Monday, 26 April 2010

Photography Test Run at the Broadway Market

This is the first day of the new and improved London Zest. Saturday was the day of my photography workshop at Studio Time at London Fields. I could not vouch for this place enough. If you're a photo-blogger, this is a great place to start. A full day's learnings and practice gave me the small bit of confidence I would never have obtained had I just stuck to reading my camera manual. 

Photography is a tougher hobby than I anticipated though. So many variables to factor in: lights, focus, angles, shadows and depth of field are some of the things you constantly have to think about as you're handling your camera. It's a constant strive to improve and enhance the quality of your photographs. It's a challenge to ensure that each shot is more precise, more "on purpose" than the previous one; richer, and with more texture. Because at the end of the day, that's the hard bit: getting exactly what you want. It hardly ever happens.

The morning at the studio felt long and tedious, going over the innumerable techniques of photography, understanding the various settings of the SLR, finding my way around the menu page. It also felt strange to be in class again. Soaking it all in, I was desperately trying to remember all of the details the teacher had just mentioned. I struggled to understand the theory without the practice. You see, I've usually been more of a "trial and error" kind of learner.

London Fields is a mad and crazy place on a sunny Spring Saturday. But it's an even crazier and exciting place to go for your first test drive. That was when the fun began. People wearing strange outfits, walking about, playing around and dancing to drums and guitar. Plenty of great material.

A short while after that the teacher took us to Broadway Market, instructing us to capture a variety of depths of field and focus angles as possible. The exercise was simple enough: the market has a great many colourful bits about it; take it all in. It's gonna be hard to screw it up. Here was my first attempt at capturing the wonderfully exciting Broadway Market.

The Everything Stall

The Junk & Jewelry Stall

The Cheese & Sausage Man

The Hamburger Man

The Cupcake Stall

The Cake Stall

The Carrot & Banana Cake stall

The Panty & Bra stall

That was a restrospective of my day of fun in photography land. I would love to hear your feedback on these shots. Please indulge me a little. This was a practice run. And it's just a start! If you're also into photography, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the hobby and how difficult you found it. Is it always this hard or does it become second nature?


  1. The cake stall is the standout shot for me - I can't say what it is exactly that makes it good but I can definitely see it on a book cover or in a magazine article. I also really like the composition of the yellow-dress lady in the park and the couple on the bench.

    I think photography is really really tough! It's not just trying to apply the technical knowledge you have, but also having the confidence to take the shots you want. I don't have much technical knowledge (would love to learn more, so interested to follow your progress with this!) but find that confidence aspect really hard. Just being able to squat down or stop in the street to get a good angle, or ask someone if they're okay with you snapping them, or taking the time to get a good shot. That's what I really struggle with.

    Good luck with it and look forward to seeing more of your shots!

  2. Good luck with your photography. Very nice pics here of the stalls set up. They are interesting and show different levels and views. Go girl !

  3. really great pictures! I particularly like the carrot and banana cake stall, couple shot, and bras and panties stall. cant wait to see more!

  4. Thanks ladies! Really appreciate the feedback! It's all positive, I like:) also welcome negative/constructive feedback so don't be scared!

    I will keep posting more as I progress. It's good practice.

  5. I think the pictures are fantastic! I love the underwear and hamburger man!

  6. hey emily i think these are really terrific shots :-) the SLR definitely becomes second nature - very quickly!! let me know if i can help you out at all. i'm definitely in love with photography.

    if you can afford it, i highly recommend adobe's Lightroom 2.0 software. when you start taking so many photos, it is hard to keep them organized. plus it works wonders for fixing up little errors and dust spots.

    also this book is fantastic:

    what camera do you have?

  7. Dear Emily, the pictures are lovely. My favourites are the lady in the yellow dress walking across London Fields, the cakes and the underwear stall. I often get an organic burger from that stall on a Saturday. Good luck with your photography. I live right near London Fields so did a post about it on Friday, I have a good camera but I'm afraid my photography is of the point and shoot variety xx

  8. how fun! i wish i were taking a photo class! I loved the pic with the lady in the yellow dress. one suggestion (that I recently read and am excited to try) is to shoot from new angles - like "eye-level" with the cakes or more from your hip type shots. does that make sense? i'm excited to see more pics!

  9. I love the shot of the couple on the bench. It's so sweet! You've captured a very intimate moment between those two. I also love the shots at the street market. The hamburger man is great - his red and white apron really pops! And, I've never seen an underwear vendor sell their wares quite that way - that's quite an image and story unto itself, isn't it? :)

  10. Great to read, I booked a place for May a while back. Looking forward to it even more now! And Broadway Market is the best, such a nice vibe.

    Love the lady in yellow and the bra stall pic.

  11. I too am loving the lady in the yellow dress, it looks so serene despite the crowds of people in the background! Still haven't spent my birthday money, but am more and more falling towards the camera!

  12. these are great pictures! I like the couple on the bench best. It's always more fun when you have interesting tings to shoot. I use a cannon G11--not an SLR, but I'd like to get more into photography as a hobby. One tip is I usually find most pictures look much better with a touch of Photoshop :)

    Here are some pics I took recently on a tip to the beach

    Carry on!

  13. great pics! I love love love Broadway market!

  14. yummy!!!
    great blog


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  15. this market looks amazing!!! I would love to go...thanks for giving us a virtual tour! just found your blog and love i am off to explore some more :-D

    xoxo Bardot in Blue aka your new fan in Paris

  16. Wow, you can definitely see a difference between those and and the average iPhone pics. Not that the latter ever had been bad, these here are just better :)

  17. They're lovely pics... it's so hard to take good ones!

  18. nice photos. all of that food looks so yummy, i want some.