Graham Street Market, Hong Kong

One of my favorite things to do with my camera is just to go wandering. On my January trip to Hong Kong, I stumbled across the Graham Street Market, which is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) in Hong Kong. Out of everything I saw, there were two scenes that particularly struck me.

The first was at a seafood shop. As typical for the Guangdong region, much of what’s on sale is alive and kept in polystyrene water containers. If you look closely at the photo below, you can see the aeration tubes. What really struck me about the photo, though, is the smile on the face of the woman helping a customer.

Seafood store, Graham Street Market, Hong Kong

(As an aside, one of the reasons why I was shooting in black and white is because it doesn’t require me to color balance. Street market vendors use all kinds of lights, each of which has a slightly different color cast. Tungsten lamps are orange, fluorescent lamps have a sickly greenish cast, and the energy-efficient metal halide lamps that light streets the world over spread a yellowish light. Provided there is enough contrast, switching to black-and-white means that I don’t need to deal with the horrid color clash from all the lighting.)

The second scene, which I didn’t capture as well as I would have liked, illustrates the captivity of traffic to pedestrians. Only a small fraction of Hong Kong residents own cars because the government taxes automobiles very heavily and the transit system is possibly the best in the world. The street market is actually a street. As I wandered around, I noticed that trucks were making deliveries, but they sometimes had to move very slowly through single-lane streets that were choked with pedestrian traffic. At one point, I noticed a car moving slowly through the pedestrian crowd. It wasn’t just any car, either. I love the contrast of the immaculately polished white Bentley moving through a crowd of pedestrians.

Bentley at the Graham Street Market, Hong Kong

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