Magic at the Makers Market

Updated: Jun 1, 2020


Taking a break between hot chocolates and festive treats to snap some tasty shots at the local artisanal "Makers Market".

Where I was

Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AH.

The gear


Canon 5D Mark III


Canon EF 50mm f/1.8


SanDisk Extreme PRO 128 GB SDXC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 64 GB 160 MB/s CompactFlash Memory Card


Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap

Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3

What I did

Technically - I was at the makers market on strict relaxation duty. Winters in the UK can be long, dull and grey (especially in the North), so spending the day browsing a local market and slowing the pace down a little was a much needed break. A few friends and I spent our time as best we could - eating, drinking and being merry. From the Four Sisters gin tasting stand, to great music and local artwork, there was plenty to occupy oneself with.

To me, the most appealing stall in the whole market was the WoodFireSmoke tent. Wafting heady notes of fresh basil, rich truffle and luscious parmesan across the plaza, these masters of pizza had an easy time drawing me in. I was delighted to find an authentic, rustic-style stall presenting organic ingredients and demonstrating real craft in their work.

Food? Delicious. A few shots to back it up? Irresistible.

To make the most of the little light available on that grey, overcast day, I used the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 at around f/ 2. I also wanted to draw attention to very specific elements of my composition, so the shallow depth of field was perfect. I also wanted to freeze the subject and remove any blurriness from the shot so went for a fast shutter speed to boot.

As I was cautious about getting in the way of other customers, I only took photos when my order was being created. To make to most of my time I took plenty of shots in both landscape and portrait, varying my focus from near (ingredients) to far (chef) so I could review and choose during post-processing.

Through the editing process, I wanted to really emphasise the moody, rustic feel of the stand, and really leaned into the darker / browner tones. A slight boost to contrast also brought out the detail in the ingredients and tools.

What I will do differently next time

I tended towards a comfortable, familiar type of photography, composition and framing here. Whilst it's always good to practise and develop, in hindsight I feel I missed an opportunity to mix up my style a little.

The goods

Points of interest

For great gin, Four Sisters know their stuff. Likewise - for some of the best pizza this side of Naples, WoodFireSmoke are the team for you.

If you have a penchant for modern architecture fused with industrial heritage, the surrounding Salford Quays area is a brilliant place to be and well worth a visit.

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