Satok Market, Kuching, Sarawak
This is a series of photographs taken at the Sunday market at Satok Pasar Tamu on the outskirts of Kuching, during our Borneo photography workshop in April this year. Satok market is a weekly occurence where local and indigenous traders from around Kuching congregate to sell their produce of live animals, fish, fresh meats, vegetables, kitchen and household utensils, clothes, amongst other more obscure items, like iguanas and strange fruit.
It is also a photographer's haven for its myriad shapes, colours and facial expressions, juxtapositions of old and new, young and the elderly and this outing, being the first for the workshop participants, was certainly an eye opener.
Despite the colourful offerings before me, I opted to photograph in Black & White, omitting the usual distractions of an exotic Asian open market, by purely focusing of the local people going about their weekly shopping, under the heat of the tented market, which was close to 30C at 11am.
To get upfront and close to my subjects, I used a small compact camera, with a 28mm lens at chest height, manually set focus to 4 feet, -1.0 EV and Aperture priority, with flash ON. I wanted to convey a sense of proximity, closeness, but depict the bland and blank facial expressions of the people walking about, unnoticed of my camera. I use the technique of predicting the scene, observing the people that are inching their way towards me, and then raising the camera to above eye level in an instant to press the shutter release an then lowering it. More often than not, the subjects were not even aware of the flash going off within feet of them., Other times, I just smile and act like a tourist.
(Click on the photos to enlarge)