Buskers at Granville Island

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary...

busker noun  busk·er  \ˈbəs-kər\

chiefly British

  1. :  a person who entertains in a public place for donations

When I first heard the word "busker", I had no idea that it encompassed more than just musicians.  And I came to find out that most public markets and farmer's markets have organized groups of buskers.

Granville Island is actually considered a small peninsula which sits under the south anchorage of the Granville Street Bridge.  It used to be an industrial area, but is now home to the Public Market and other businesses.

And there's food galore there!  Not just sweets, but different ethnic foods, plus lots of produce and fresh meat to buy.  Naturally the sweets are always the big draw, and why wouldn't they be!  Of course, it's a tourist area, so for the food you might pay a wee bit more, but really, could anyone really say "no" to this type of dessert?

As I was enjoying a little lunch indoors with family, I noticed a gentleman off to my left.  He set down a bag, took off his hat, and started to talk out loud that he was going to perform a dangerous mind reading trick.  It wasn't long before he drew a small group around him.  Meet Dave Moses!

Here he is, performing a mind-reading trick on the young girl in red.  She choose a card, then the card was shuffled into the rest of the deck, and then the deck of cards would be placed in the tiny "bear trap-like" contraption on the floor.

Dave would daringly whip the cards out, cards flying everywhere, and magically pull out the card she chose!  There were smiles all around!

Here's a shot of Dave after his magic trick.

Dave moved on and I was full from my lunch so I wandered outdoors to explore some more -- I've been to Granville Island too many times to count, but never with my trusty camera -- and I heard some singing and was delighted to run across Ralph Shaw, the King of Ukulele!

Ralph is originally from England, and now entertains audiences and teaches ukulele in Vancouver, B.C.  A very talented musician, he had quite a few of us stomping our feet as he sang different songs, including some from his home country.

Here he is going all-out in a song's finale, which was followed by a thunderous applause from the crowd.  There was a lot of energy in his music and it made for a nice combination with the nice, sunny weather, and the swirling smells of deep fried seafood at the public market.

There's something about buskers that I like photographing.  Unlike musicians or performers you might see on stage, who are higher up than you so you can see them, buskers are down at your level, so to speak.  They're just like you and me.  You can see them eye to eye.  And because you can get close to them and they can get close to you, it's more of a personal experience when you see them perform a magic trick or listen to them sing.

The next time you see a busker, stop for a minute or two and have a listen.  Then make sure to leave them a tip!

All images shot with the Fuji X-T1 and 16-55mm f/2.8 lens.  No ND filter.  For the shots of Dave Moses, I cranked the ISO way up because I was indoors and didn't have my flash with me.  I needed my shutter speed to be high enough to freeze the action, which necessitated the need for the high ISO.