On permission III : My beautiful Vespa

I spotted this girl getting ready to hit the street with her Vespa and took a first shot unnoticed. Yet the only way to have a composition with depth (the street behind) was to position myself in front of her. I took the risk and unluckily got spotted before I could take that second shot. I therefore asked if she did not mind that I take her picture, to which she agreed. I could have asked her to act and look somewhere else, but by doing so, I would have created a fake street scene. I would not have felt confortable doing so, I always feel there is something unethical about it.

In the end, I like the aesthetics of the picture, yet to me it is a portrait more than a street photography shot.  (click on picture to enlarge)

Leica M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph at F1.4, 1/180, ISO800

12 Responses to “On permission III : My beautiful Vespa”

  1. Marcel dit :

    I love this blog, thank you very much. « On permission » I was wondering: Do you just ask them for permission to take a picture or also to put it on the internet? And do you get different responses for these two questions?

  2. Valery dit :

    That sweet girl was ready for the photo. Her smile is so real. I also like the background, that urban scenary gives a great environment.



    [Barcelona Daily Photo]

  3. Fotolebrocq dit :

    I know what you mean but maybe trying to analyze street photography too much leads nowhere. This charming girl notices you and that situation in itself creates a street scene. Who said the photographer should never be noticed? As usual – brilliant photography

  4. Daniel dit :

    I agree with Fotolebrocq. Street photography is also when it happens the photographer finds suddenly interacting with the subject/person. It is different from a fake scene.

    At times those situations end in a funny photo that can also be brilliant, or a serious and well composed one where the subject gives the power and stability necessary.

  5. Thomas dit :

    Maybe a nearby camera is the thing to get a Parisienne to offer a cute smile. But I would expect nothing but cuteness from a girl who rides a pink scooter.

  6. admin dit :

    @ Marcel, about the internet I hardly ever ask, but when I do some close portraits, then yes I sometimes do and usually get the email to.

    @ Fotolebrocq and Daniel. You are right, there is probably no rule about it. Yet, I just love it when I can take a picture without altering the scene myself. Not an obsession though, I’ll take a nice smile too ;)

  7. Dan dit :

    Lovely as usual. I wonder though, was it really shot at 1/180 and ISO200? seems to me that it was pretty dark for shooting 1/180 and ISO 200? also you shot it 1/180 manually?

    I’m just trying to learn a bit :)

  8. admin dit :

    Good catch Dan, it was indeed ISO800. Corrected, thanks!

    I only use manual 1/180 is the number you get on the M9 when the dial is set between 1/125 and 1/250 on manual. I guess it is rounded from 1/187.5 which would be better math.

  9. Ruben dit :

    Muito bem.
    Bonita foto

  10. ixbé dit :

    Charmante rencontre!

  11. Eric dit :

    She is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen…