What caught my eye … at the local open-market

Making a place visible

“What is the most difficult? Whatever seems to you the simplest: to see with your eyes what is there for them to see”

— W. Von Goethe


One long pitched roof canvas structure offering shelter for goods and people from rain and heat, this open-market has been there for many years, as long as I can remember, from April to November, alternating only with the holidays Christmas trees open market that takes its place.

What caught my eye as I walked by one of its openings was the contrast between the brightly sunlit fruit baskets and, visually above them, the neon lit signage support system and circulation alleyways.

A sort of “room-sized still life,” made up of three layers for me to compose in order to make it visible to the eye, in the words of Goethe.

Making a situation visible

street scene
street scene

As I turned the corner to the long side of the tent, there was this older lady concentrating on the selection of a cauliflower from a sidewalk display table near the entry protecting yellow-green umbrellas.

She was so quiet, standing by her shopping caddy, as to almost be a fixture of the setting. I felt too embarrassed to photograph her, until the young lady wearing the bright red coat appeared, briskly walking toward her, and me, and creating a social and spatial depth defining situation that would include me in the short term.

I zoomed in as she passed the cauliflower-lady then I tripped the shutter while looking down on my camera raised screen … trying to appear concentrated on another subject.

A matter of visual poetry

“In a way, an image is condemned to be “beautiful” in order for it to be effective.”

— Jean-Loup Sieff


In the course of framing the feature image, I sensed its “room-sized still life effect” potential as I experienced the visual poetry of the layered light intensities that expressed that effect.

In the course of framing the main image, I sensed its “social and spatial depth defining effect” potential as I felt drawn-in by the visual poetry of the ambulance yellow and red color scheme that, by bridging between the static and moving elements of the image, underscored the social and spatial layering that expressed that effect.


Credit all images to Maurice Amiel

What are you looking for?