Scenes From A Public Market

Pike Place Market is one of the go-to destinations for visitors to Seattle, WA. Everything can be found within its stalls from fresh seafood, flowers of every variety, to hand-crafted jewelry and other art. It is one of the most popular spots in the city and on any given day about a quarter of the people there will be seen with a camera in hand. Because my sister made a short visit back home this weekend she was determined to pay the place a visit as she hadn’t been since she moved out of the state.

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The famous market sign
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There are many distractions to be found at the market
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The market is world-renowned for its seafood

I’ve photographed the market before, as I imagine many local photographers have. Still, it’s not difficult to find something new to catch the eye and inspire a photograph.

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Fresh produce is always available
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Flowers fill the market
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A pig. It’s a whole *thing*.

We did arrive later in the day (the market closes at 6 pm Monday – Saturday, and 5 pm on Sundays), and many of the stalls were in the process of shutting down. This actually worked for me. It’s often to see the market in full bustle, thronged with people purchasing fresh produce, heading to one of the cafes or restaurants on the several levels of the market, or buying records, or any number of other eclectic items.

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The market has multiple levels. There’s lots to explore.
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Lighting is dim outside of the storefronts. Kept my processing to reflect it realistically.
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Lots of interesting sights.
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A nice record and memorabilia store.

I brought along the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF 35mm F2 and XF 56mm f1.2. Normally, I’d have stuck with using the 35mm all day long, but I was intrigued by other images I had seen using the 56mm for street and candid photography. Mosty it worked, and I really do like many of the images from the 56mm. There were one or two caveats, however.

  • Compared to the 35mm f2 and 23mm f2, the 56mm is much slower to focus.
  • With an equivalent focal length of an 84mm lens, things are a bit closer than my usual street photography style. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just took an adjustment.

Otherwise, it was a fantastic lens to use. Sharper than nanowire and with great color rendition.

If you ever get a chance the Pike Place Market is worth checking out for photographers even with the crowds. I usually come away with a few worthwhile images every time I visit.