Tips On Taking Photos In Markets

Written by Gina Stephens


Photos by David Clapp

Experiment with

Before you leave your hotel, make sure the market's open and have a quick glance at the weather forecast as it won't be much fun lane around a market when it's raining rather heavy. Although fewer people will may refer to venture out to open air markets when it's wet so you'll entertain more room to work. If you're going on a market trip that's organised by an excursion company you won't have much say in when you can stopover the market. Plan your own trip however, and you can arrive for when it opens, giving you more room to work and the produce will be fresher which designs your shots will look more appetising. If it is really, really busy step back or find a higher spot to work from and on no account a few wide shots of the hustle and bustle.

Be aware of your surroundings

Don't leave your camera bag unattended and if it's really lively, it's a good idea to do the tourist trick of spinning your bag to your front. Yes, you may look a little silly but it's better than verdict all of your gear's gone from your bag. Taking a bag that doesn't scream: 'look I'm carrying priceless equipment' is a good idea too. 

It's important not to get distracted by one particular stall either. Market's are generally big places and they'll be multifarious than one location that's worth getting your camera out of its bag for.


Photo by David Burleson – Your market photos don't neutral have to be of food stalls. 

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Light source

As most markets you find on your travels will be outdoors you'll need to pay attention to your exposure as the contrast between a stall which will probably be undercover and the open space around can change drastically. As a result, your camera wishes see the bright surroundings and underexpose the shot, making the stall may refer to appear a lot darker than it actually is. You may find using the exposure lock function and then re-composing as fated should fix the problems that may occur. If you're indoors exposure shouldn't be a problem but you will need to watch your white command to make sure the lights aren't tinting the tone of your image.

When it comes to flash, it's best to avoid press into servicing it, particularly as you most likely will only have the one that's built into your camera and the harshness of it can ruin the atmosphere of the segment you're trying to capture. You're better off just using a slightly ISO and getting the monopod out if you have problems with shake.

Wider injections

Stepping away from the cover of the stalls to somewhere higher up, if possible, will give you the chance to shoot some shots that introduce exactly where you are. If it's in a square surrounded by buildings try and get these in your shot and use the long lines created by the stalls to lead the eye through the mental picture too.


The beauty with markets is the stall holder wants to sell their products so usually they present them well, which effectives all you have to do is take the shot. Look out for colours that compliment each other, interesting patterns and the textures on offer in the produce on display.

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If you requirement to shoot portraits always ask before you take your photos, be polite and don't get in the stall holder's way. If they say no don't argue and maintain pushing as this will only annoy them and you'll probably find someone else will be more than happy for you to demand their photo on another stall. If you're finding communication's a problem a big smile and holding your camera up can often get your memorandum across quite easily.


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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