A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: ToonSarah

Markets

large_Markets_Collage.jpg

Another of my favourite subjects for photography is a local market – the more colourful and livelier the better. There are two main attractions for me as a photographer – the variety of often unfamiliar produce on display, and the local people who shop or sell in these markets. I will feature ‘People’ as a theme in a later blog entry for sure, but some are certain to find their way into these market photos too!

Some of the best markets I have visited have been in Africa.

Senegal

large_7578291-Market_day_in_Ngueniene_Ngueniene.jpg

Every Wednesday there is a large market in the village of Ngueniene, which draws people from miles around - to buy or to sell, but also, it seemed to me, to meet and gossip. A visit here is a popular outing for tourists, but still they are hugely outnumbered by the locals and it is a totally authentic experience. In fact there are two markets - one for animals and one for everything else - and I mean everything!

7578267-The_general_market_Ngueniene.jpg 7578281-More_market_photos_Ngueniene.jpg

large_7578283-More_market_photos_Ngueniene.jpg

large_7578269-The_general_market_Ngueniene.jpg
In the general market, Ngueniene

You have to be a little discreet if you want to get photos of the locals here. Most people don't mind you photographing the goods on sale, and some of the men were happy to be in my photos, but on the whole the women preferred not to be photographed. If they asked me not to, I put the camera down, but I have to admit to shooting a few of these pictures "from the hip"!

7578268-The_general_market_Ngueniene.jpg 7578281-More_market_photos_Ngueniene.jpg

7578266-The_general_market_Ngueniene.jpg
There were exceptions to the 'no photo' rule, as you can see

After spending some time in the main market we moved on to the animal market on the other side of the village, travelling between the two on a traditional horse cart. Here there is a much narrower range of goods on offer – goats, sheep, cows, donkeys and horses. Until very recently, our guide told us, all business was done here by exchange - two goats for one sheep, five sheep for one cow and so on. Nowadays people are more likely to use cash, but some trading still goes on.

large_7578276-The_animal_market_Ngueniene.jpg
The animal market

While the men we saw were obviously here to sell, it also seemed to me to be a great excuse for them to catch up with friends as there was a lot of standing around chatting going on. I found that they were more relaxed and generally seemed less bothered by my camera than in the busy main market.

7578277-The_animal_market_Ngueniene.jpg 7578278-The_animal_market_Ngueniene.jpg
Animal traders, Ngueniene

Gambia

large_7440701-Serrekunda_market.jpg
Serekunda market

Serekunda Market is the largest in The Gambia – a mad melee of sellers, shoppers and a few tourists that pack the streets of this small town every day.

large_6994317-Serekunda_Market_The_Gambia.jpg

The market takes place all day and every day. Few Gambian homes have freezers, and with frequent power cuts the fridge cannot be relied on to keep food fresh, so the women (and it is still always the women) shop daily for fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, fish etc. The place was so packed it was hard to make progress at times, especially with the occasional car or bush taxi trying to squeeze through the crowds and the many porters with their wheelbarrows (all licensed by the government, with "number plates" to prove it).

6994320-Serekunda_Market_The_Gambia.jpg 6994318-Palm_oil_seller_The_Gambia.jpg

6994319-Okra_and_more_The_Gambia.jpg
Tomatoes, palm oil and okra among the goods on sale

Marrakesh

The souks of Marrakesh are perhaps the most photographed markets of all. Unlike in sub-Saharan Africa, I’ve found it much harder here to include local people in my photos as they are really not happy to see a tourist camera pointed in their direction, but if you’re discreet then it can be done:

7699637-The_Northern_Medina.jpg 7699638-The_Northern_Medina.jpg
In the Northern Medina

North of the Djemaa el-Fna the narrow souks weave and intersect in the most confusing (to the visitor) of manners. Locals outnumber tourists here, even though this is the Marrakesh that everyone comes to see. Donkey carts and mopeds add to the confusion and at times it is difficult to even find the space in which to stand and take a photo! The goods on display are so distinctive and vividly coloured that they form my favourite subject-matter here:

7699647-Flower_heads_Marrakesh.jpg 7699642-Souks_in_the_Medina.jpg

7699798-Lanterns_and_lamps_Marrakesh.jpg 7699644-Display_of_spices_Marrakesh.jpg 7699641-Souks_in_the_Medina.jpg

7699645-Dyes_Marrakesh.jpg 4674015-Exploring_the_souks.jpg 4674013-Exploring_the_souks.jpg

In Latin American countries too we have been to some wonderful markets. Here is a selection of photos from that part of the world:

129_Patzun.jpg
Market day in Petzun, Guatemala

104_Santiago_market.jpg
Bananas for sale, Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

533635294988038-Bananas_for_..go_Atitlan.jpg
Bananas sellers, Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala

2851004-Pisac_market_stall_Cusco.jpg
Pisac market stall, Peru

2880331-People_of_Peru_Peru.jpg
Pisac, Peru

8B757516F9BF2AC712C5C3941A54CA48.jpg
Mercado Central, Santiago, Chile

6468722-Roast_pig_for_lunch_Ecuador.jpg
Roast pig, Otavalo Market, Ecuador

But you don’t have to leave Europe to find colourful markets. Let me finish with a selection of images from several European cities:

P1100736.jpg
In Riga's Central Market

7095016-_Tallinn.jpg
Local market in Tallinn

6760115-In_the_market_Sibiu.jpg
In Sibiu's produce market

7491410-Mercato_dele_Erbe_Bologna.jpg 7491411-Mercato_dele_Erbe_Bologna.jpg
7491409-Mercato_dele_Erbe_Bologna.jpg
Melons for sale in Bologna's Mercato delle Erbe

If you've enjoyed this page you'll find lots more of my market photos in my blog entries about Jaipur, Otavalo, Pujili and Munnar, among others.

Posted by ToonSarah 06:38 Tagged people food india peru market bologna fruit chile guatemala romania morocco photography riga vegetables tallinn ecuador marrakesh gambia senegal Comments (8)

Birds of the world

large_1F51DF360AEECB425855C2D7DF28B3E6.jpg

This is the first of what will be a series of occasional blog entries built around my love of photography. Unlike most travel blogs, this one will be organised by theme rather than destination, starting with one of my favourite subjects of recent years, birds.

I am not an especially keen bird-watcher and feel no need to tick off lots of species, but I love the challenge of capturing their bright colours and active behaviours with my lens.

Gambia

large_6994280-More_birds_of_the_Gambia_The_Gambia.jpg
Speckled pigeon

One of the best places we have visited for bird watching is the Gambia, especially at Mandina, an eco-lodge in the Makasutu Cultural Forest. The bird-watching is known to be especially good in this area – the naturalist Chris Packham regularly brings specialist tours here:

6994287-More_birds_of_the_Gambia_The_Gambia.jpg Birds0063_..Bee-eater_4.jpg
Bee-eaters - swallow-tailed and white-throated

6996795-Firefinch_Brikama.jpg 6996792-Goliath_Heron_Brikama.jpg 6994286-More_birds_of_the_Gambia_The_Gambia.jpg
Firecrest, Goliath heron, Hooded vulture

6994291-Bearded_Barbet_The_Gambia.jpg Birds0039_..a_Pelican_3.jpg 6996782-More_bird_photos_from_Mandina_Brikama.jpg
Bearded barbet, Pelican and Plantain eater

Senegal

large_7580236-More_bird_photos_Fimela.jpg

7580240-More_bird_photos_Fimela.jpg
Egret

Souimanga Lodge in Fimela, Senegal, was another fantastic place for bird-spotting. We had our own private walkway and shaded jetty overlooking the water, from where we could see a myriad of water-birds, especially in the late afternoon.

7580246-Pied_Kingfisher_Fimela.jpg
Pied Kingfisher

7580249-Spur_winged_Lapwings_Fimela.jpg
Spur-winged Lapwings

7580289-Little_Bee_eater_Fimela.jpg
Little Bee-eater

7580243-More_bird_photos_Fimela.jpg
Village weaver

7580244-More_bird_photos_Fimela.jpg
Senegal dove

Galápagos

large_470269706445105-Waved_albatr..os_Islands.jpg
Waved albatross

But nowhere is quite like the Galápagos, not least because there you can get much closer to the wildlife than elsewhere because the birds (and animals) have never learned to fear people. Unfortunately the camera I had back then was less good than my current one, but nevertheless I got some photos worth sharing here.

6444366-Juvenile_Santa_Fe_Galapagos_Islands.jpg
Juvenile Galápagos hawk

6444751-Nazca_Booby_chick_Isla_Genovesa.jpg
Nazca booby chick

340206796444765-Female_Magni..la_Seymour.jpg
Female magnificent frigatebird

6454511-Magnificent_Frigatebird_Isla_Seymour.jpg 6462439-Blue_footed_Booby_Isla_Espanola.jpg
Magnificent frigatebird and Blue-footed booby

By the way, if interested you can see many more of my Galápagos photos, both birds and other wildlife, in a series of blog entries starting here: The adventure begins

India

large_11_Kovalam..7__06_16_54.jpg
Black kite

Our recent visit to Kerala also gave me some opportunities to photograph birds, both inland in Periyar National Park, on the backwaters, and at the coast:

large_93_Periyar..7__06_43_00.jpg
Grey heron, Periyar

105_Kovala..7__22_14_22.jpg
Egrets by the coast

23_Backwat..7__03_14_49.jpg
Darter, Kerala backwaters

25_Backwat..7__03_20_36.jpg
Heron, Kerala backwaters

In Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan we also saw lots of birds:

7548630-Scops_owl_Ranthambore_National_Park.jpg 275808297548627-Rufous_tree_..ional_Park.jpg
Scops owl and Rufous tree pie

7548628-Peacock_Ranthambore_National_Park.jpg
Peacock

177267087548626-White_throat..ional_Park.jpg 7548629-Bulbuls_Ranthambore_National_Park.jpg
White-throated kingfisher and Bulbuls

I also enjoyed photographing the Demoiselle cranes of Khichan:

7535599-The_cranes_of_Khichan_Khichan.jpg
Demoiselle cranes

In England

large_Kielder_00005.jpg
Chaffinch, Kielder Water

Closer to home I take fewer bird photos but I make an exception when I get the chance to visit somewhere like Kielder’s Birds of Prey Centre or Eagle Heights in Kent:

7343398-Bateleur_Eagle_Eynsford.jpg
Bateleur eagle, Eagle Heights

7343435-Kayla_the_Bald_Eagle_Eynsford.jpg
Bald eagle, Eagle Heights

7343401-Tawny_Eagle_Eynsford.jpg
Tawny Eagle, Eagle Heights

7343425-Caracara_Eynsford.jpg
Caracara, Eagle Heights

6815009-Ural_Owl_Falstone.jpg
Ural owl, Kielder Birds of Prey Centre

6815010-Harris_Hawk_Falstone.jpg 6815011-Peruvian_Striped_Owl_Falstone.jpg
Harris hawk, and Peruvian striped owl, Kielder Birds of Prey Centre

And of course there are occasions when we are out and about and a pretty bird catches my eye:

559690477287050-Black_headed..uridge_Bay.jpg
Black-headed gull (winter plumage), Druridge Bay

large_P1030772.jpg
A very English robin, Tynemouth

Posted by ToonSarah 04:29 Tagged birds wildlife india kerala photography national_park periyar rajasthan galapagos ecuador gambia senegal khichan Comments (14)

(Entries 11 - 12 of 12) « Page 1 2 [3]