Change your perspective

You've planned the perfect photography trip. And it all goes wrong. What do you do?
There's a famous market in Flemington, Sydney, that attracts tourists and restaurant owners from far and wide. It's a produce market that occupies an enormous area in the midst of warehouses and depots. For several weeks I planned to visit with my new Ricoh GRII. A small camera works best in a market, but I needed the right kind of lighting. One Saturday the weather was perfect.

Unfortunately, the local trains were plagued by delays. I arrived shortly after 2pm. That's fine, I thought, as the afternoon sun would help. I strolled across an overpass and walked happily through the entrance gate. Suddenly, a security guard stuck out his arm and pushed me back. Without saying a word he pointed to a sign:


I tried saying "just a few photos", but he shook his head and said "no, mate". I spent the next few minutes cursing myself for not checking the time, while wondering if I could sneak past him. A police officer stood nearby. I didn't want to cause a scene, so I sadly walked away.

Then I had a lightbulb moment. Instead of accepting defeat, I climbed up some stairs to a car park. Luckily the top floor was open. From here I could see over the gate and across the road. The debris from packaged goods, plus the long shadows and odd perspective, made it worth the effort. I tried some shots of pedestrians leaving the market.

Mother & son, Flemington market

This is my favourite from a dozen shots. The angle is intriguing, plus the red & white tape adds a unique edge. Next I turned my attention to the security guard. He couldn't see me and there was no sign saying 'no cameras'.

Flemington security gate

There's a kind of symmetry to this. I couldn't get the gate in a straight line, but diagonal is more interesting. I decided to wait a bit longer, just in case someone with unique clothing walked by. Sadly there was nothing, except a guy with a blue parasol.

Flemington parasol

This could've been better. He didn't turn left like I expected, and the other people moved randomly in the last few seconds. As a result, the scene looks congested. There's nothing you can do to prevent these tiny details.

Did I finish my day with photos of a busy market? No. But I didn't go home empty handed. Sometimes you need to change your perspective.