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Essays and Opinion Interviews Other Photography Street Photography Travel Photography Urban Photography Videography

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.

Categories
Essays and Opinion

The Photograph IO Hiatus

Dear Photograph IO readers,

The past few months have been extremely busy for me. Hold on.

I started this blog during my spare time this summer, and I never expected for it to grow so quick nor it to be so time-consuming; I never expected to have nearly 50 000 visitors during that downtime, yet those visitors are nearly all due to search engine traffic. While I was studying, you readers were being disappointed for the lack of content. I deeply apologize for this near 3 month hiatus during which no content whatsoever came on the blog. Sorry guys.

Does it mean that I will start again to write daily on Photograph IO? Probably not. But I will at least make the effort to contribute weekly to this blog. Maybe more of personal thoughts, and less of tutorials/how-to’s. And this is the first article.

Searching
Searching for what? Prague, Czech Republic
Categories
Essays and Opinion Film Photography Photography

My Debut into Film Photography

Minolta X700
Minolta X700 w/ 35-70 f/3.5 macro lens, my new camera. Ironically, I used a Kodak Ultramax 400 VSCO preset on this picture.

First of all, sorry for all you regular Photograph IO readers for blogging so scarcely these days. School just started and everyone is busy, but I’ll still try to do my best and keep up with at least 3/4 articles per week. Stay tuned! That being said, this article has a more personal, intimate style that would perhaps be better suited to be on some personal blog, but for the sake of it, I’ve decided to post it in Photograph IO for those who are interested…

Like most amateurs photographers today, digital photography has been with me from the start. Although I did know people who owns and shoots film, I had never manipulated that medium myself. And so I shot digital for over 5 years, ever since the beginning of my path down photography. However, film photography always intrigued me. Maybe it’s because of that so-called tonal rendition, or dynamic range, or that ubiquitous film grain, or maybe out of pure curiosity? No matter what the reason was, the film look had a profound appeal on me. I bought some VSCO. Is it good? Hell yeah. But I still had to try the experience of shooting real film. I still had to explore the vast world of film photography…

Categories
Essays and Opinion Photography Street Photography

Thoughts on Street and Candid Photography

Street photography
Photo by Gitte Herden (Flickr)

One of the Fuji X Forum members, Gary Ayala, said this, “Everywhere you look there are photographs, it is the call of photographers to see and capture them.”

I completely agree with this statement as I am sure most of you will too. Yet, when it comes to street and candid photography, it seems that there are many different views about how to do this. I’ll explain more on that later.

Categories
Advanced Photography Techniques Essays and Opinion Other Photography

Should You Cover Your Viewfinder During Long Exposures?

Long exposure

You probably have an eyepiece cover that came with your DSLR when you purchased it… but are you actually using it? The answer is most likely no.

Should you use it? No. Not only is that eyepiece cover clumsy to take and remove, doing it too often has a change to loosen the eyepiece mount, making your regular eyepiece easier to fall off and lose accidentally.

However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cover your viewfinder at all. You can use a microfiber cloth, a cardboard or even by cupping your hands to cover the viewfinder in a pinch. While most cameras are well built enough in regards to light leaks, there are still some situations where covering your viewfinder might be a good idea. 

Categories
Essays and Opinion News

A Customer Service Lesson Told

1280px-Nikon_D600

You may call this article an essay, an opinion, or a rant. I hesitated to post this on Photograph IO because this article is probably way too biased for the blog (sorry Nikon owners). Don’t say you haven’t been warned. 😛

Why do some companies flourish (Fuji) while others went bankrupt (Kodak)? How important is market share when it comes to brand equity and customer retention, if at all? These are all questions that I asked myself following the whole Nikon D600 scandal that was finally resolved recently.

When the Nikon D600 was initially released to the public, tests done on the sensor of the camera model revealed that there was a dust/oil problem with the shutter and sensor. Despite many complaints from users, Nikon did nothing at all to help existing D600 owners, telling them instad to clean with a “rocket blower” and never acknowledged officially the problem. Instead, Nikon quietly released a newer model, the D610, a year only after the release of the D600 that magically fixed the problem and added a meager 0.5 FPS increase from 5.5 FPS to 6 FPS. Unusual? Indeed. Of course, they justified that the D610 was made because their customers wanted a “faster burst rate”. Sure, the D610 is an excellent camera on its own, but they way Nikon acted is very disrespectful of existing D600 owners. As one of world’s largest camera companies, this is utterly disappointing. The folks over at Nikon thought they could get away with the issue by covering it up and totally ignoring ethics and customer service. What a joke.

Categories
Essays and Opinion Other Photography

On the Meaning of Photography, and Digital Processing

Stars

Ever since I took up photography a bit more seriously, the issue of digital processing and manipulation keeps popping up more and more often. And strangely, most of the time, the people that bring it up have nothing to do with photography and have little knowledge of the subject. Most of those times, I don’t even bother to counter-argue, but during the last month I’ve been forced to defend my views quite a few times, so I decided to sit down, put my thoughts into an order and try to document and communicate them with you, in an attempt to be heard and understood.

Editor’s note : This is a syndicated article by Fotis Athanasopoulos that originally appeared on his blog Through the Looking Glass. It is used here with permission.

Categories
Essays and Opinion Other

On Copyright Infringements, and Lost Respect

One of the photos that got ‘stolen’, as the saying goes

I came to a decision after quite a bit of thinking. As I announced on the last post, I decided to share my photos exclusively from this blog from now on. I’ll try to explain the reasons behind it on this post, but I touch on a huge subject (that of copyright and fair use) that has many approaches and it can lead to a very lengthy discussion, so I’ll just explain what happened and simlpy express my personal opinion afterwards, and leave it at that.

Editor’s note : This is a syndicated article by Fotis Athanasopoulos that originally appeared on his blog  Through the Looking Glass. It is used here with permission. 

Categories
Essays and Opinion Other Photography

Follow-Up on Your Kit Lens is an Excellent Lens

Seattle Skyline
Taken with a kit lens.

The Internet is truly amazing. Not even a day after writing an article on why your kit lens is an excellent lens, the article made the front page of Reddit photography and got over 10 000 views and counting overnight and nearly crashed my shared hosting server with that massive amount of bandwidth, haha. But apart from the views, I’ve also seen quite a few interesting comments and questions (both good and bad) over at Reddit and I thought I might give my take on a few of them.

Categories
Essays and Opinion Other Photography

Your Kit Lens is an Excellent Lens

18-55mm
The Nikon 18-55mm VR

As the saying goes, quality lenses are a lot more important than good bodies when it comes to investing in camera gear. They last longer, retain their value more, and have more utility overall than, say, buying the latest DSLR that will become obsolete in 3 to 5 years. But if you are into photography for the first time, you’ll likely buy an entry level camera that comes bundled with an inferior, even crappy, kit lens. Or is it? Do you really need quality gear to take good pictures? Spend thousands of dollars on red/golden rings lenses?