Seattle, as you may know, is a port city that's home to the world famous "Pike Place Market", a public market located on the waterfront. It's one of the oldest farmers' markets in the country, and it's a huge place, as well as a popular tourist attraction.
We took a culinary tour of the market, which allowed us to see (and taste) quite a bit. (If you're in the area, I recommend contacting Savor Seattle Tours - you won't be sorry.)
I, of course, had my camera in hand the whole time. I'm not usually in to "street photography", but as I said, this is a very touristy area, so photography is allowed, accepted and, as you'll see below, even encouraged. The market has vendors selling fruits, meats, fish, candy, flowers, tea, coffee, etc., etc., etc. The fruit stands in particular caught my eye, because of the multi-colored fruit all lined up and arranged perfectly. In this shot, I saw a customer passing money to a vendor at an attractive fruit stand, so I framed, focused and fired:
With the combination of overhead light, and natural light from the windows, this was a tough exposure to get. I adjusted my exposure compensation to under-expose this a little. The result is that the customer is in shadows. There was actually enough info in the RAW file for me to correct that with software, and I did slightly, but I actually like the shadowed look there. I also like the light that hits the vendor's face, and his blue shirt really pops against the other colors of the fruit. The shot doesn't have the depth-of-field that I'd like (i.e. it's not in focus front-to-back), but that's because my aperture was wide open due to the low light. (The old me would have thought the shot wasn't good enough to post here for that reason. The new me says: "Who cares? It's a cool shot from a cool place. Post it!")
Probably the most famous "attraction" at the market is the "Pike Place Fish Market". As seen on TV and elsewhere, this is the place where the "fishmongers" literally throw fish to each other. That's right, big slimy fish just flying left and right. Actually it's more organized and deliberate than that. There's a reason they do it. Customers who order a fish from one of the ice-filled counters along the perimeter of the stand get to see their fish flung to one of the employees on the other side of the counter (not a short toss by any means, and certainly a tough catch), where the fish is wrapped up, etc. The throw saves the outer fishmonger from having to walk all the way around the counter to the prep area in the rear.
It's also a PR gimmick that brings in a lot of people, with their cameras ready. I doubt that most tourists buy any fish. But it's still good PR, and a lot of fun, and there's nothing wrong with that.
When we were there, a customer (a local, no doubt) actually did purchase a large fish, and we saw a real toss. No one had their camera ready for that though, since it was unexpected. Fortunately, the tour guide and the fishmonger regularly "stage" a fish toss for the tourists. So when they did it the second time, I quickly sped up my shutter, made a few other adjustments, and fired, capturing the fish (still a little blurry) in mid-flight:
A faster shutter speed would have resulted in a better shot of the airborne fish. I'll have to remember that the next time somebody hurls a large salmon past me.
Comments or questions?
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