Sundays are craft market days at the Rosebank shopping mall here in Johannesburg. A big chunk of the fourth floor parking area is corralled off for leatherwork, ceramics, beadwork, clothes old and new, jewellery, and of course coffee, food, drinks, African masks and carvings. Once a month, a car boot sale is bolted on somehow, and the market expands to take in old shoes, old tools, old knick-knacks, spilling out from boots and over car bonnets, onto trestle tables and floors. The vendors wait, bored or anxious, while people saunter by, or pick over their stuff, or cast a jaundiced eye on the whole proceeding.

We’ve been to the market, many times, but Rob was keen on the boot sale, so last Sunday we went. I took along the Nikon, with the idea that I would try shooting using the fold-out screen as a viewfinder, so I could look down discreetly, as they did with their Rolleiflexes in the old days, with the double benefit of being less obtrusive, and getting a waist-level view. I set the ISO to 3200, and shot with the wide, 10-24mm zoom – an experiment that worked, kinda, sorta. Not sure I’ll do it again – the pics were too grainy, the focus and framing a bit dodgy. I’ve tacked on a few images, so you be the judge.

The market was fun, though, and Rob came home of course with a couple of purchases – a tiny mug with the Pietermaritzburg town hall on it, which we use to hold the heads of our electric toothbrushes, and one of those trays you put over your knees when you’re in bed, to put your dinner or your breakfast or your coffee or laptop on – stuff, because we don’t have nearly enough stuff, I figure. The main thing though was we had a weekend. Unlike previous weekends, when I had been working, this was a weekend off. It seemed like Christmas.

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Posted by Glen Fisher

Writer, photographer. Education and skills consultant.

2 Comments

  1. Boots, bonnets, and trestles vs. the American trunk, hood, and folding table. My guess is that the British word choices followed from terms in common use during the industrial revolution in England. Clothing manufacture and rail delivery. However, the Americanisms fall outside my ability to speculate.

    As to the image quality, given screen resolutions, this is a non-issue. Besides the wonderful subject matter and composition far exceed any detectable shortcomings.

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    1. Interesting comments as always. And thanks for the kind observations on the images.

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