Ann Brooks Photography

Photojournalism, art photography, studio happenings & resources

Posts Tagged ‘market

Current Myanmar-Burma news inspires me to bring photos into the light.

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With the momentous election of Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi to the Myanmar  parliament this week, I have been inspired to finally share a group of photos I made there a few years ago.

In March of 2006 I spent a few weeks in Thailand. One day, from Chiang Rai, we dipped across the border into Burma for just two and a half hours in the market town of Tachileik. So visually rich in such a short time and space!

I was absolutely beguiled by the Burmese people! So open and friendly! As Robert H. Lieberman, director of the new documentary, They Call It Myanmar said in a recent radio interview, in a country in with so much poverty, one sees a lot of smiles. That was certainly my experience six years ago.

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A short walk from the entry was the beginning of the market area.


It seemed I saw Buddhist monks everywhere.

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Around the corner from the market, a game

Smiling children, looked after by by auntie, by grandpa and at play.

Wheels

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Just folks and some young monks at the public shower!

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Trishaw’s and their drivers — though mine thought I was a little strange when I just wanted to take a picture of his bicycle, he was most happy with the tip!

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Here’s a photo of a typical trishaw, then my trishaw driver’s bicycle – which I thought was worth being a photo on a notecard in my studio.

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With this last view out over the market street, as I was leaving I thought, “I just have to come back and see more of this compelling country” Sadly, it hasn’t happened and for me, it probably won’t, even though the country is opening up far move than it has been in decades!

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1950s North African market influenced my future travels, photography, jewelry

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The North African souq which was to influence my travels, my photography and my jewelry for years to come. Taken with a Kodak Baby Brownie.

I was a very impressionable teenager in the 1950s, when I first set eyes on a North African souq.

My grandmother and I had been traveling independently in Europe, from Ireland and Scotland, south through England, France and Spain. It was not all that long after World War II and Europe, itself seemed very “different” to this American teenager.

But I was in no way prepared for what I would see across the Straights of Gibraltar in Morocco, in Tangiers. The French were still present there and it was not unusual to see a European woman pushing a stroller on the same sidewalk with an Arab woman, covered from head to toe, with a toddler in hand. And Coca-Cola signs in both French and Arabic — on the same sign! The snake charmer! I found it all quite amazing.

But it was the sight of the the Arabs gathered in a souq, that North African market, that sunk deeply into my psyche. That view would influence where I chose to travel in future decades and even the jewelry I make today, a half century later!

It was my first view of how other people in the world lived that seemed in no way connected to the life I had known growing up in California. It stirred my my curiosity, my passion. I knew I wanted to see, learn more about other people, far away lands.

But then, time out to marry, raise a family and I was pretty tied down for two decades. I did manage to take my own children to Europe in 1973.

The yearning did not go away. Mexico was near and satisfied some of that need. Finally, in 1989 I saw India for the first time, but it was not till 2005 that I was able to return to India and made contacts with a Muslim family in Rajasthan that I would end up doing a photo documentary about their teenage daughter the following year.

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March 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Jodhpur photo honors and signs of rapid change in India.

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Over the Fourth of July weekend Marin County, California holds it’s annual County Fair, reputed to be one of the best in the country for it’s Fine Arts exhibitions. So, this year you can imagine how pleased I was when one of my images was chosen “Best in Class” for Monochromatic Photography.

Recently, over several years, I had spent about two weeks each in Jodhpur, in the state of Rajasthan in India. I was doing a still photography documentary about a Muslim girl who wanted to become a doctor and had great support from her family.

The other thing I always looked forward to in Jodhpur, was photographing in the vibrant streets, and markets in this small, ancient Indian city. I had found that about 5 p.m. each afternoon the light came streaming through the city’s major market street and was often magnificent.

It was in this street, at that hour that I took the three black and white photos in this post. The one to the right has been an award winner several times, including this year’s county fair.

Below are two others in that series. The year after I took the one with the man and the cows, I marveled that the same small street was a totally different scene – lots of motorcycles and motor scooters and no cows in site – signs of very recent prosperity!

On the right below, is a woman carrying her groceries in that 5-gallon can on her head, something else that was nowhere to be seen as prosperity took over in subsequent years.

Yes, prosperity is bringing large, rapid changes to many parts of India. It is growing harder to find “the old India”.

Technical notes: Photos were taken with my first digital SLR, a Canon Rebel XT, and the 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS lens that I still use on my Canon 40D today. The images were then converted from color to black & white in Photoshop.

[Addendum: The Indian photos were taken in October 2005]

Frogs or Fleas? Plazuela de los Sapos

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This February I timed my visit to Puebla, Mexico so that I would arrive in time for two days of sleuthing at an open air market. I was looking for unusual little goodies to add to yet to be designed jewelry for my collection.

Every weekend at Plazuela de los Sapos – little plaza of the toads (frogs) – vendors set up shop for a lively outdoor market. It’s often referred to as Mercado de Antigüedades or Antiques Market. To me it seemed more like a flea market, and I loved it!

Saturday I went looking for little charms and trinkets to hang on bracelets yet to be designed for my jewelry studio – both online and at Art Works Downtown. I did find some wonderful little charms and other goodies which, once affixed with a loop of one type or another, can be added to bracelets. I also found pieces that can be the center focus of necklaces.

Sunday I returned to the market, hoping for more jewelry goodies and found none. However, I did have my Canon 40D with me and came home with another type of gem — great photos for my notecard series, a selection of four follows at the bottom of this post.

One of the images for notecards is the one above, “San Miguel Arcangel”,  patron saint of Puebla. San Miguel and his niche is right in the middle of the little plaza where the weekend antiques market is held. The medium for the image is Talavera tile, for which Puebla is well known.

Here’s the plaza on the weekend …                               and then, during the week.


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March 11, 2010 at 2:18 am