Photo Story: People Photography in a Turkish Fresh Market

On one of my recent cruise ship lecturing assignments  I had the opportunity to visit the Tuesday fresh market in Kusadasi, Turkey with  a small culinary  tour group and guide. The highlights for most visitors to Kusadasi are the Ephesus Roman ruins,its museum at Selcuk and perhaps buying Turkish carpets. Being the 6th visit there,  I decided to spend the day with the local people instead and I was amply rewarded.  Using my people photography techniques covered in a recent Blog post: Photography of People You Don’t Know  I was able to create a photo story of  my visit to this colorful market filled with clean and well presented produce and friendly people.  While the tour guide explained the unique local produce and how to prepare and cook it, I left the group and interacted with the locals to photograph them.

Just by showing an interest in their produce and taking to the vendors and asking permission to take photos of their displays and themselves I captured a  photo story depicted in this collage created with free Picasa software.

Fresh Market in Kusadasi, Turkey

Fresh Market in Kusadasi, Turkey

My observations.

This market is not often visited by tourists since it is off the beaten path a bit (a 10 minute bus ride) and held only once a week so we were a rarity so all vendors were quite pleased to chat with us.  All vendors were the farmers and their produce was high quality, clean and cheap.  The use of translucent white tarps for rain and sun protection created beautiful scattered light ideal for people and product photography.  Although a Muslim culture, surprisingly all but 1 woman granted me permission to photograph them and all men said yes, as they always do.   After seeing me interact with a vendor and seeing how much fun we were having with the photography (I would show people their photograph on my camera’s LCD with resultant smiles and instant camaraderie)  many would ask me to photograph them too or join  in the shot.  My favorite image is the young woman at the top right of the collage, evoking the same look and light as Steve McCurry’s famous Afghan girl image. I was thrilled when she said yes to photographs  and took a dozen images of her smiling, laughing  and the one used above.  Note the unique and colorful types of string beans and the how other vendors jumped in to be photographed.

Camera Techniques Used

My Canon 7 D camera for most shots was set to P mode with auto ISO using an 18 to 85 mm zoom lens with image stabilization on.  I used an aperture value (AV) setting of f16 (alternative: landscape  mode) for some of the shots needing both the foreground and background in focus and spot focused into the scene a bit to maximize the use of  the wider depth of field .  For all people shots I spot focused on their eyes then recomposed the shot.  See my Spot Focusing Technique  Blog post for details.  With the mild back lighting in some shots I would increase my camera’s exposure value (EV) by +0.5 to +1.0 to lighten faces rather than use a flash.  If the subject was in direct sunlight, I would have forced my flash on to fill in the shadows on the faces created by overhead light but it was a cloudy day and the scattered translucent light was all I needed. Since this was a casual non rushed environment, I carefully composed each shot in the camera  so none of the images needed cropping later and took the time to be sure face exposures were good.  I added a bit of contrast and vibrance  (alternative: saturation) in post  processing of the RAW files using Adobe Bridge CS4.  I used the Create/Picture Collage tool in Picasa to create the collage and copyright text and sized the original collage to a  width of 300 pixels to fit the Blog column.

The above collage is available as a fine art print enlargements in galley wrap, metallic, canvas print or art cards with worldwide shipping at my Fine Art America gallery.

I have visited fresh markets world-wide and felt that the Kusadasi market was one of the best markets to photograph until I visited the bustling and very people friendly Saturday market in Suva, Fiji last month but that will be another photo story.

Travel Image Brief – Paris Skyline from the Eiffel Tower at Dusk

We couldn’t have picked a better time to visit and take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We had to prebook the visit well in advance. Starting at 5:30pm we spent 4 hours on the Tower and stood in awe as a remarkable sunset of vivid red and pink paint brush strokes balanced the ambient dusk light and the street lamps of the city below. The Trocadero Palace and the Seine River frame this famous and historic city while modern Paris sprouts up in the distant background. This panoramic image was stitch assembled using Photoshop “photo merge” tool from 8 vertically oriented shots from the second level of the Eiffel Tower.  

Panoramic view of the Parisian skyline and Seine River at dusk

Panoramic view of the Parisian skyline and Seine River at dusk

I covered panorama photography techniques in two prior posts: Easy Panorama Travel Images – Part 1 (camera setup) and Easy Panorama Travel Images – Part 2 (post processing)

I then did minor adjustments using the edit/transform/perspective Photoshop tool to fix some of the distortion in the final cropped image (mostly to straighten the horizon and capture the cool carousel at the very bottom). All of these tools are available in Photoshop Elements (consumer) and CS/CC (pro) versions, This latter change required very minor image cloning to fill in the gaps at the lower corners. To get sharp images at capture (handheld in P mode; with a resultant shutter speed of 1/50 sec.) I increased my camera ISO to 4000 knowing that I can easily remove the image noise later. With increasing darkness, I watched my resultant shutter speed become slower and so I increased my ISO accordingly).

I post processed this image using Topaz Labs denoise, detail and adjust 5.0 (the spicify preset -oh so so cool!) plugins available at http://www.topazlabs.com/273-0-1-54.html. Captured on April 7, 2015 with  a Canon EOS M mirrorless camera with settings at 1/50 sec./f3.5/ISO 4000, 28 mm. We took over 500 images in those 4 hours and can’t wait to select a few more to share. This image was just added to our Fine Art America World Image gallery and is part of a stunning world panorama collection. Please like and share this post and image!

About the Authors. David and Anna Smith are World travel & fine art photographers, Bloggers, photography and fabric arts workshop leaders, key note speakers and cruise ship guest lecturers, Their world image archive: Interface Images and Celebrate the World fine art gallery.  David has just published a brand new series of online travel and general photography courses, visit their blog Travel Photography Tips & Adventures for more