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(March 17–20, 2005)

Andrew Nemeth

Sydney's Paddy's Markets Grocery Shoppers

Ben Nelson

The Calm Before

Adelaide Central Markets, South Australia, Australia

March 17 2005, 7:14 AM (local time)

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© 2005 Ben Nelson, All Rights Reserved.

The Adelaide Central Markets officially opened in January 1870, and it is still an excellent reflection of the variety of fresh produce we are lucky to have in South Australia.

My biggest concern with shooting this pano was the potentially large number of people involved, and stitching out the 'ghosts' of them between shots. I talked to a friend of mine who is a security guard at the markets and he suggested arriving very early for when the stall owners were setting up. Another friend (a Photographer -- I'm just a Designer with a camera) helped me to brainstorm the possibility of longer exposure times to just let the people motion blur themselves out, leaving the stalls. I decided on a combination of both.

I am not a morning person, so it was somewhat surreal to be standing in the middle of the marketplace at 4:20 AM. From about 4:30 AM the place is an industrial ballet with forklifts zipping around with great speed and even greater accuracy (hell, I couldn't even walk straight that early in the morning). Everybody is trying to get their stalls stocked up and their displays stacked up before the punters arrive by 9 AM (officially, anyway). As an aside, I learned that there is a real art to arranging zucchini.

After a quick walk around to choose a good vantage point I decided to hide behind the bollards at the bottom of the escalators that lead to the upstairs car parks. It dawns on me that I should have brought something to eat, because, despite all of the wonderful smells of fresh fruit, hot bread and coffee, nobody is selling anything, yet. One by one the stalls around me open up and turn on their lights. Unfortunately the florist and the lolly shop weren't due to open until an hour after I had to leave. Oh, well... next time I guess.

The chaos continues for another two and a half hours at which point it suddenly stops, and there is a calm before the storm of the public arriving. Hmmm... I guess I should take some photos...
Nikon 5000, Wide angle adaptor, Kaidan QuickPan III CS, PTMac 3.0, Photoshop. Audio recorded with a Sharp MiniDisc.

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