I photographed this image in the Paris apartment of a friend's friend. My friend Penelope had been invited to have lunch with the father and daughter and she asked if I could come along. Penelope fired up her motorcycle, handed me a helmet and told me to "hop on the back and hold on tight."
As we raced through wide streets my small camera bag swung from side to side behind me as I clung on for dear life. I survived, the lunch was pleasant, and I asked in my atrocious French if it would be okay to take a photograph or two. When I got back home and headed into the darkroom this one grabbed me right off the bat.
I made a series of 16x20 inch prints and did some judicious and, I hope, restrained hand tinting with Marshall's Oil Colors and tightly rolled cotton.
I took the photograph with a Canon EOS-1 and the 85mm f1.2. It was the very original version of the lens which focused more slowly than any other autofocus lens I have ever used. It was a brutally expensive tool and not at all accommodating, mechanically, but I sure loved some of the images I got from it. Obviously, I did not use it wide open as the only thing that would have been in focus would have been the little girl's eyes. At f4.0 it was just right....
I sold the lens when I got home because life is too short to wait for a ponderous lens to get to its business. And at f4.0 I can think of any number of lenses that would have done just as nice a job.
Lesson: some stuff is supposed to be super good. It's usually also super expensive. But if it doesn't work for you it's okay to kick it to the curb.