I was under the impression that the KR Market in Bangalore was mostly a fruit and vegetable market. Indeed, that’s what I saw as I first arrived. But, as I went inside the main building, food stands gave away to a factory of sorts with people making flower garlands. That’s where I left off with yesterday’s coverage. What I didn’t expect was the magnificent flower filled main floor of the market.
According to Wikipedia, the KR Market was established in 1928 and claims that it’s the first locality in Asia to get electricity. It’s also one of the biggest flower markets in Asia. I knew it was great for street photography, but I didn’t expect such a unique place. So, with the long lead up to my KR market coverage, I’m culminating with a Photo Essay of the flower market.
As I explained yesterday, I used three cameras to shoot the market. Each worked well and filled a specialized niche.
I really like these interior hallways with the tangle of wires and bare light bulbs. There are, what looks like, assigned stands but people seem to set up shop just about anywhere. I used my compact Canon G7X Mark II to get closeups at a 24mm equivalent focal length.
The hallways lead to a central courtyard with an atrium that reaches several stories. The most impressive flower garlands were on display here. My friend Pabish suggested that we shoot from the second floor.
You get a good perspective of the main atrium from the second floor. You can see the floor market below with the rolled up garlands. The second floor featured hardware and cooking utensils. I used the Canon G7X Mark II and created an extra wide-angle from the RAW.
Pabish made a good call. Shooting from this vantage point gave an interesting perspective. You get to see people interacting and transacting, surrounded by maximum color. The 50mm equivalent from my Olympus PEN-F gave me workable focal length and with a fast f1.4 lens, the benefit of a fast shutter speed with high quality.
To shoot closer, I used my Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the 14-150mm travel zoom. It has more reach but it’s a slower lens and I slowed down the shutter speed. You get some motion blur that can work well at times — conveying action.
Finally, I experimented with slow shutter speeds to purposely induce motion blur. I relied upon the Olympus’ in-body image stabilization and got 0.4 to 0.1 second shutter speeds, handheld. That was enough to get a decent blurring of the passing crowd.
I had such a fun time I wished I could stay longer. It’s the kind of place that I would’ve shot for hours, exploring and planning my photographs. Remarkably, the EXIF data indicates that I was only in the flower market for 20 minutes and at the entire KR Market for a total of 35 minutes. I suppose I did alright for shooting so quickly.
I wonder if more time and a slower pace would have produced better photographs? Or, does the quick decisions I made tap into a gut level instincts, which created authentic images? Hard to say. In retrospect, I wished I got to the market earlier. But the terrible traffic in Bangalore has a way of messing with plans.
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