I love the photograph of Traditional Markets especially when the atmosphere is very thick like typical of the traditional men or women wear, the goods are sold in the market differ from other regions, how to display the goods etc. The process of hunting itself is very exciting, especially the level of difficulty of candid photos in a very chaotic situation. I myself have a collection of photos of Traditional Market from various regions in Indonesia. All of the traditional market have their own specific from one region to other. The more chaotic and increasingly diverse markets increasingly exciting atmosphere for the photos hunting. Ever on the way home from Jakarta to Semarang I got a lot of traditional markets along the way, after entering in central Java Province it was early morning 2 days before Idul Fitri the Moslem celebration after fasting during Ramadhan, I got a few shots of traditional market at Banjarnegara, Dieng, Wonosobo, and in Bandungan. A lot of them sell the ketupat (rise cake in the plaited coconut leaves), some seller are even being made ketupat. One day I had the opportunity went to Papua and stopped a few hours in Biak, on this occasion I went out the airport to go to the traditional market with “ojeg” (the motorcycle taxi) only to chase the mood of Traditional Market in Biak, of course, different from other regions. In Bali, I have had several hunting in the traditional market in Denpasar, Kapal (name of village near Denpasar), etc, which is typical Bali peddling wares. The seller offering flowers, as well as seller and visitors there were dressed in Balinese traditional I was ever hunting the Traditional Market in Bali when facing the Kuningan day one of the Bali Hinduism ceremony, well the colorful dresses and attribute very fascinating.
Bandungan flower market in Central Java is also very good for the photograph, there's flower market begins when the sun had not yet risen, they said flowers must be picked from the flower trees at dawn in order to remain fresh. The merchants in the market is their own flower farmer are selling to the wholesalers. Usually this flower market is up to 7 am or 8 am, and the flower was brought to the big city by wholesalers. Two of my photos in this flower market ever got 1st place of two different photo contests in the USA.
Cattle market is in Bawen - Central Java, this market only 1 day open in every 5 days or every Pon day. Pon is the name of Javanese day as it is 5 days a week and the market called “Pon Market". It is the largest Traditional Market in Indonesia selling cattle that I have ever seen. All cattle sold here is not just cow buffalo and goats, but chickens, ducks, birds and even crickets and ants. Which latter is certainly food for birds. The market located in the intersection Bawen way to Solo or Yogya from Semarang, and then close to the Center of Cattle town name Boyolali making it’s very crowded market every Pon day. If you don’t interest in taking photo of animals, there are usually other visitor and gamblers (usually dice gambling.) that can be took as the Human Interest of object image as well.
Ngasem bird markets (Yogyakarta) also has own specific market because there are many who sold the bird with cage diverse forms and styles.
In Lirik-Riau, in the 90's I had a Traditional Market atmosphere can be a very different, there's a market day once a week and in the Airmolek, (name of the city districts in Riau) market days which are called "circles" falls on Sunday. The typical layout of the Traditional Market on the edge of the river, because of many villagers that ride the canoe to town to sell or buy things, then the transaction is carried out when the boat began to land and unload merchandise. Traditional Markets riverside atmosphere is very fun, but with increasing number of roads and the shallowness of the river, now increasingly deserted replaced with a car or a motorcycle carrying merchandise.
From the many of Traditional Markets in Indonesia, unfortunately I have not gotten to the famous Traditional Market in South Kalimantan with its floating market on the big river name Barito. Hopefully next time I will get there.
Tips of photo hunting in Traditional Markets
First of all you have to adjust your style to the atmosphere in general apparel the Traditional Market visitors is to camouflage your arrival. The object of our photo should not aware of he or she or them are being target of the photos, be candid photo. Nonetheless, you've got a camera that still has the attention of people around of you, of course, then you have to be patient do not immediately snap here and there. Bring only equipment you need when entering Traditional Markets, apart vapid attention also to make it more secure.
Second, come and buy some merchandise that you look really go shopping, until you get the candidate object photo and also the aim that you get the appropriate angle. Third, interact when you buy things, try to interact with the market seller such as asking why the crowd atmosphere, prices etc, you must have the expertise how to interact so that they feel we are not strangers or suspicious
When you're buying merchandise, if they ask about the camera or photo tool just say for a hobby, or for fun only, do not once told that you are reporters. It seam sensitive in some region.
Fourth is patient, what I mean here is that you need to spend a lot of time in the Traditional Market if possible, find a corner where you can sit down over a cup of coffee or a snack, is to distract. In general, when we first came to the market with a different appearance, we would be a public concern, but the longer there, our presence is no longer become a concern, especially if we could interact with them. By the time they already feel familiar with your presence there and that's the time you can act.
The lens you need is not specific, most of standard lenses are suitable, but if you have lenses with aperture 1.2 to 2 is better to get low light at widely condition in Traditional Market in Indonesia. .