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Photography Tips For Taking Photos At Farmers Markets

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Category: General Photography

Photography At Farmers Market - Take your camera with you when you visit a farmers market next time and shoot some of the produce that's on offer.

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In a time when it's popular to grow your own produce and take reusable bags to the supermarket it's no surprise that the farmers market is growing in popularity. These weekly or monthly markets are obviously a great place to buy some food and drink from but they also offer you a great opportunity to quench your thirst for photography.

asparagus
Get close to food like in the shot above. Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk

Gear Suggestions:

To show the overall activity and atmosphere of the market you'll need a wide angle lens. This will also get you shots of the stall-holders buying and selling with punters. For candids from a distance or general shots of the produce take a longer zoom lens along. You could take a macro along for close ups of the wares on sale but this does involve you getting close to the stalls which can be a bit difficult if the market's full. The amount of shoppers and lack of space also means you'll be leaving the tripod at home and relying on higher ISOs or finding something to lean on to help you steady your shot.

Technique:


Time Of Day

Make sure you arrive early as there will be more elbow room to work, the stores will have more produce on them and they'll be easier to access. Then, if you want shots of a thriving market, just wait until lunch time and blast a few shots of the crowd off then.

Shoot Produce

Produce is generally nicely presented at farmers markets so take advantage of this. Baskets and coloured table covers make great backgrounds for fruit and veg and are usually used all over farmers markets. You could stand back and use a small aperture to get a stall's full collection in focus or get in close with your macro lens and focus on just one or two of the items on offer. For more animated shots put the seller into the environment taking shots of them handing over change and giving products to sample.

If their produce is lined up on shelves at the back of the store, shoot with just enough depth of field to get them in sharp and leave just enough detail in the background so you know what they're selling without it distracting anyone away from your subject. Just don't get in their way as they're running a business after all and you don't want to be turning customers away because you're stood there with your camera.

Outdoors Or In?

If the market's outdoors keep an eye on your exposure as the contrast between a stall that's undercover and the walkways in the open air can alter drastically and your camera may try to underexpose your shot. If you're at an indoor one you shouldn't have contrast problems but you may need to keep an eye on your white balance.

Photos Of People

As for shots of shoppers try photographing the crowd as a whole or use your longer lens to single out interesting characters - you'll always fine someone bartering with a stall holder or pulling a face after sampling something they don't like.

Photo Challenge

If there's a few of you taking cameras along why not set a bit of a challenge? You could set a time limit to photograph a list of produce you've previously decided on. This could be a list of vegetables or try shooting a collection of colours.





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