Experiencing night street at “Filipino” market

Located at the heart of the city, “Filipino” Market is one of the must visit place when you reached the city of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Filipino Market is just like any local night market with array of stalls that sell barbecue seafood, noodles, chicken wings, fruits, drinks and local desert. The stalls are mostly run by Filipino immigrants, thus the name.

The market opened at around 6.00 p.m. and only closed at midnight. Recently, I have the chance to visit this market during my work assignment at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Actually I’m not very interested with the foods offered at this market due to hygienic factor (don’t want to comment much on this), however, I’m delighted with the people and moment seen surrounding the market area. Hence, with my O-MD and an all round M.ZD17mm f/2.8 in hand, I blended myself into the crowd with the  intention to capture as much photos and moments.

Some might say, in photography you have to plan your shot in order to get the best picture but for me, street photography is something unique. You wouldn’t know what would happen next and sometimes the moment just passed by without you noticing it. Unlike landscape, macro, portrait, studio and other photography genres whereby planning is important. So my philosophy in street photography is simple ” watch, observe and shoot”.

To begin, here are some photos taken before the traders started their business.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
Monotone | Green filter
f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/4000s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
Monotone | Green filter
f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/4000s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/4 | ISO 200 | 1/2500s | SuzailanJai

For street photography, I usually set my camera to “Aperture” mode, ISO auto (max 3200), WB auto and matrix metering. I let my camera to do the image processing task while my duty is to find subjects and moments. To add vignette/shadow effect in my photos, I often reduced the shadows/highlights of my O-MD E-M5 by -ve 2 and set the gradation to “low key”.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/50s | SuzailanJai

Some of the fresh fish and seafood sold at the market.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/100s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/100s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 800 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 1000 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 2500 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 2500 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 2500 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 1250 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 1250 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

 

Kids were seen playing around the market area. It seems that this place has become their playground.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/25s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/15s | SuzailanJai

A

Other section of the night market which sells varieties of foods such as fried banana (pisang goreng) barbecue seafood, noodles, chicken wings, fruits, drinks, local deserts and etc.

aO-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/40s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
Monotone | Green filter
f/2.8 | ISO 2500 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 640 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 1000 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 1250 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

aa

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 1250 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/40s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/50s | SuzailanJai

Apart from fish, foods & drinks other items such as dried fish, anchovy and women accessories were also sold at this night market.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
Monotone | Green filter
f/2.8 | ISO 2000 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
Monotone | Green filter
f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 640 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 640 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

 O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
Monotone | Green filter
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/60s | SuzailanJai

Another unique sighting can be seen at the “Filipino” market. There are not many places in the world where you can find street tailors. But here  you can find them just outside the popular “Filipino” Market plying their trade with the old sewing machine.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/40s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/40s | SuzailanJai

The night market is gradually closed at around 12 midnight. After a profitable night especially during weekend, the traders will pack their things and placed it at their dedicated compound.

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 2000 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 2500 | 1/80s | SuzailanJai

a

O-MD EM-5 + M.ZD17mm f/2.8
f/2.8 | ISO 3200 | 1/25s | SuzailanJai

So what are my opinion on Filipino Market? Interesting place or night market to visit if you have never been there. This place presents opportunities to escape the familiar and to blend into the local/Filipino culture. A recommended place for photographers but it’s not a great place to savor seafood.

And, once again I’m really impressed with the performance of O-MD E-M5 paired with M.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8. All the photos were taken using available light and my success rate for that night is around 90%. Really awesome combination I must say and I will never left home without them.

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