Ever since I have been writing this blog I have talked about my love for two key locations. Melbourne and Japan. Now as many of you will know I live in Melbourne and travel to Japan whenever I can. And one of the key things that I have written about my hometown of Melbourne, is my love of its markets. The Queen Victoria Market near the CBD, the South Melbourne Market and of course my local the Prahran Market. These are predominantly fresh produce markets and they are once of my favourite places to visit and photograph. In of my earliest blogs on this site I wrote about a trip to the Queen Victoria Summer Night Market. You can take a look at that one here. These markets traditionally never opened at nights. But in recent years the Queen Victoria Market has been hosting Summer, Winter and now Hawker night markets on a Wednesday evening.
The Hawker 88 Night Market is the one I visited last night and it was such an amazing experience. They allocate about two of the large covered sheds of the market with vendors selling food on the out edges and then masses of tables and chairs in rows throughout the middle. Now I say sheds but these are massive indoor spaces. Being a Hawker market, the theme was all about Asian street style food and dishes. Lots and lots of curries and skewered meats and steamed dumplings and mouth watering Pad Thai. The smells were enough to make you drool and the atmosphere was great with lots of steam and smoke rising into the rafters of the sheds.
As I mentioned, I arrived just as the market opened. This gave me a chance to grab some shots of deserted sheds. It also allowed me to get in close with some of the food stalls and those preparing food amongst the smoke and steam of their grills and barbecues. It also allowed me to grab an amazing dish of Thai chicken curry and Roti. They also had several bars set up selling a select range of drinks. One was the Brick Lane Hawker 88 Larger. A specialist brew for the market. Very tasty with a curry. Or without a curry as I also experienced. The food was amazing and really reasonably priced. Satisfied with my meal I then spent the next two hours capturing images as the cooking grew more intense and the crowd grew bigger.
By the time it was dark – around 7pm – it was almost impossible to move comfortably through the market. The lines for the food were very long and as a result there was little to none walking room. I decided that I had captured what I had intended to and it was time to make my way home. The market itself goes on until 10pm. And whilst I had a child free night to myself, I had no need to stay any longer. So I made my way home via tram – stops right out the front of the market – and then a train from Flinders Street Station. Couldn’t be easier.
All of the images in the blog were actually captured on the new Fujifilm X-T3. I have sold my X-T2 and some other gear to fund this new camera body. The new X-T3 has a brand new sensor and processor for the Fujifilm line. It’s Auto Focus is far quicker and its low light performance is far improved. I carried this with me into town with the XF23mmF2 lens on it and nothing else except a spare battery in my pocket. No bag this time. I had no issue as the camera and lens combo is very light weight and is pretty much exactly the same as what I would carry during my night walks throughout Tokyo. Happy shooting.