Taking photographs in Hungarian public places is becoming increasingly difficult. If you just go and shoot and get it in before the security gets you (security is a tremendous industry there - they are everywhere!) you're alright. But try to ask if it's o.k., and be assured that you'll be told no, mostly because everyone's scared to take responsibility to allow you to it.
There's tons of illegal selling going on in a large number of places, and so people are nervous to have their photo taken, not knowing what the purpose may be. I usually give them a way out of the image, but they like to think they own the public ground. Others will just tell you not to do in the lack of anything better to do.
I actually requested permission to photograph three market halls, and although ran into some resistence by the vendors, my shoot was relatively peaceful. Some may argue too
peaceful, as I had only a single day in Budapest during the alotted timeframe, and it was not a busy market day at that. However, I shot quite a few additional panoramas that day within a few hours total, so for a 'day in the life of', check out my panoramic blog entry for March 17, 2005
I also photographed a yardsale in Baltimore, MD, shortly after landing in the U.S., and so the vote is still out whether I should have submitted that one
, a candid shot of a local bunch hanging out with their kids, dogs, beer and pizza while awaiting passers by to purchase their unwanted household items.
As for the Budapest market halls, I liked this one the best. It's called Rakoczi Market, and is on a square similarly named, once the home of (and the number one destination to those searching for) hookers. As the city slowly renovates all its markets, while gaining respectability, they tend to loose their old world gridiness. This one, I thought was architectually marvelous, yet the uneven spots of the yellow cobble stones prolonged the patina of days gone by. One of the other markets has been photographed for this event by two others, so be sure to check out the other entries from Hungary. (As for security, the guys here at the Rakoczi Market even offered assitance should I run into trouble, to let the good side of the story be told as well.)
Some already argued that it may have been to the image's detriment, but I went into a distance to be able to leave the yawning man in. I also waited out the moment to catch the ingenious hand-cranked wheel chair and hope not to have offended anyone. If you wonder about the prices, the Hungarian currency is forint
still and - as I write - you need a 185 of it to buy a dollar.
Weeks before this WWP event I also photographed Baltimore's Cross Street Market, so if you can possibly digest more market images, go check it out here