Camel Market, Tel Aviv is a wonderfully raw, authentic experience. In a strange way it feels non-touristy in spite of the ubiquitous fake t-shirts, hats, watches etc, and of course tourists of which my family and I were very much part.
I’ve been photographing the people there over the last 20 odd years and the people haven’t physically changed but the atmosphere feels a little more synical and less welcoming. Angry stares and raised hands used to be the exception but very few seem to have little to hide in this darkened shelter from the harsh Israeli heat.
There are political reasons for this, and one lovely lady who has been photographing the market for 45 years told me that a certain amount of illegal immigration has led to this change of spirit… Watch you camera she said… and using my beloved Leica M240 with 35mm and 50mm lens certainly meant that I was a little more careful than I may have ordinarily been.
Here are some black and white conversions from the Leica M240 which I felt inspired to take, especially in light of the excitement surrounding the Leica Monochrome M246. I have to say the more I convert the Leica raw files to black and white using lightroom, the more I feel totally satisfied with the result, giving what feels like a very filmic response, with grain, wonderful dynamic range and flexible files. I asked permission 99% of the time before I took these shots and a lot of the time I had to conceed defeat and accept that no was definite. We walked just for about 25 minutes through the market but it’s enough to give me my market fix.