On the morning of Saturday, Aug. 13, I went on a self-assigned photo walk at the Big Fresno Flea Market and Swap Meet at the county fairground in southeast Fresno. My friend and former student, Joseph Edgecomb, came with. After my last photo walk on Fulton Mall, I wanted to go to a place this time where I would have to make photographs of people. The more journalists and artists I talk with, the more I realize that just about everybody has a hard time walking up to strangers in these contexts, so I’m working on getting better.
Joseph and I were challenged right away by the flea market’s assistant manager, who told us that photography was not allowed without the consent of each individual vendor first. After several exchanges with him, and after several vendors said no when I asked if I could make pictures of them and/or their stuff, I got discouraged. But Joseph gave me a little pep talk, and after a while it did get a little easier. About half of my photos from the full shoot had people in them, which I was quite happy with. Most of all, I got to meet a lot of interesting characters.
This was my third photo walk with my borrowed digital camera outfit of random parts. I shot the flea market on color digital with a Canon EOS Rebel XT and an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. Most of these photos were shot with auto settings, with the flash turned off. The photos appear here lightly edited with “color boost” in iPhoto, also with some modest crops and adjustments for shadows. You can check out Joseph’s excellent gallery to compare and contrast. Again, two people in the same place saw the scene a lot differently, which always surprises me.