Little India Tekka Wet Market

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Chillin’

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Little India Welcome

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Crab Man

Back in Singapore again. I’ve pretty much seen most of this tiny island by now, even if it keeps evolving each time I come back. The Chinese are pumping money into the economy and the current commercial construction here would make your head spin. One of my facebook friends said it best when viewing a photo of Marina Bay Center I posted: “What planet are you visiting?”

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Marina Bay Sands Resort

Since I’ve already done all the tourist locations, I wanted to make a short film about something really local this time. Something not so pretty, but that would still tell an interesting story from the perspective of my camera. So I took the advice of one of my friends from Singapore, Ana Luis. She said I should check out Tekka Wet Market in Little India where I would find a huge enclosed warehouse with row after row of stalls filled with local people, exotic fresh seafood, prime cuts of meat, fragrant Indian spices and fresh fruits and vegetables. The name “wet market” btw… comes from the constant wetting or spraying down the stalls and floors around the fish and poultry. It can get nasty in there!

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Tekka Wet Market from Above

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Tekka Wet Market Women

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Blue Crab

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Prawns

I met my friend and assistant for the shoot, Rosalita Selamat on location early in the morning and began shooting almost immediately. The smells of the Indian spices and the stink of some of the fish was enough to wake me out of whatever jet lag stupor I may have been experiencing as I entered the building! Rosa had a good chuckle when I kept leaning too far into the fish stalls and dragging my camera strap through the fish. Man, that strap was stinky after that! I’ll also mention it was very hot and humid in there!

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Rosa Selamat

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Fishy Tails

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Big Fish

For this DSLR film I used a Canon 60D utilizing a mix of handheld shots, some slides and static shots with a small tripod. The 60D flip LCD came in handy for the run and gun style of shooting I prefer on these types of shoots where there’s no time to set things up as the action is happening so fast. I had tweeted some friends before the shoot about proper shutter speeds to use when filming with indoor 50 kHz fluorescent lights in Asia. I wanted to avoid that nasty flicker you tend to get if you are not careful. I ended up varying those shutter speeds from 50 – 100 depending on where I was shooting in the building. It seemed to take care of the problem. I used an H4n for audio but the room was really loud and bustling for interviewing.

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Curry Powder

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Indian Worker

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Colorful Melons

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Fruit Peddler

After a long and sweaty shoot I was rewarded with a nice lunch at the Hawker Food Center (in the same building) consisting of fresh boneless fish masala, roti chapati and a nice hot cup of famous pulled Indian tea with my friend and assistant on this shoot, Rosalita Selamat. Rosa is a talented photographer who lives in Singapore. I want to thank her for her time and for keeping the shoot happy with her infectious laugh and smile.

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Hawker Center Lunch

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Fish Masala

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Rosa Shooting Singapore Skyline

So enjoy the short film from footage I shot there.

Soundtrack: “Hot Bollywood” by Downing and Mayer

buy it here: amazon.co.uk/Traditional-Indian-Music/dp/B007DM8EAG

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Fish Peddler

 

4 Comments

  1. Kevin F Cox says:

    Rick,
    I’m a food writer here in Singapore and have written extensively about Tekka Market, Little India and most of the heartland neighborhoods and hawkers across Singapore. I’m presently doing a new FoodWalker piece on Tekka for a local magazine and in the course of web-surfing came upon your site and you 2 videos of Tekka. I wanted to drop this note to say how fabulous they are. You have captured the very essence of Tekka and the earthy, authentic feeling of being there. As you depict, there is always something fascinating to see and taste and there is usually at least one little surprise in store. I go there weekly and have never once been unimpressed. I would love to add a link to your videos to my foodblog, Foodwalkers, so that my readers can see your and Rosa’s exceptional images to better understand what I believe is one of Singapore’s most exciting wet markets. Please let me know if this is okay with you.
    thanks and congrats on your exceptional work!
    Kevin F. Cox, Writer, Culinary Explorer and The Foodwalker

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