own; no point in trying to do too much on one trip and not enjoying it. That, and for the moment the kiddo is too young to enjoy/appreciate this kind of travel, so there’s a limited amount of time the wife and I can sneak away for.

      Total library must be getting on for a million images or thereabouts…

  8. Fabulous – thank you for sharing!

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