Friday, January 13, 2006

A chance photograph

click photograph to enlarge
Markets attract photographers like buddleia attracts butterflies, and it's easy to see why. If you like to photograph people there they are in tightly packed groups, intent on a bargain and oblivious of the lens. If you like colour it's everywhere - in the fruit, the vegetables, the pots and pans, at every turn, on every stall. If you like contrasts, the shade of the canopies and the shafts of sunlight provide it, peopled with the old and the young.

This photograph is one of a series that I took at the Saturday Market in Beverley, East Yorkshire. Most of the shots I made were at ground level. Serendipity brought about this bird's-eye view of the market, when I went into a store to look at some clothes and got a view over the square from an upstairs window. The first thing that struck me as I looked out was the curving lines of stalls. It was immediately obvious that I could use it compositionally. The view I selected has a focus of interest in the people at the bottom left, with the curve of the stalls taking the eye through the market, past the eighteenth century market cross (with the columns) to the tower of the medieval church of St Mary at the top right. I was pleased with the balanced asymmetry to the photograph.

Beverley has many brick and pantiled buildings of the eighteenth and nineteenth century and here their warm colours contrast with the strident stripes of the stalls. My other photographs capture the stalls, cross, and people. They are the images I expected to get. However, this photograph, that I got by chance, is the one I prefer.
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen