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!

  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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