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One Of My All-Time Favorite Shots

 
 
 
 
 















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Monday, January 29, 2007

One Of My All-Time Favorite Shots


This is one of my all-time favorite shots simply because I almost didn't get it.

When I am walking on the street I am constantly,constantly, constantly adjusting and readjusting the setting on my camera so I don't have to be messing with them when I stop someone to take their photo. On this morning I knew I walking into the sun for a little while so I did a few adjustments to my setting.

It was pretty quiet that morning so I was a little relaxed and not expecting to see much then all of a sudden I see this young lady on her bike.
I had no time to do anything but raise the camera and shoot. Eight out of ten times I would miss this shot because the focus would be off, or the shot is too blurry or the exposure is overly bright or dark, or I just didn't see the outfit well enough before it was too late.

This time it all worked perfectly and I didn't even see the white leather boots she was wearing (to ride her bike!) until I looked at the shot in camera.

I love her posture, the bike itself, her hat pulled low, the studious glasses, she just seems so elegant and yet completely sporty. I hate over-preciousness and she seems like the kind of girl that would ride in a convertible with the top and not worry about her hair because she knows she has a great cut.

I know I am completely projecting here about what who she is or what she may be like but that is what inspiration is all about. I don't need to know the facts- this unknown woman will live forever in my memory just like this. Perfect

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Comments on "One Of My All-Time Favorite Shots"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:43 AM) : 

where was this?

 

Blogger eurobrat said ... (3:41 AM) : 

Thanks for the backstory :) Beautiful woman, beautiful shot.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:43 AM) : 

i know what u mean about nearly missing a gr8 shot(:
well done sartorialist, i'm happy that this makes u happy(:

 

Blogger andrés said ... (4:58 AM) : 

really nice shot and (or because) a really nice backstory

 

Blogger thwany said ... (5:13 AM) : 

beatiful

 

Blogger luxuryduck said ... (5:17 AM) : 

such a paris shot :-)

love from sydney,

luxuryduck

http://luxuryduck.blogspot.com/

 

Blogger jkh said ... (5:35 AM) : 

if you like this - come to berlin. would love to see what you find in the city.

 

Anonymous Christine said ... (5:38 AM) : 

The spirit of the New York I love... Good shot !

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:04 AM) : 

dear sart,
I have been meaning to write for such a long time and this morning, looking at the picture and reading your story, I just have to. I want to thank you for all your lovely shots and beautiful words, sometimes you just really make my day. I appreciate people who can recognize the beauty in everyday life, people with a great fantasy who always have a story to tell.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:07 AM) : 

That was a very Woody Allen-esque preamble. Thanks for showing us what it's like to be "Sart doing Sart."

It's interesting to hear what happens before a shot and how they impact you.

mltt

 

Anonymous rosbif said ... (7:54 AM) : 

Paris? Where Ave Montaigne meets the Champs-Elysées, I would guess.

There seem to be so many beautiful and stylish women on bikes in Paris - rue du jour, where Agnès B's shops are, is particularly blessed!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:33 AM) : 

Lovely backstory that reveals so much about how you're able to make the kismet muse work for you. The shot speaks for itself on every aesthetic level, like all your snaps, save it gave me an added bit of remedial therapy.... I've never been able to get it on for heels. Now I see that treatment and context are everything.

More presents. You're just the business~! Thanks.

 

Blogger Alice Olive said ... (8:52 AM) : 

That's a great shot! Her glasses look good too. Plus I have to respect a woman who wears heels when cycling!

 

Blogger atticus_finch said ... (9:09 AM) : 

Yes, you definitely captured a perfect moment. Beautiful attire on a beautiful woman...on a bike no less.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:18 AM) : 

It's the cover of a big sartorialist coffee-table book...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:22 AM) : 

just beautiful and the picture and the story, just perfect
Gracias!

 

Anonymous swampgrrl said ... (9:33 AM) : 

it's a great shot.
i liked hearing your inner workings about getting the shot, just as much as seeing her.

 

Anonymous Géraldine said ... (9:34 AM) : 

Great shot indeed. I was very happy to see you, hope to meet you in February at the women's shows.

 

Blogger Lit said ... (9:35 AM) : 

That is incredible! I don't mean to be hyperbolous, but that is one of the best photographic pictures I have ever seen! It just captures the spirit of this woman so well. It's almsot as if you know what kind of person she is, what she likes, what makes her laugh. It's wonderful Sart, thank you so much.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:45 AM) : 

great bike. love the chain guard and the splash guard on the rear tire. great color, great "woman's" shape to the frame.

nice photo. like the cars in the background pointing the other way.

your comment about not knowing the young woman surprises me, sart. do you not speak with everyone you shoot? i was under the impression that you did so. to get a waiver or something. i do not know the various laws about needing consent etc., especially internationally, but i am sure you do. can you elucidate some time?

 

Blogger Butch said ... (9:53 AM) : 

Nice shot! The boots are quite wonderful--and even the bike makes a color statement.

PS, regarding the gay-defensive comments in the last post: besides the fact that this is a style forum not a NASCAR rally, no one need excuse an interest in fashion, which is after all about SEEING, about being alive to the visual world.

And it would be odd indeed if men or woman couldn't recognize the sexual appeal of their own sex, or were embarrassed to. Let us move toward a greater embrace of the actual and essential, rather than the opposite!

 

Blogger DC Celine said ... (10:13 AM) : 

Unknowns living in memory are what makes life wonderful...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:14 AM) : 

love the color of the bike and the white boots against the more muted colors in the rest of the shot

 

Anonymous Steve said ... (10:16 AM) : 

lovely, i like the touch of color coming from the bike. I can understand your satisfaction of pulling out a great shot like this one in such a rush. I read the text before seeing the picture (maybe it was only me, but the picture didnt show in the main page), and it gave the shot so much more depth. I could almost see myself falling for this girl fleeting across me on her bike on a Paris boulevard.. great way to start the day.. Waiter, un cafe s'il vous plait.
Thanks for sharing all this on your blog mister Sartorialist. Cheers =)

 

Anonymous s_k said ... (10:37 AM) : 

I love the whole calmness of this picture! was this shot taken in Paris?

 

Blogger William said ... (10:53 AM) : 

Where was this picture taken? I always appreciate it when you provide the location of a photo.

For example, I see the most amazing images at Flickr. Since I love to shoot, I'm often curious as to where a given shot was taken. But all too often, the only information provided with the image may be something like the following: "DH300123." Blah!

As for the woman in the picture: My guess is that she is a true eccentric with a highly refined and individualized aesthetic sensibility. I swear, the white boots should have been SOLD WITH the bike! Love the design of the bike frame - the feminine curve of the upper rail; the mudguard over the rear wheel ... Where's my bike when I need it? I want to follow her!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:57 AM) : 

Great shot sart. Do you shoot manual or aperture priority?

 

Blogger ajane said ... (11:07 AM) : 

Number one, the shot: a worthy payoff indeed for the technical vigilance. Great composition aside, this is a perfect capture of the soft light that makes European winters so lovely - it gives smokey, subtle colours (like the grey and black palette of her outfit and her surroundings) depth and makes clear colours (like her baby blue bike and white boots, and the green grass!) glow. Which brings me to number two, the woman and the story. That's the wondeful thing about a great photo of a great outfit - it really does feel like a still from a movie, an excerpt from a narrative, an invitation to imagination....

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:11 AM) : 

you are so poetic! thank you for bringing such joy and humanity to fashion

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:44 AM) : 

well played. it's so perfect in its simplicity.

i have admired your work since stumbling upon your site in its infancy...over a year ago!

cheers.

 

Blogger positive_negative said ... (12:17 PM) : 

Great shot, with the photo's coloring it almost looks as if it was taken in the 60s on a brownie.

 

Blogger RECIEN LLEGADA said ... (12:31 PM) : 

Cada mañana cuando me levanto visito este blog,y veo gente muy interesante que adora la moda;es un viaje muy agradable que me anima a seguir adelante¡Gracias sartorialist¡

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:34 PM) : 

Awesome! What kind of camera do you use??

 

Blogger mssvelteny said ... (12:42 PM) : 

Simply fantastic. sigh. I hope I have days like that.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:55 PM) : 

I don't normally comment on The Sartorialist, as much as I read, but this is just exactly what you said: perfect. So perfect I had to comment!
-April

 

Anonymous munoche said ... (1:38 PM) : 

Nice shot. In Stockholm and Helsinki i began to see bikers in their high heels. People find it uncomfortable but I ride and it´s a question of put it in practice. Why to renounce a look cause do you bike!

 

Anonymous Emily said ... (2:12 PM) : 

oh wow. does anyone know what kind of bike that is? i LOVE it!

 

Blogger andrea said ... (2:15 PM) : 

The azure of her bicycle make this even dreamier!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:28 PM) : 

she is a good shot
very nice

 

Blogger Fashion Cult said ... (2:35 PM) : 

couldn't have been better if you staged it. awesome shot

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:00 PM) : 

I think that's my friend Celine!

 

Blogger whyioughtta said ... (3:43 PM) : 

A lovely, uncontrived moment.

 

Anonymous sara said ... (4:27 PM) : 

Hearing your thought process makes this shot even more perfect, thank you!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:44 PM) : 

Thanks Sart for this photo and your comments.

Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.

AA

 

Blogger S. said ... (4:50 PM) : 

So it is safe for me to ride in heels you say!

 

Blogger daniqueconijn said ... (5:32 PM) : 

in holland you see these kind of bikes allover the country! it is kind of an unusual thing in countries outside of the netherlands =) so that's why i love this shot even though it's kind of an usual image to me! (Y)

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:35 PM) : 

Sart , my friend, you have captured what Henri Cartier Bresson used to call the, "decisive moment".

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:18 PM) : 

What a lovely combination of your excellent eye and technical ability, right-place/right-time, and the innate sense of Parisian women to make an offhand statement with their clothes just by simply going about their day. Also? Something about this shot makes me feel that spring is around the corner.

 

Anonymous ratty blonde said ... (10:02 PM) : 

OK, someone slap me if I'm over-analysing this...

Perhaps one reason why the photo seems so 'right' is the pairing of the bicycle and the human body. The bike frame has some straight sections and some curves. Likewise her body: legs are straight but from her seat around to the top of her head there's a gentle curve. And both curves open towards each other, like two crescent moons facing each other, one located above the other.
Of course the bike's size and geometry (position of seat, pedals, handgrips) determine the rider's posture and 'angle of attack'. (Tho' 'attack' is about the worst possible word to use here, for such a serene shot.)
The human body is a wonderful creation/development, but so it the bicycle! A superb, energy-efficient means of transport, using a minimum of resources, to maximum effect.
And as we see in the pic, what a way to get from A to B. So elegant!

(And those boots - framed perfectly against the skirt guard!)

 

Blogger Sean said ... (11:08 PM) : 

I think what really makes the picture is that she's riding a blue bike. It really stands out.

 

Blogger Eric said ... (11:09 PM) : 

Those shoes.

 

Blogger Hilarie said ... (11:28 PM) : 

someone asked about the make of the bicycle.
It looks exactly like my bike, which is a french Automoto. It's the ladies city bike.

 

Blogger Jack said ... (11:38 PM) : 

The shot is quite wonderful. On a random note, the shot makes me think of a title like "Form vs. Function".

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:13 AM) : 

This is just a reminder of how important your text is to people's experience of your blog. While i personally adore the photos, what you have to say about them is what makes this place the wonderful thing that it is.

P.S.
For those who are wondering, the bicycle looks to be a Jorg & Olif (www.jorgandolif.com).

 

Blogger thwany said ... (4:06 AM) : 

i'm such an idiot, i spelled beautiful wrong.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:40 AM) : 

anonymous @ 1.13am wrote:
"This is just a reminder of how important your text is to people's experience of your blog."

very much agreed.
you do seem to have a thing for bicycles, which is wonderful

 

Blogger Rafe Totengco said ... (9:24 AM) : 

Every time I'm in Paris I see these very chic girls riding their bicycles in their heels. I'm so glad you were able to take a photo of her. Those white boots are killing me, j'adore! Parisians are so chic. Can't wait to go back.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:14 PM) : 

i'm still not sure on the boots. they give me this glam rock vibe.

 

Blogger d. chedwick bryant said ... (5:36 PM) : 

This is one of those amazing shots/ if this was a set up for an ad, hundreds of shots would have been taken and this would have been the perfect one-- the white pole would have to be retouched out no matter what, but the girl, bike, expression, clothes, all perfect. You can imagine a life-story for her. This is really impressive. It feels so good when this happens.

 

Blogger onetensullivan said ... (12:30 AM) : 

Please elaborate on the settings you use! A huge fan of your site again and again and new owner of a canon 30d - Keep em coming!

 

Blogger sandman_gr said ... (8:45 AM) : 

lovely photograph Scott! Glad you managed to shoot it!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:54 AM) : 

I, along with thousands of others, look at this site every day, but my most favourite part is when you tell stories like this. When you (as in me, all of us) see people in the street that look at you, you never suspect for second that they might be thinking such poetic thoughts like yours, like this girl probably never imagined a stranger will say he'll always remember her, when all she was doing was going about her business. I'd LOVE to think that out there someone once saw me and thought something like that. Beautiful.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:56 AM) : 

I, along with thousands of others, look at this site every day, but my most favourite part is when you tell stories like this. When you (as in me, all of us) see people in the street that look at you, you never suspect for second that they might be thinking such poetic thoughts like yours, like this girl probably never imagined a stranger will say he'll always remember her, when all she was doing was going about her business. I'd LOVE to think that out there someone once saw me and thought something like that. Beautiful.

 

Anonymous Freshness said ... (9:47 AM) : 

Perfect. I love the colors of the shot, and it does give a sense of spring beeing on the way...

 

Blogger fee said ... (8:52 PM) : 

i know what u mean about nearly missing a gr8 shot(:

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:24 PM) : 

Ahhhh... reminds me of visits to Italy. At every turn, beautiful women riding bicycles and Vespas... Thanks for bringing back warm memories!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:26 AM) : 

I bicycle to work like this all the time here in Holland. She looks great!

 

Blogger Jack Daniel said ... (5:48 PM) : 

You should come to The Netherlands;

Thousands of stylish (wo)men riding on bikes.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:17 AM) : 

perfection . . . the shot and the subject. the white boots says it all!

 

Blogger Danny said ... (8:26 PM) : 

Wow. I did not see this photo 'til just now, but I am glad I did, becayse that woman and that bike and this shot just RULE! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Love,
-danny

 

Blogger IASSART. said ... (12:15 PM) : 

I need to get a bike like that.

 

Blogger julius said ... (4:50 AM) : 

i've been looking for nicely-colored, simple-framed bicycles for a little while now and because there has been some speculation, the bike pictured is a fietsfabriek classic! i plan on getting one of their other models very soon! (im quite into the "macho")
brilliant photo as well

 

Blogger Go Boo Boo said ... (11:59 PM) : 

Her shoes made it for me! Love the bike fashion pictures, thanks.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:11 AM) : 

I just LOVE the way you write, i could read your blog all day, everyday...
oh wait - I DO!!

Lauren

 

Blogger Teng said ... (10:39 AM) : 

I love this photo, it's serene, the right light, the right
colors, the right composition; even the tree is at the right place! effortlessly beautiful!

 

Blogger BritnLind said ... (11:51 PM) : 

Congratualtions on this shot. Its fantastic!

 

Blogger wiendelt said ... (6:32 AM) : 

Hi, I realy like the picture's. If you are interested in Bicycles, You have to visite Amsterdam. You can eat your heart out. Also good to visite for Bicycle shots is: http://amsterdamize.com/

Succes,

gerating Wiendelt

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:28 AM) : 

Dear SS -
This shot reminds me of the first time I visited Milan. I saw a beautiful woman in her 50's (I estimate) riding an old push bike, wearing a Burberry trench, 5 inch heals and resting a large LV monogram bag in the basket on the front!
I was the only one who looked surprised.

Thank you for reminding me of that moment.

CW

 

Anonymous Yvette said ... (7:28 AM) : 

love the old school bike!

 

Anonymous Carien said ... (4:19 PM) : 

Her bike is sooooooo Dutch! You can only find a bike like this in Holland, despite of bikes which are transported of course! But I love this picture! So Europe!

 

Anonymous iPato said ... (6:29 PM) : 

This looks like Stockholm, outside of Café Opera, but I could be mistaken.

 

Blogger Zaki Sungkar said ... (9:33 PM) : 

i really love this pic as well, ten point for this :)

 

Anonymous Nastya said ... (8:10 PM) : 

Bike looks stylish. I guess she chose on purpose those white boots 8)

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 PM) : 

i wish everyone saw the world through your eyes.

 

Blogger anna kim said ... (11:23 AM) : 

you write so beautifully. i love that you can see a person and let your imagination run off like that. that is a wonderful gift.

 

Blogger Little Black Words said ... (8:36 PM) : 

Nice story + Nice shot = Gorgeous! :)
well, i think if the woman see it, she will be flattered

 

Blogger Daan Flem said ... (12:59 PM) : 

great shot! gotta love those spontaneous shots, it's what photography is all about!

 

Blogger Rachel Moss said ... (12:42 PM) : 

Lovely story and you are right to share the inspiration.

 

Blogger Ameliask said ... (12:11 PM) : 

I biked to prom in heels.

I'm happy knowing women bike in heels on a regular basis.

Lovely Shot.

 

Blogger Isabel said ... (9:14 PM) : 

Beautiful photo. Must still rank way up there for you, even 3 years later. Has she ever come forward to
thank you?
March 2010

 

Anonymous Sara and Emma said ... (9:45 AM) : 

Really interesting backstory. Your blog is amazing.

 

Blogger www.laurajamesjewelry.com said ... (8:35 AM) : 

Love the way the curve of her back mimics the curve of the tire. Flawless photo!

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:25 PM) : 

Lets find her..!!!

 

Blogger the girl called she said ... (6:05 PM) : 

you should really visit LA. :) we got a lot of stylish bicyclists hitting the streets lately despite the crazy LA drivers.

 

Anonymous akbar said ... (6:53 PM) : 

lovely shot and insteresting story

U R REALLY HARDWORKER

 

Blogger Gina said ... (8:00 PM) : 

Perfection. I can just see her cruising by without pedaling, just sort of gliding.

xx Gina
http://hideandchic2011.blogspot.com

 

Blogger Juliet Winter said ... (8:59 AM) : 

I've been watching your blog for a while now and I always love the shots you take and the people in your photos and there style. I especially love this post, not only for the photo but for your explanation. I love "this unknown woman will live forever in my memory just like this. Perfect" . And also when you talk about capturing a shot and not always getting it, it lets me understand you better and appreciate your work a lot more. I've only just realised i have a passion for such photography as well, and I aspire to be just like you!
- Juju xxx

http://thejulietreport.blogspot.com

 

Anonymous Nellie said ... (7:33 PM) : 

Oh my gosh!!! I just learned of your of your blog and am captivated!!! If I met you I'd kiss you! Really! I love, love, love Italy too!! Your pictures are delicious! Seriously. Your eye for what's right, regardless of the designer's original intention and respecting, accepting and capturing with your lovely lens every day people's translation, is poetry, sexy and perfect! Love it all!!! Gracias desde Puerto Rico!!

 

Anonymous Garrett said ... (6:28 PM) : 

I get it! For me reminiscent of Helé Nice - Goddess of 1930's French motorsport in her trademark helmet. Thanks for all your images, Garrett

 

Anonymous web based projects said ... (8:45 AM) : 

All are having their favourites, but your's so different...

 

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