.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, June 04, 2007


Candid Market

I had been living in my present home in suburban Melaka for about three weeks or more before someone told me there was a night market every Thursday just a few blocks away. I enjoy markets, not that I have a great urge to spend money. I just like the environment of traditional markets. My friends took me to the market that week but I didn't take my camera. I enjoy candid photography and markets create good opportunities to indulge this hobby. It was about two weeks later before I had a chance to return to the market with my Panasonic fz20.

The fz20 is not a small camera. It's a bit hard to hold it up to my face to frame a shot and not be noticed. People either smile, stick their hand up in one gesture or another or run away. The picture on the left will help you see my set up for candid photography. The tripod is fixed to the camera but compacted. It is only there to give me something to hold to keep the camera steady. The camera sits hanging from my neck. The remote shutter button is inserted and the cord for this goes around my back. In this picture I am releasing the shutter with my left hand while I sit looking in the mirror. After a while I get used to taking shots like this and can get a pretty good idea what I'm taking. BTW, I don't usually look directly at my subject. I look to the side of them and frame the picture in my peripheral vision. If I am concerned about shutter noise I either turn that down or off. I want nothing to suggest to people that I am taking photos of them. And of course using a digital camera means I can take as many photos as I want and discard the duds. Surprisingly most of them are quite good. I don't worry too much about settings. I leave the camera in auto mode and let it take care of that.

This was one of the early shots. It was late in the afternoon but there was still plenty of light so the photo is quite sharp. Do you think the girl and the guy in the helmet are on to me? Or are they just staring vaguely while they wait to be served?

The market does attract its share of beggars. This young woman is not one of them. She is blind and is selling small packets of tissues.

I'm not sure if she was onto me but this girl seemed to be trying to figure out what I was doing. Then again, I was probably the only foreigner at the market. She probably didn't realise that while I appeared to be staring at a stall on the other side of the road I was actually taking a photo of her.

The woman on the right is making vegetarian popiah (spring rolls) and there's a queue. I came back later and got a couple for my dinner.

By now it's quite dark so the image is a little blurred but I love the blue colouring in the sky.

This girl is making some kind of coconut confectionary, she inserts the mixture in bamboo tubes and her mother cooks it. It must be good because there's quite a crowd waiting, so much so that I can't get a shot with my usual process. This is the only shot that night for which I held the camera in my hands. I had to, to get it over the shoulders of the people in front of me. But I still didn't use the flash. The EXIF data tells me the exposure was 1/4 second. Between the anti-shake in the fz20 and my steady hands, I was still able to get a reasonable shot.

For this one the camera is back in the dangling position but this stall is so well lit that the camera can get a sharp shot with a 1/10 sec exposure.

You can see these photos a little larger by clicking on them. If you'd like to see one or two more from this night, take a look at my photo page (see sidebar).

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?