John Harvey Photo

Learn To Photograph Markets
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Some of my favorite things

When I travel, one of my favorite destinations is a good market.  Markets combine a number of different skills - part architectural photography, sometimes portrait photography, often food photography.  Trying to learn how to do better, I'm sumarizing what I know:

Photographing the Icons:
Vegatables Outside
Many markets have icon's - signs, locations or objects that sumarizes the location.  Getting a top quality picture of that is often up to timing - being there when the sun is setting or (sorry) rising.  Getting your own take on a commonly photographed icon is often challenging, but it really helps set a collection of photos.
Sun Burst Over Public MarketRichmond Night Market

Lighting of Markets
Light is a great way to highlight a product - show off the freshness, shinnyness or detail.  Many markets have strong point lights to show off product and you can use that lighting to your advantag if you see it.  With the higher contrast comes exposure problems, but I'm sure you can sort that out.
Bright Lights On PhotosNight MarketRadishes On Wooden Box

The Presentation of Food:
Perhaps one of the reasons I like Markets so much is that so much of the work is done for you.  The people selling product are trying to encourage people to buy and they do so by presenting the product in it's best possible light.   It's up to you to capture that detail.
Red Chili PeppersFish And OystersMeeting Of Square Tins
Bag Of Peas Full To BurstingFatty SausagesFruit Broken Open

Diversity of Food:
One of the draws for the consumer is wide selection of products.  Exploring a market you will see things that are rare or in better than normal supply.  Sometimes putting all of the options in one frame will give your viewer a sense of the scale of supply available.
Root Vegetables In BasketsVariety Of CitrusRed Chillis Green Veggies

People in the Markets:
People in Markets are generally used to people being around and may not mind you taking photos of them.  That said, it's worth asking before you take the photo.
Guy SewingBoy Selling At Cart

It's about the Space:
And with some markets, the space alone is deserving in a photo essay. A building is so much more than the material that make it up - the details of how it is used and the people that inhabit the space make up much of the feelings about the space.  If you can combine the market and the building, you can put both in better context.
Row In Fish MarketVegetable Stand Under FortStreet Market Near Helens Grandparents

Radishes On Wooden Box
Tags: high contrast, market, produce
Bright Lights On Photos
Tags: high contrast, market, Seattle
Row In Fish Market
Tags: fish, Japan, market, Tokyo
Night Market
Tags: Dominican Republic, high contrast, market
Guy Sewing
Sun Burst Over Public Market
Tags: market, Seattle
Vegetable Stand Under Fort
Tags: fort, India, market, produce
Red Chillis Green Veggies
Tags: Hong Kong, market, produce, twin
Boy Selling At Cart
Tags: eggs, India, street food, street photography
Vegatables Outside
Tags: market, neon, Seattle
Street Market Near Helens Grandparents
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong, market
Fish And Oysters
Tags: fish, Japan, market, seafood
Fruit Broken Open
Tags: India, market
Bag Of Peas Full To Bursting
Tags: India, market, produce
Richmond Night Market
Location: Go To...
Tags: market, Richmond Night Market, Vancouver
Fatty Sausages
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: food porn, market
Root Vegetables In Baskets
Tags: Japan, market, produce
Red Chili Peppers
Tags: Japan, market, peppers, produce, twin
Variety Of Citrus
Tags: citrus, Japan, market, produce
Meeting Of Square Tins
Tags: India, market
Tags: market(18), produce(7), Japan(5), India(5), Seattle(3), high contrast(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > Learn Photography > Learn To Photograph Markets

wow your pictures are very amazing! you have inspired me, thanks so much! i will try to use your techniches in the future
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 at 14:07:14

Hi , I am a bigginer, I got all those thing which i wanted to know.. Great stuff. Thanks Sidd
Siddharth Kapoor
Sunday, May 3rd, 2009 at 10:04:38

thank you for sharing your knowlege i am just beginning to think of the basics of composition to make films and wanted to go to photography to help me think in pictures. i will use this site as a crib until i master the ideas
Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 at 05:20:06

hi there... The tips you ve offered are easy to comprehend and follow... most of the times its the technical jargon which keeps me from understanding... having had no instruction in photography, i often look for tips where ever i can find them... i have not come across such simple instruction as you have shared... :) and i sure as hell agree with you about trying to shoot trees... had recently visited forests and hill regions of the Himalayas, and as enraptured as i was by the trees around, i could do absolutely no justice when it came to framing them...will try again! Thank you for sharing... By the way your honesty is refreshing... cheers n thanks again
Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 14:17:33

Wow !!! thanks for your simple and honest framing tips .As i have just started on this was really fruitful... i want to be in this site till i become a success. thanks for helping an amateur person like us to do good. thanks once again.
Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 01:38:22

The pictures from "The Presentation of Food" are my absolute favorite out of anything else (as a collection) on your website.

Thanks for posting!
Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 at 18:30:26

Hi , I am doing a school project on photography . I have gotten a lot of information on your website (: Thank you soo much for putting all of this wonderful information on here (: And one more thing your pictures are wonderful . (: One day I'm gonna be taking those kind of wonderful pictures ! (: Now I know how I'm gonna start ! (: As soon as I get home I'm gonna take pictures (:
Bethany (:
Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 06:35:27

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