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In the Marketplace
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In the Marketplace

Big city or small town, few corners of the world are without a thriving produce or arts-and-crafts market operating at least one day a week. In fact, in many rural places, the Saturday morning farmer's market is the highlight of weekly life. These markets offer prime opportunities to do some low-exertion photography and have fun shopping at the same time.

If there's one thing you can count on in most markets, it's color—colorful displays of goods and colorful characters selling them. Some markets, like the floating produce markets in Thailand, where women peddle their wares from boats, are so unusual that the most offhand snapshot can catch the exotic atmosphere. As markets (especially in warmer climates) generally open early in the day, you'll have to pull the covers off promptly to catch the peak activities, but the gentle morning light will enhance the warmth of your pictures.

What to photograph? Color is everywhere, especially in a produce market, so look for interesting still lifes of exotic fruits and vegetables. Close-ups of individual artworks are great souvenirs, but I recommend buying something, too, if you want to make a new friend. Most people who sell their wares directly to the public are part huckster, so if you happen on a particularly gregarious one, snap a few quick portraits of him or her exhibiting a prize chicken or a one-of-a-kind piece of handicraft. If it's an open-air market, look for a high vantage point to get an overall shot as well.

Markets are crowded and almost everything photographs well with a wide-angle lens, so just bring the point-and-shoot even if you've got a DSLR and lenses.

Next: "Friends' Faces"