For the last two Sundays, I have managed to be out the house close to 5 am to take pictures of Bangalore’s busy KR Market. Please don’t think of this as a definitive guide. KR market is listed as a ‘photographers dream,’ on Trip Advisor. However, it is turning out to be a challenge.
Morning times are magical, darkness disperses, and the sun gradually appears. What this means is that you are consistently dealing with fluctuations in light and forever having to adjust your settings. As it was dark to start with, I attached a small flash to my Olympus. I primarily use natural light when taking photos, so using the flash drew me a little out of my comfort zone.
On my first trip to the market, I took my classic street setup, the Olympus Om5ii with a pancake 20mm micro 4/3 lens. Using this lens meant I could open my aperture to 1.8 and make the best of the available light. On the second trip, with flash attached, I figured I could take a zoom, it is a relatively wide angled lens and takes great shots. On my last trip, I was concerned about battery life as there was an unusual flashing signal showing on the charger when I woke. For this reason, I packed my Nikon D7100 in my backpack. On my Nikon I attached the fantastic 35mm, 1.8 lens. In my opinion, this is one of the best lenses for street photography. If you have a Nikon Dx crop sensor camera, then you should purchase one of these lenses, they are as cheap as chips too!
I was dealing with changing light, the marketplace was indoors with fluorescents, while the square in the middle of the market was open to the sky. The marketplace sprawls ever outward into the streets and alleyways. Naturally, flowers were everywhere, so simplifying the colour palette was near impossible. People were packed, like sardines in a can. At one point I gave up trying to change settings and stuck the camera on auto. I very rarely use the automatic modes, but sometimes it is a method I use just give my brain a break and to focus on what is around me.
Using flash requires my perseverance. The clip-on flash that comes with the Olympus OM5ii gets the job done, but I will probably have to upgrade to a better unit if I want to start adding diffusers and filters. Using a flash blew away any illusion gaining invisibility on the streets. While I am happy with the results so far, I aim to go back so I can achieve a strong portfolio of work based on this vibrant area of Bangalore. So far, I am happy with the results and adding the use of flash, when needed, to my Street Photography skillset is going to help strengthen the photos I am taking.
Hopefully, you can take some of my ideas, or mistakes, and take photos of your local market. As ever, let me know your thoughts. We’re in this together.
Keep Clicking, Chris