Markets are great places to practise your photography. There are so many interesting and colourful subjects and people generally don’t mind photographers snapping away. At the Easter Sunday Makers Market Knutsford people were in such high spirits in the long awaited Spring sunshine, that there were broad smiles all round!
A few market photography tips before I post the rest of my pictures:
- Pick one lens and stick with it. if you’re messing about changing lenses then you’ll probably miss the shot. I was using my new Sony A7 camera with its 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. It gives me wide enough angles for capturing scenes but I can also zoom in enough to get details and it will blur the background nicely. If you have an entry level D-SLR the 18-55mm kit lens would do nicely for this type of photography.
- Camera settings. You could easily put your camera into P mode and get some good shots. But if you’ve learned a bit about the other modes then you will be more in control and able to get some better shots. Check out my post on the Exposure Triangle. I set my aperture as low as it would go (f/3.5 – this increased to F/5.6 if I zoomed in) and made sure that my shutter speed was at least 1/125. When you photograph products on a stall it can be a bit darker than out on the street, so I increased the ISO as necessary. The Sony A7 makes this really easy and that’s the only dial I changed all morning.
- Don’t over-think what you’re shooting. This is one occasion when you can just snap away once you’ve set the camera up. Speed is of the essence as it tends to be busy. I do bear in mind the Rule of Thirds composition tip: imagine the noughts and crosses grid overlaid on your viewfinder. Try to place your subject on one of the lines instead of in the centre of the image. Placing it on the intersection of any of the lines works really well too. I often go for funky angles instead of shooting straight on and I look for repeating patterns and contrasting colours and textures. The more you photograph the more your eye gets trained to intuitively spot these things. And of course light is everything. Check out the picture of the back lit coffee barista and the jet of steam below.
- Be cheeky and photograph people. There are some great characters at markets – both stall holders and visitors. I have rarely been challenged and if I think someone looks a bit put out I give them a smile and if I can I chat with them about what I’m doing and show them the picture. This usually does the trick and in the rare event that it doesn’t I’ll delete the image for them.
- Enjoy yourself and don’t forget to stop shooting and sample the wares too!
I run courses and offer one to one tuition to beginners and improvers, including food photography courses, so if you’d like help getting to grips with your camera then click on the links and take a look.
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