Author Topic: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite  (Read 10182 times)

Michael Erlewine

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A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« on: August 11, 2016, 23:25:40 »
Ming Thein has been my favorite photographer for some years now. We each are allowed to marvel at the work of at least one photographerís work other than our own. Theinís work is nothing like what I do, which may be why I like it. He is very technically competent, but something you canít easily acquire is a good eye. He has that. Almost everything he shoots makes me realize and see the beauty that he sees, shot after shot. The ordinary is extraordinary in his eyes. I appreciate that.

As it turns out, Ming Thein is also very experienced in post-processing his photos, something I am not so good at. If you have read any of my stuff, you know I am all about the process of taking pictures, not so much in what we do with them later on. Well, that is changing.

Thein has published a series of video instructional videos in the last years, and I bought into two of them. And I learned a lot, but nothing compared to what I am about to share with you. He just came out with a new integrated system that works both in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Well, so I told myself, I donít need any more instruction; I just need to concentrate on finishing up what I do.

Then, I began to read some comments from users who tried out this new system and I sensed that something was going on here I should be aware of. At $80 a pop, it is not that expensive, but I donít like amassing tutorials, but, even so, I was intrigued and jumped in. Glad I did!

This is a series of many hours of instruction in post processing. And, like Thein points out, he really has come up with a clean, easy-to-learn, integrated system for finishing up photos. The fact that he finally gave Lightroom some attention drew me in, since that is what I know and use. However, all his Lightroom tutorial managed to point out to me is how great Photoshop is, great enough that I am switching over to processing in Photoshop. It is just way more elegant and useful. His new system works flawlessly in both Lightroom and Photoshop.

I am not connected to Ming Thein financially, but feel what he has done with his new system is so worthwhile (for me!) that I should tell some of you about it. The system is called ďA3Ē and it is being featured just now on his blog, at this link.

https://blog.mingthein.com/

Thein also includes a wide range of carefully constructed camera profiles, including most of the cameras I use, and they are VERY good. In fact, not only is Ming Thein a wonderful photographer, he is a fine teacher and teaching me anything is tough. IMO, it is at least worth reading about his system. Let me know your thoughts if you try it out.
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com (articles), https://www.youtube.com/user/merlewine (video tutorials), All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Classic Posters.com, Matrix Software, SpiritGrooves.net, DharmaGrooves.com

Andrea B.

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 00:35:01 »
Thank you, Michael, for this comment and link.

I have always enjoyed Ming's work. He puts a lot of thought and care into his work and his teaching. I'm going to go check out this new A3. I certainly could use some refreshers in Lightroom & PS. Finding the time is usually the problem. "-)

Michael Erlewine

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 02:29:51 »
Thank you, Michael, for this comment and link.

I have always enjoyed Ming's work. He puts a lot of thought and care into his work and his teaching. I'm going to go check out this new A3. I certainly could use some refreshers in Lightroom & PS. Finding the time is usually the problem. "-)

Another thing I marveled at was how he used dodge, burn, and sponge. I could not repeat it, until I understand he was using a Wacom tablet and pen. I had to get one and, sure enough, the pen is way more subtle and the way he uses (and feathers it) is very, very helpful. This is obviously the way to go, if I want to learn to finish my photos so they look MUCH better.
MichaelErlewine.smugmug.com. Founder MacroStop.com, MichaelErlewine.com (articles), https://www.youtube.com/user/merlewine (video tutorials), All-Music Guide, All-Movie Guide, Classic Posters.com, Matrix Software, SpiritGrooves.net, DharmaGrooves.com

Almass

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 09:37:06 »
Ming Thein is another "Pay as you Talk" "reviewer" whose only credibility lies with newbies to photography.

His reviews are biased and his methods skewed to reach the conclusion of his objectives.

His post processing is one dimensional and his methods do not offer any.......but any...... fresh or new techniques.

Any person from The Philippines all the way up to Brazil can run rings around his processing.....or photography for that matter.

You, Michael, are underestimating yourself and your Art. Ming Thein does not even come close to your heels in photography.
You, my dear Sir, are a genuine artistic and non commercial person and he fills his website with his paid advertising reviews.

I would shake hands with you anytime and not one time with Ming Thein.......not even with an Asbestos glove.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 10:04:02 »
Ming Thein is another "Pay as you Talk" "reviewer" whose only credibility lies with newbies to photography.

His reviews are biased and his methods skewed to reach the conclusion of his objectives.

His post processing is one dimensional and his

 methods do not offer any.......but any...... fresh or new techniques.

Any person from The Philippines all the way up to Brazil can run rings around his processing.....or photography for that matter.

You, Michael, are underestimating yourself and your Art. Ming Thein does not even come close to your heels in photography.
You, my dear Sir, are a genuine artistic and non commercial person and he fills his website with his paid advertising reviews.

I would shake hands with you anytime and not one time with Ming Thein.......not even with an Asbestos glove.

Well, I respectively disagree with you. I have eyes. It is true, Ming Thein, like Lloyd Chambers and others work to make a living by providing information on photography of interest to the rest of us, and it is a tough livelihood. For me, photography was always a passion, not a vocation. I made my living as an archivist of popular culture, documenting popular music, film, and other areas.

I have actually read and followed many of both MIng Thein's and Lloyd Chamber's (and Thom Hogan's) equipment reviews and all of them have been more than helpful, and Ming Thein's are totally free of subscription fees. And they are accurate IMO and for my needs. Of course, our own BjÝrn RÝrslett's lenswork was where I began and I have learned an enormous amount from RÝrslett.

Ming Thein's new workflow happens to be very good, at least for me. As we say, "Different strokes for different folks," and the remedy or antidote for what ails each of us differs. As you can see, it is here that can differ and find our differences. We are finding our differences. 


Photo taken with the Nikon D810. Not sure which lens.
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MFloyd

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 11:18:21 »
I've been through Ming Thein's portfolio: excellent. A good addition for me, as he wasn't known to me 😊
Γνῶθι σεαυτόν

BW

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 15:29:40 »
I wouldnt go as far as Almass, but I agree in his underlying analysis. A Colorchecker passport and some work in PS or LR will get most people to where Ming Thein is. They might also learn a thing or two about workflow. The only risk is in my opinion, that they find their own expression and not being a MT-clone.

John Geerts

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 18:32:11 »
Agree with BÝrge's remark.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2016, 14:23:52 »
Wow, I am amazed at the "attitude," which of course I respect the right to have, if not the opinion. I never thought to become a clone of Ming Thein. Putting his workflow aside, I find it difficult to believe that anyone who looks at his work does not see the brilliance in it. It just shows how different we all are. And, since he blogs a lot, and I read some of them, I find his words carefully thought out. When he looks at equipment, lenses, cameras, he is mostly spot in IMO, and I look at a LOT of equipment myself, especially lenses. Thein is very discriminating, to say the least in his reviews. I could understand the remarks if it was someone you criticize like the legendary Ken Rockwell, who sadly has never learned to color correct, etc., but Ming Thein is so skilled, at least in all the lenses that I also know.
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armando_m

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2016, 15:09:12 »
Thanks for the link, his blog is an interesting read

Michael, I think your images have superb processing, the colors you obtain are always beyond what I feel I can achieve
Armando Morales
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Michael Erlewine

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2016, 15:24:03 »
Thanks for the link, his blog is an interesting read

Michael, I think your images have superb processing, the colors you obtain are always beyond what I feel I can achieve

I hear you, but do you folks hear me? I wouldn't be saying this if there were not a point to it. I don't know much about post-processing, IMO. Ming Thein, whose photos I greatly respect, enough to feel he is the best photographer (IMO) that I have yet seen. Not to say he does what I like to do, but I recognize natural talent when I see it. I have followed (and even conversed with Thein) on many lenses and what-not. Like Lloyd Chambers, he puts in the work and shares insights and photos, year after year. That is not small-change folks, as I see it.

As mentioned, Ming Thein made it clear to me that post-processing with a mouse is not up-to-snuff compared to using a tablet pen-brush, and he is right! I checked it out. His recent workflow works effortlessly in Lightroom and Photoshop, probably anywhere. My goal is to improve my own skills, not copy Thein's style of photos. He does very little close-up work, aside from watches, etc., which interest me not, etc.

I have never tried to make a living with photography, which I believe (for me) would have been very tough, so I don't have any professional animus toward Thein. I chose to be an amateur and I'm glad of it.

Like all of us, when I see beauty, I go there. I see beauty in Ming Thein's work, but I can understand that others may not. Vive la diffťrence!
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Almass

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2016, 16:50:17 »
Michael, You think the world of Ming Thein. So be it and it is your privilege to connect with whichever type of photography and photographers who touch your soul.

The world at large might or might not agree with you......and it does not matter....to each his own.

Having said that therein lies the rub:

1- Post Processing
2- Paid Reviews

1- Post Processing: You admit yourself not to know much about processing and yet you are making a judgement on the images of Ming Thein which are very heavily processed and comped. I hope you agree with me that to make a judgement on any issue, one need to be either very good on the issue at hand or at least to be somehow knowledgeable about the issue at hand.
2- Paid Reviews: Very unfortunately, there is a commercial interest at play with Ming Thein reviews which are skewed to achieve a certain conclusion.......and we will leave it at that.


I have no qualm about Post Processing as I am a heavy PP user myself but at least I am proud of it and do not shy from it.
I also understand the need for some people to make money out of Paid Reviews....but I do not condone it.

There is a huge pool of photographers who are great at PP and at shooting images and they wear their heart on their sleeve and call a spade a spade.
Our Bjorn could make a fortune with Paid Reviews and not once he agreed to steep so low........to his credit. This is a highly respected photographer who calls a spade a spade........nevermind Bjorn and let's look closer at another photographer such as yourself. Do you appreciate to what degree people respect you and you work? Have you ever commented or reviewed or published any paid piece of work........
Does Roland take any money for his website? Does the Good Doctor take any money to help and advise......and many similar good photographers.

Michael. it is with a heavy heart that I have to write such blurb and you have at least to give some of us the benefit of the doubt if not to accept the reality.

Michael Erlewine

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 17:03:30 »
I totally get it. It's not that I am not skilled at post-processing, just that it is not my "thing." My thing is the "process" of taking photos, which few seem to get either, so we all are alone, yet together.... alone together. I don't care if Ming Thein is paid or not for the reviews. My interest is in the review itself and what it says. I am a careful reader of Thein's work, and some of the areas he knows, I know on my own. I don't find him putting his thumb on the scale. Yes, he is enthusiastic, as am I. It is OK to do paid reviews provided you don't compromise your own integrity. I trust what Ming Thein writes about, because every time I have had the chance to check him out by using the same product, he is spot on, IMO.

I also admire the work of Lloyd Chambers and he charges to read his work, but he has saved me a small fortune and done work that I have no intention of doing, much of it thankless. Making money with photography is something I consider very difficult to do. Those who dare to do it, I respect, including many on this site. Personally, I don't envy them, but I respect them and always wish them well.

I get it that you feel the way you do and respect you and what you believe. It is fun to differ and discover our differences, no?


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Almass

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2016, 17:08:03 »
Luv ya Michael ;)

simsurace

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Re: A Quick Look at Ming Theinís New Post-Processing Suite
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2016, 18:07:46 »
Where do you get your certainty from that Ming is being paid for his reviews (I suppose you mean he is getting paid by manufacturers whose product he reviews)? I have never had that impression, except for his Ambassador status for Hasselblad which he disclosed.
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