The small town of Guamote, near Riobamba, is taken over by a market every Thursday where the colorful indigenous costume includes these trilby hats. Other nearby communities favor straw boaters or straw bowlers, while broad-brimmed white hats are worn in the south.
Ecuador – Photo Tip

Change your altitude for a better photograph

Photo by Peter Adams

Ecuador – Photo Tip Change your altitude for a better photograph

One of my favourite things to photograph when traveling is a local market, especially somewhere like the Ecuadorian Andes, well known for their colorful, vibrant native culture.

Peter Adams
Peter Adams Travel Photographer

Here people all come to you - traveling in from surrounding villages and wearing their best colorful clothes with animals in tow. It is just such a great photographic opportunity. But how to pick out shots from all the crowds and general disorder? After all, everyone is here to do business and has no patience with photographers who are in their way.

But, as I am always telling amateur photographers, keep alert and be aware of different angles to shoot – and do not forever take pictures from eye level.

To obtain a different viewpoint (below), I asked a truck driver if I could climb aboard to look down on the cattle market below. To add movement and show how busy the market was I tried various slow shutter speeds (of around a quarter of a second) shooting several frames until I obtained a pleasing balance of blur.

The trilby being so ubiquitous to the Ecuador highlands, I also found myself drawn to these hat stalls (above). Positioning myself in a doorway, I again used a slow shutter speed, firing several frames as people passed by and enhanced the scene with added color and movement.

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The weekly market at Guamote is a sea of red, the traditional color of the ponchos worn by the indigenous people. The town was once an important stop on the railroad but now is better known for its animal market selling chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs... and guinea pigs.

The weekly market at Guamote is a sea of red, the traditional color of the ponchos worn by the indigenous people. The town was once an important stop on the railroad but now is better known for its animal market selling chickens, cattle, sheep, pigs... and guinea pigs.

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