A quick afternoon stroll to downtown Sofia would undoubtedly introduce you to the statue of Saint Sofia, Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Russian Church and maybe provide a tasty little lunch at Happy. One little gem that can be easily overlooked is the Women's Market just Northwest of the city center. Although it has had a reputation of being a location for unscrupulous vendors, this location is a photographers smorgasbourg of faces, sights and sounds.
After walking downtown to pick up some crushed chickpeas to make humus for our Christmas poker party, I took a moment to sit back and take in the exceptionally warm weather in which Eastern Europe currently basks. As the glow of the setting sun bronzed the faces of the Bulgarian shoppers, I took a moment to ponder the meaning and traditions of Christmas of the countries in which I have lived. A beautiful way to spend a winter shortened Saturday afternoon.
My recent portrait experience has caused me to focus on DOF. After a recent photo-shoot with a friend, I have realized that the sharpness of my images can be greatly improved. Reading extensively about the subject, I realized my mistake. I have been shooting wide open (f4.0) with a 200mm lens and missing the focus on many of my subjects. Today, I boosted the ISO and increased the aperture to shoot at between 7.1 and 11 to help solve the problem. I also shot mostly at 70mm to help increase the DOF. The first photo seemed to have worked out well. The others are not fantastic but I thought I would post them just for people to get a sense of the people who attend the market. In any case, I think I'm more prepared for portrait work these days.