Photoessay: Eastern melancholy, part I

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Every image is a reflection of the photographer’s state of mind at the time of capture; we see and interpret the world through a lens of personal bias. We either notice things that are extremely in sync with us – or extremely opposite. It is difficult to say whether the collective feeling exists or we are simply applying tunnel vision to only notice what we want to see. Going back to curate through one’s archives tends to yield very telling glimpses into your psyche at the time, and something much easier to see objectively in hindsight. These images were shot more than six months ago, but reviewing the entire set yields an almost manic split between the bright, cheerful and happy, and the downright depressing. I honestly don’t remember what I was feeling at the time – probably not strongly positive or negative – but mainly that the environment was so different that it was rather difficult to ‘be a mirror’ and let the images come rather than looking for them. What’ll be interesting is the counterpoint part II post… MT

This series was shot in Istanbul with a Hasselblad H6D-100c, 50, 100 and 150mm lenses, and post processed with The Monochrome Masterclass Workflow. Get more out of your voyages with T1: Travel Photography.

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Photoessay: Lisboan melancholy

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Despite the sunniness of the weather and the outward happiness and enjoyment of most, there was definitely something brewing under the surface: a slight undercurrent of unhappiness or unease. Perhaps a reflection of an economy still not fully robust and recovered, or a city that felt a little bit too big for the number of actual residents; quiet lanes and grand old buildings that had seen better days that were waiting for restitution that might not come. Or uncertainty over the future, mortgages, employment, the rising costs of living – the social divide that’s not unique by any means to Lisbon. Or maybe it was just because the next day was Monday. It’s the juxtaposition between that mood, the facial expressions, the body language, the dress as though expecting rain – and the wonderful warm sunshine that I found so intriguing. That tension followed me subconsciously through the city that day, and here is the result…MT

This series was shot mostly with a Hasselblad H5D-50c, 50mm and 100mm lenses in Lisbon, Portugal, with a couple of supporting images from a Leica Q. Postprocessing follows Photoshop and Lightroom Workflow III and The Weekly Workflow.

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Photoessay: melancholy and longing in Hanoi

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Words and thoughts flow from left to right, at least for those who think and read and write in western languages – a glance to the left in an image is an acknowledgement of origin, or perhaps one of longing depending on the expression of the protagonist. In the east, it might be interpreted as looking ahead in anticipation; except the expressions say otherwise. I have no idea why so many of my images from the Hanoi Cinematic Masterclass were of people looking melancholy and to the left, but there you go – perhaps there was something missing, or perhaps it was my subconscious curating something I wasn’t aware of at the time. MT

This set was shot with various equipment including an E-M5 II, 5DSR, Zeiss Otus 85, Zeiss Otus 55 and Contax Zeiss 100-300 using the Cinematic technique in Outstanding Images Ep.4 and processed with Outstanding Images Ep.5. You can also look over my shoulder at the underlying postprocessing in the Weekly Photoshop Workflow series. [Read more…]