Gerry Ellis - September 11, 2006 – Markets of Tana

Before leaving Antananarivo this morning for the northeast coast we all decided to check out the local craft market. It did give me a chance to grab a couple shots of vendors selling wildlife. While this kind of this is rare in Madagascar Nile crocodiles and sea shells seem to be the exception.

Note of Caution:
Not everyone selling wildlife products like their picture taken. I have found this especially true in Asian markets. Most people hocking animals and animal products tend to know what they are doing and know it is illegal or at least shady at best. As a consequence if you are planning of photographing situations like this travel in with another person. Look around a bit first, don’t just bee-line it for the stuffed animal or product. Have the other person notice the animal product first, so it seems more natural they would want their picture taken next to it as a curio.

I prefer using wide angle lenses for three reasons:

1) wide angles are smaller lenses, they look less alarming and professional,
2) they render a wide sweep which allows me to look as though I’m not solely focusing on the animal subject, and
3) they allow shooting at a lower hand-held speed, which is often necessary in dimly lit market stalls.