Street Markets
A Wealth Of Urban Photography Opportunities

Street markets are ideal places to really capture the atmosphere of an urban community. They are always colourful and full of interesting characters and sometimes even unusual items for sale.

Whenever I take my camera to a market I am always aware of the dangers of being in a crowded place with lots of expensive equipment, so I usually travel light and only take the bare minimum.

That way I am not spending the day worrying about looking after lots of kit and am able to concentrate on my photography.

Street markets are an easy photographic project to undertake as every city or town or even small village will have some sort of market.

So no matter where you live you will be able to explore your photographic eye and techniques in this busy and vibrant place.

Street Market Project Examples

Street Markets Camden Market Picture by Kate Tilmouth

This first image was taken at London's Covent Garden Market. It is rather different from other markets, as over the years it has turned into a tourist attraction rather than a regular every day market.

However it started it life as a good old-fashioned marketplace and its main structure has remained the same.

I wanted to capture the markets traditional Victorian feel and so took the picture using a wide angle lens, which enabled me to show as much of the structure as possible.

Keeping the camera level and using the correct exposure in the low light was difficult as I was unable to use a tripod due to lack of space. I did have to do some work to tidy up the image afterwards in Photoshop.

Street Markets Picture by Runran Flickr.com

This second Image by Runran shows another side of markets, the traders.

I love how this picture captures the bored expression on the lady's face as she sits surrounded by all her wares.

The light was perfect and she almost looks like she is in a spot light. However there is enough shadow and detail to stop the picture looking bleached.

I assume a long lens was used for this as the depth of field is reduced behind the main subject, which has helped to focus attention onto the trader.

By placing the main subject slightly off centre has added to the dynamics of the composition. A really eye catching picture of a very mundane everyday scene.

Street Markets Picture by Lucas Jans

Travelling abroad will give you access to very different looking street markets. This picture taken by Lucas Jans couldn't be anywhere else but somewhere in Asia.

The distinct hats of the sellers have become the main focus of this image, giving it a very abstract look.

The slight blurred effect adds to the feeling of busy and hectic oriental street markets. You can almost hear the noise of the shouting and feel the shoving of the eager buyers.

The composition is well thought out, making sure the hats produce a circle in the centre of the image that leads the eye around to the faces in the background.

Colour has also been used imaginatively and the contrasting red and blues gives the image a very vibrant and lively atmosphere.

Street Markets Picture by Fazu The Elf

I always like to have at least one black and white photograph as one of my examples and street markets are perfect subjects due to their many textures and details.

I chose this image by Fazu The Elf for two reasons: movement and contrast.

The picture could have been a very lifeless one as not a lot of action is happening in the frame.

However by making sure that the flapping lengths of plastic were in shot, it has given the image movement and another aspect, i.e. a windy day.

I also love the very strong contrast of blacks and whites in this image whilst still keeping lots of detail.

Focusing the camera dead centre on the mid tones has enabled the camera to expose just right, to display enough detail on the main subjects and so keep the attention of the viewer.