Romance In Russia – A shot with the M9 and 35 Summicron

Was taking a stroll through St. Petersburg last night at about midnight when I saw this scene and snapped it. The light, the couple kissing and the boat all came together to make for a perfect “postcard moment”. I snapped about 20 shots last night but this is the only one I liked. You can click it to make it larger and see it with better color and detail. Shot at f/2.


  1. I would say we have here some amateur night (emptied gun on one person with about half shots hitting the victim; leaving eyewitness alive; driving out of there with bunch of people – 4 persons in the car; crime done in the middle of the bridge were anything can happen, and where is plenty of other people around). Most interesting is behavior of the girl, Nemtsov was shot near her, and she does not stop any passerby or passing car for help – for more then 10 minutes…

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Sam. Life is taking place all around us. I am sure those young lovers felt completely alone in their moment and the magic of the shot is how it captured that in a scene where plenty more is taking place.

    Steve, a masterful shot which brilliantly captures a moment, never to be repeated. This is the beauty of photography

  3. I agree with RexGig. To add — while life sometimes appears to happen in isolation, it actually doesn’t. And there are many simultaneous decisive moments (and many to come). Great shot!

  4. Beautiful moment!

    Some words about this place…

    Winter Canal (Russian: Зимняя канавка, Zimnyaya kanavka) is a canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia, connecting Bolshaya Neva with Moika River in the vicinity of Winter Palace.
    The canal was dug in 1718-1719. Its length is only 228 metres, which makes it one of the shortest canals in the city. The width is about 20 metres.
    The granite embankment was built in 1782-84, and railings designed by sculptor I.F.Dunker were added at the same time. The special picturesqueness to the canal is added by the arch connecting Old Hermitage and Hermitage Theater, built by architect Yury Felten next to the Hermitage Bridge.

  5. the power of photography! this shot remind me this beautifull city and magical moments of my life 😉


  6. Vey good shot! OK, so the boat was there, but the boat came along at the couple’s decisive moment, and so the boat was included in the shot, in a way that the two scenes complement each other, while the obvious subject remains the couple. Real life happens. This is not an engagement shoot, it is street photography, which at it’s best, captures real life moments. The boat is not a distraction, in my opinion.

  7. Nice shot… but closer would be better! F80, 35/2, K2, TMY2, D76 1:1, +1 stop, CoolScan 5K.

    Who needs Leica! 😉


  8. Love this photo, Steve!

    I like the boat, but I would have liked it a little further down the canal, closer to the archway. But then again, the couple may have noticed you if you wanted too long and then the moment would have been gone.

  9. Nice shot Steve.

    This photo is so carefully composed and has a very classic feel. You should maybe go all the way with it and straighten the architecture and horizon planes.

    Think the boat is a critical element – different strokes…

  10. love the photo. Boat kind of ruins the moment of the couple.

    Sunset, romance, romance and BAM, tourists.

  11. Really nice. Armchairing it, I’d have taken a step or two forward to crop out the first bollard of the railing, but that’s nitpicking.

  12. This is the time of the “White Nights” in St. Petersburg, when it never gets completely dark. Note that Steve got this shot at *midnight*! The lighting is just magical. Steve, are you guys getting any sleep, or are you staying up all night like the natives? 🙂

    • Steve, make sure you get as many pictures in St. Petersburg as possible. Moscow is not going to be nearly as beautiful. Regular street-photography wise it’s good but architecture wise St. Petersburg is way better.


      • I’ll not risk to compare Moscow and Saint Petersburg, and both cities have great places with beautiful architecture. I love Petersburg and never fell in love with Moscow, though. Indeed, shoot as many shots as you can AND walk a little on the small streets not only the main ones. Visit Vasilyevsky island, or Petrogradskaya storona, look in the yards, shoot at the canal quays, or walk around Letniy garden. Shoot in BW and in color. There are contrast and geometrical, and emotional photographs waiting for you.

        Good luck!

  13. Beautiful romantic image Steve, lovely colours. My only criticism is that it looks like the image could be straightend?

  14. Really good shot.
    The title of the boat means “Fortune” (it says something like “Planet”, in the old meaning “Fortune”).

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