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Myanmar

Yangon Chinatown

Like any respectable city, Yangon has its own Chinatown. Head here to get some atmospheric photographs of food and vendors and while you’re there, eat some delicious barbecue food at BBQ Alley.

The Nitty Gritty

Best time of dayObviously, dinner time! But even if you aren't eating, that's when the market will be cooking and lively.
Not to mention the golden or blue hour will add character to your shots.
Best gearIt's low light, so a faster (large aperture) walkaround might come in handy.
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm F/2.8

Chinatown Color

We headed out to Chinatown for dinner at around 5.30 in the evening. The streets are lined with vendors selling a variety of colorful food and vegetables.

img_1089

Exposure
1/50s ƒ/4.5 @ ISO 2000
Focal Length
24mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 6:56 pm

Below is a paan serving being made with betel leaves, arecca nut and tobacco.

I’m Indian so I’ve tried it before when I visit India. But I think my mom (who is my paan dealer) always gets the “sweet”, tobacco-less kind.

This stuff, on the other hand, felt like it was flavored with a splash of Drano – ugh.

img_1024

Exposure
1/400s ƒ/4.5 @ ISO 3200
Focal Length
35mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 5:30 pm

As it was late evening, I had to use a rather high ISO of 3200 to shoot. God, I remember the days when ISO 3200 would result in a pile of mud for a photo. Definitely helps to have a newer sensor!

If that comment made no sense – learn more about how high ISO affects your shot.

I thought this young women was beautiful among all her fish.

Beautiful Burmese Fisherwomen

Exposure
1/200s ƒ/4.5 @ ISO 3200
Focal Length
18mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 5:35 pm

Bright Yellow, Bright Purple

Watch out for colors and patterns that stand out among the busy stalls and vendors. These feet were striking against the pale skin of the chickens.

img_1031

Exposure
1/200s ƒ/4.5 @ ISO 3200
Focal Length
27mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 5:36 pm

It’s easy to get excited with the colors, but watch the composition as well. Think about the juxtaposition of circles, squares and the lines drawing your eye.

img_1037

Exposure
1/250s ƒ/6.3 @ ISO 3200
Focal Length
35mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 5:40 pm

img_1042

Exposure
1/60s ƒ/6.3 @ ISO 3200
Focal Length
18mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 5:41 pm

Lights Of Yangon

Yangon’s BBQ St is located at 19th and Maha Bandula road. As the evening darkens, the lights go on and the smoke from the BBQs adds to the atmosphere.

Try to find a view with some lit street signs to add interest to the lighting.

Read more on using light to capture mood here.

I know you want to use a tripod but it’s much too busy to bust out a three-legged tripping hazard – you’ll need a steady hand here.

Definitely take the shot before you down some beers. By the way, important tip – Myanmar beer. Not that you’ll miss it, it’s EVERYWHERE.

The shot below was at 1/100s which is fine to hand-hold but I was losing light quickly!

img_1060

Exposure
1/100s ƒ/6.3 @ ISO 3200
Focal Length
79mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 5:46 pm

Eat Up

To end the night, we grabbed some bbq food and of course, Myanmar beer, both of which were delicious.

I wish I’d taken more (and better) shots of the food. But consider that your mission, get some food shots to make me proud.

img_1084

Exposure
1/25s ƒ/4.5 @ ISO 2000
Focal Length
42mm
Camera
Canon EOS 70D
Date & Time
September 27, 2016, 6:15 pm

Do tell us in the comments if you’ve been to Yangon’s Chinatown and BBQ St and show us your photos!

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Shimona Carvalho
Photographer, Engineer, Traveler who wants to help you take incredible photographs on your next trip.
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