To market, to market / by Mario Mirabile

The Queen Victoria Market has been operating on the same site on the northern fringe of the Melbourne CBD since 1878. It's the largest open air market in the southern hemisphere, and a popular shopping destination. It offers fruit and veg, meat, fish, deli, shoes, clothing, jewelry and variety items. You could once buy a live chicken if you wanted one, but they no longer seem to be available Lots of locals shop here, but it's also a huge tourist destination, drawn no doubt by the vast quantities of trashy Australiana on sale.

I used to live nearby in the 1980s and shopped here regularly, but these days a visit to the Vic Market is an occasional treat. It's much less shabby than it used to be, but even though it's lost some of its old world character, it's still full of interesting characters. Worth a visit if you're in town.

Tech Talk
Not the easiest place to shoot. Inside the enclosed meat/fish/deli area, the light is a mish-mash of artificial sources of variable intensity. Outside in the sheds, it's deep shadow against often bright backgrounds. I was using my Olympus E-5 and Zuiko 35-100mm f2. The 35-100mm is  beautiful lens, but large and heavy, so It can be difficult to hold steady without support. But it's an f2 lens, and even wide open a beautifully sharp and contrasty optic, so perfect for these lighting conditions. Even so, I was at ISO 800 most of the time, but the E-5 handles it well as long as the shadows aren't too deep.