Friday, July 25, 2014

Published 10:58 AM by with 1 comment

One Last Trip to Pike Place Market

I've lived in the Northwest (near Seattle) since 2000 and have enjoyed every minute of it. My wife and I have recently retired, albeit earlier than most, and decided to swap our traditional sticks and bricks home for one on wheels. Our plan is to live and travel around the US in our motorhome for as long as we are able. As a photographer, this decision brings many opportunities to capture the experience and visit a multitude of new places.

As we prepare for our new life, we wanted to say goodbye to the city. We decided to visit Pike Place Market one more time and gather up the ingredients for a celebratory dinner of fresh crab and coleslaw.

Beecher's - Home of the world's most spectacular mac and cheese. Made fresh on the premises
The Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington was founded in 1907, and has a long and storied history. It is the longest continually run farmer's market in the United States. Although the variety of food is amazing, I usually go along for the photo opps. There is no shortage of things to shoot.

Preparing for a casual shoot like this requires some thought on my part. Sometimes I get stressed out about what lens or lenses I should bring with me. If I limit myself, will I also limit the shots I get? What if I need wide angle and/or closeup options? After much angst, I decided to just take one lens: my trusty Canon 50mm f1.4.

I loved the chaos of this scene. How anyone can figure out all that's on offer is beyond me
While I was happy with a lot of my photographs, I found myself using the lens wide open a little too much. The depth of field is so shallow at f1.4, it made for a lot of out of focus shots. Only towards the end of the day did I close the iris down a little to avoid those focus errors.

Taking only one prime lens along with me presented many challenges and rewards. I had to think a lot more about the shots I took and had to physically move further away or closer to my subject depending on the look I wanted. Zooming in or out was not an option with this fixed lens.

By contrast, the order of this scene attracted me 
In one of the many Chinese-owned gift stores at Pike Place. You've gotta love this stuff, tacky as it is
The variety of fresh fruit and vegetables is a feast for the eyes and mouth. I loved the waterdrops on this corn
One of the musicians from a skiffle band outside Starbucks. It was mesmerizing watching her get lost in the music
This guy is one of the reasons I love this place. He and his grey parrot put on a great show for kids and adults alike

What worked: Detail shots and capturing some colorful characters.

What didn't work: Keeping the lens open for too many shots and not getting enough wide shots.

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Jane Ford said...

Thank you for capturing my sister! I love Pike's Place but cannot get out there anytime soon.