BEITOU DISTRICT — Taiwan's traditional markets are always fun to visit for the rawness and character of the people that occupy them. Today I was impressed by the toughness of the workers here out in record breaking heat. I can't imagine what they go through considering how tired and hot I was just after 40 minutes of walking and shooting.
Zi Qiang Traditional market is right next to Shi Pai MRT Station. It's really easy to access and seems to be located right where all the old people of northern Taipei have settled. Younger people usually just go to the grocery store, but there's still lots of value to be had from these markets in Taiwan. Sometimes the prices for vegetables in season are significantly cheaper — not to mention fresher.
But as usual I came here simply for scenery and characters.
I just bought an new 50mm lens that can auto-focus. So I've been trying to take advantage of that. My old lens was a 28mm manual focus. As you can imagine it's kind of hard to get street photos using a DSLR with manual focus. So having this 50mm has been quite a luxury. However, it's not perfect and today I missed a couple of really good shots because the focus was off.
So I imagine I'll still be switching back and forth between the 28mm and 50mm going forward. I especially like the 28mm shooting at night with the flash. I can just set the aperture really high and approximate the focus. But the 50mm is really great for daytime shots like these when it does focus correctly.
It was kind of hard to capture stuff today because the market wasn't that crowded and people were being really shy in front of the camera, but I did get some funny pets and a happy looking bald dude below.
I'm not sure what it is about the bald dude above, but I really like this shot. It just has a wholesome vibe I suppose. This guy just looks genuinely nice and kind-hearted. Plus he's selling vegetables. I wouldn't imagine there's too many jerks who sell vegetables for a living, but I could be wrong.
This market isn't that huge, but it's packed tightly with people and items during its peak hours. I visited towards the end as many people were packing up. If you're looking to shoot here during peak hours I'd recommend coming early in the morning. The lighting will probably be much better too.
So that was my visit to Zi Qiang Traditional Market. I honestly don't know if a single soul reads this blog, but if anyone is out there reading I hope you enjoyed meeting some of the characters I captured there.
I am going to be updating this thing more regularly. My plan is to use the blog to compile places to make into essays. Then I will compile essays that I can make into books. I'm really trying to buckle down and be more productive with this photography stuff. So look forward to more places and characters to come!
📍 Find this place on Google Maps.