Minh D. Thai, born in Vietnam and is the son of a photographer. His family immigrated to the United States in 1980 when he was at 5 years of age.
His early photographic knowledge was passed down to him from his father. He considered his father to be his first photography teacher and learned about film developing and processing negatives in the darkroom. Using his father’s 35mm Canon AT-1 camera, Minh was encouraged to explore ways of taking photos of family events and outings.
Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Minh graduated from High School with honors and attended the University of California Santa Barbara where he received his degree in History of Art & Architecture.
During his college years, Minh did not photograph much since it had become too expensive on a student budget. He only continued his photographic endeavor in 1999 when he purchased his first digital camera. With the digital camera format, he worked as an event and portrait photographer for over 15 years.
Although Minh is well versed with many different digital cameras and computerized photo processing softwares for professional projects, he prefers to use film cameras during his spare time. His current projects are all done on large and medium format film cameras in creating perspective space between the image and the viewer. His featured exhibition MONOLITH is one of those projects.
The Southern California deserts have been an interest for Minh’s landscape photography in recent years. In his series “Monolith: A Joshua Tree Experience”, Minh sets out and created large print images in which the spaces of the landscapes call for the viewer’s attention.
Shooting at an f/64 aperture on 4x5 large format film camera, the images create a super depth of field for extreme focus. The large 40”x50” monochrome images are intricately framed and showcase with their negatives. The large frames act as windows when staring at these images at long intervals (30 seconds or more). The space of the landscapes opened up and create a 3 dimensional effect as though the viewer can step into the image and be a part of the scenery.
Included with this series are smaller images (16”x16”) taken on color transparency slides on a medium 6x6 format. These color images compliment the large monochrome images to bring the Joshua Tree Desert to life.