The Littoral Series II : On engagement – Pétanque at Beauduc

(reportage course feedback – continues from previous post)

On the first shoot, we were basically dropped on a remote beach occupied by campers and their caravans in a hippie type of  atmosphere. The first obvious difference between reportage and street photography came to my mind as in Paris, I usually spot a scene, smile, shoot, smile and go away unless the subject wants to interact with me (in a positive or negative manner). On a beach, this behaviour would be perceived as voyeurism, so one needed to engage with the  subjects and ask for permission. So this is what I did with the group of sympathetic petanque players that illustrates this post. After a quick introduction and few jokes, I was free to take all the pictures I wanted and even got to share their aperitives.  I took around 15 pictures of the scene over 45 minutes, trying mainly to catch movement and find ways to integrate various players in my frame. People tend forget about you after a while when they are busy, but one needs to engage first and be accepted.

Here are the shots that stood out (click on pictures to enlarge):

1) A man’s arm shadow can be seen in the sand as well as he just threw the ball. Graphically interesting yet the smile did not integrate in the final editing. Rejected.


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/4000, ISO200, ND filter

2) This girl gets ready to throw her ball. Her expression was puzzling and the composition creative. Tough call but rejected.


Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/4000, ISO200, ND filter 

3) The point of focus on the beers enjoyed by the players on this hot day. Because of its sense of movement in the background, the selective focus, strong colors and underlying message. This picture made the final cut.


Leica M9 with 60mm Hexanon at F1.4, 1/4000, ND filter

8 Responses to “The Littoral Series II : On engagement – Pétanque at Beauduc”

  1. Dan dit :

    I personally didn’t get the message of #3 until after I read your comments and I like best #2, intriguing composition and lovely girl doesn’t hurt also…

  2. Jerome dit :

    Je suis toujours impressionné par la faible pdc que t’arrives a obtenir en plein soleil

  3. admin dit :

    Dan, you raise a good point. One of the problem of reportage is the memory of the atmosphere and environment of the shot. I know what happened in #3 so it seems obvious to me. Nevertheless, the viewer did not live the situation so it is not as clear. Since you did not understand shot #3 just by the look of it, maybe #2 is a better choice.

    Jerome, avec un 60mm ouvert à F1.2 sur plein format et un filtre ND, la pdc est de quelques centimètres.

  4. Dan dit :

    Yanidel, which ND filter do you use?

  5. admin dit :

    It is a ND 0.6 58mm. It gives me two more stops wide open.

  6. Dan dit :

    which brand?

  7. admin dit :

    It is a B+W F Pro.
    I only use Heliopan and B+W on my lenses. Great quality.

  8. Noiret dit :

    I love #3, yet it could stand for a beer ad…