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Ming Thein : Interview with the Master

Today’s interview features a special guest, a mentor and certainly one of the best photographers out there in today’s world : Ming Thein. Ming Thein has always been one of our influencers here at Photograph IO with his transparent but evocative style of photography. He’s also one of the main driving reasons that pushed us to start this blog. Let’s begin this interview 🙂

Ming Thein
Ming Thein

Photograph IO : Hi Ming!

Ming Thein : Hello!

Photograph IO : To begin this interview, can you please start by introducing yourself and what you do for our readers who may not know your blog?

Ming Thein : Hello there. Thank you for having me. I am a photographer first, a philosopher/writer second, a commercial photographer third, a teacher fourth and a blogger a distant fifth. My commercial work centers around product and corporate documentary. Much like hardware – the Internet is merely another tool for the former; I run www.mingthein.com which is perhaps one of the few photography sites that puts images and ‘the why’ first, and reviews second. In another life I was in consulting and private equity, but found the ethics questionable at best and the lack of concrete output extremely frustrating. So against better advice, I quit and here I am today. I photograph because I’m compelled to do so, and because I feel there’s something in being able to capture and present the transient, the uncommon, and the unseen in the mundane. Is it art? Who knows.

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Other Photography Videography

Cineflat: A Nikon Flat Picture Control for Videography

Brussels

A full guide on better DSLR video is coming soon on Photograph IO. Stay tuned.

Let’s face it : DSLR cameras (and mirrorless cameras now) are not only great tools for photography, but they can also be excellent rigs for video. With the advent of the Nikon D90 in 2008, being the first DSLR able to shoot HD video, more and more people have been starting to get into cinematography using interchangeable lens cameras. With their large sensors, DSLR’s allow you to get that cinematic, shallow depth of field while still retaining a great amount of control over the final result for quite an affordable price.

However, one major drawback of DSLR’s compared to dedicated motion cameras from Red, Arri or Blackmagic is in their mediocre, at best, output. While high end motion cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars can shoot in near-lossless, Apple Prores 442 or even RAW video, most DSLR’s are limited in their output quality by the highly compressed codecs used not to mention a lower bitrate. Some of these limitations are hardware based (i.e. overheating, processing power), while some others can be cured by software and firmware. Unless you have a D800 or 5D Mark III capable of clean HDMI output, chances are that your output video is compressed.

But there is a way of improving this.