Photoessay: Vault and arch

_Z738247 copy

Today’s set is an abstract whistlestop tour of Milan’s interpretation of that most fundamental of architectural features: the arch, and it’s compound, the vault. I’ve always found the interplay of light off the curves and textures to be very compelling as a regular but abstract arrangement, probably because it has many surfaces and lines intersecting at nearly perpendicular. What’s more interesting is the range of interpretations present: from the small-scale to the monumental; from the ornate to the functionally minimalist, every combination of those two axes and everything in between, with the possibility of two or three dimensions to add even more variety. Photographically, flattening or enhancing that sense of depth through the use of shadow and camera position/perspective yields some rather interesting results, as I think you’ll agree. MT

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

_Z739078 copy

_Z739087 copy

_Z738171 copy

_Z738180 copy

_Z736472 copy

_Z736445 copy
_Z736757 copy

_Z739306 copy

_Z736748 copy

_Z740011 copy

_Z740197 copy

_Z738379 copy

_Z736981 copy

_Z739067 copy

_Z738228 copy

_Z738693 copy

_Z736973 copy

_Z737044 copy


Prints from this series are available on request.


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. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Hi Ming,
    Lots of fine photography – as usual on your blog!

    I find some favourites though,
    #3, 6, 9, 10, 18,
    to my taste they look more alive, #6 also for its simple and original composition.

    #13 strikes me for its humor.

    #17 reminds me, a bit, of de Chirico…

    Vaults and arches *are* fascinating!
    Thanks for sharing!
    – – –

    In Sweden there are many small medieval stone churches, often with contemporary paintings by Albertus Pictor.
    ( These paintings often show stories from the Bible – for the illitterate majority.)

    ( The brown colour was originaly red, as can be seen where a painting crosses an occasional wooden beam.)

    In the next picture (which I can’t find) the whale spits Jona out on a beach – and now he is shaved!

    • Kristian Wannebo says:

      Sorry, the second link somehow disappeared:

    • Thanks – I did actually see a few de Chiricos whilst there…I wonder if something subconsciously embedded itself…

      • Kristian Wannebo says:

        Well, Ming,
        methinks you would have taken that photo anyway,
        – unless it was just outside that gallery…

%d bloggers like this: