OK, a quick primer; Ramadhan is the fasting month for Muslims. During this month, Muslims must refrain from eating, drinking and other ill-natured indulgences from dawn until dusk.
Ramadhan is also an excellent month to make extra money, especially if you know how to cook good food. Throughout Malaysia during Ramadhan, there will be thousands of Ramadhan Markets (better known locally as Pasar Ramadhan) where sellers of all kinds of food peddle their wares.
The hustle and bustle of Pasar Ramadhan makes it an excellent location for street photography. I’d like to share with you some candid shots I’ve captured during the first two days of Ramadhan at one of the most famous Pasar Ramadhan in Johor Bahru… the Bandar Baru Uda Pasar Ramadhan.
This picture is taken on the first day of Ramadhan. As you can see, the crowds are already excited to explore the market. Of course, the sellers are happier to see the throngs of crowds flocking to buy their goods.
Katira is a popular drink that’s sold during Ramadhan. Basically it’s a colourful blend of milk, ice-cream soda, rose syrup, jellies and some fruits and nuts. The actual recipe differs from one seller to another… however I always find that they taste essentially the same regardless from who you buy it from.
Kepak Ayam Madu is Malay for honey chicken wings. This particular stall had sold out on on their chicken wings when I took this picture. Chicken based food are abundant at any Pasar Ramadhan and prove to be popular among Malaysians.
Ayam Percik is another popular delicacy during Ramadhan. It’s essentially barbecued chicken dipped in sweet and spicy sauce. The aroma of barbecued chicken is very tantalizing indeed.
Most of the pictures captured above are shot stealthily. Basically, I just set my Sony A200 DSLR in aperture priority mode and shoot from the waist. Malaysians tend to be camera shy in public places and I’ve already gotten some glances just by carrying a “big camera” at the Ramadhan market.
I’ve also specifically gone for black and white post-processing to remove the distractions of colour and obvious lack of focusing in the photos. Shooting from the waist also gives a sense of a child’s perspective to most of the pictures.
You can view the entire collection of pictures taken at Pasar Ramadhan Bandar Baru Uda in this Flickr set.