A cheeky bum flash!

Anyone who has stumbled across, or is following my blog will know that I am shooting in different environments and photographic genres. In part to see where I would like to concentrate my efforts but generally to improve my overall camera skills and knowledge.

Those that may have delved a little further and found me on Flickr as well as Tumblr will know that I am taking part in a 100 strangers project.

There are a few different versions of this. I intend on completing the 100 Strangers Portraits, whereby I am required to stop the subject, find out some info about them and with their agreement, take a portrait that they would hopefully be happy with.

Currently I am capturing images for a 100 strangers ‘candid’.

The first few pictures I took made me feel a little uncomfortable but as I relaxed into it, I found it surprising how many people just do not notice you pointing a camera at them.

Anyway, to date I have had no real dilemma regarding the images I use. There was a question sometime ago regarding crashing a pro photo shoot. But that was a while ago and not in the same league as this dilemma that I never thought I would find myself facing.

When we get to the crux of the matter some will think there is nothing wrong with the image and that I am being a middle aged prude and others will pigeonhole my as that creepy photographer.

When I set out on my candid strangers project I made a conscious decision that I would not post any image that I would feel unflattering if I was the subject in front of the lens.

I’ve stuck to that self imposed rule and the following image, I think, is not unflattering nor embarrassing. But has left me questioning whether or not its appropriate for my project.

After long consideration and opinion sought from friends and peers, I decided that although there is some divided opinion, the overall consensus (and mostly from women) is that it is an okay image to use.

Now if I was the sort of chap to wear a mini kilt and I flashed a bit of cheek, the image would be fine. For the record I am a bit of a prude and do not wear a mini kilt, therefore would not find myself in the position of flashing any body part. Unless I got drunk and decided to perform a hand stand. In that case you might get a flash of my six pack that is cleverly disguised as a one pack.

When I went to take this picture the woman was sat on a fence. My camera settings were not set up to capture movement, you can see this by looking at the people in the background. The woman was posing for a photo and it suddenly started to rain, she hoped off the fence where she was perched and I captured an accidental flash.

Personally I think there is a little too much blur in the image to use but I want an opinion from you. Yes you dear reader. I would like your thoughts on the images.

The woman is pretty, she has a figure that I guess some would like to have (one female friend said if she had a backside like hers she wouldn’t mind who photographed it) and she is obviously very confident to wear such a short flared skirt. On those assumptions I’m guessing that she really wouldn’t mind the image being used. However, in case I am wrong, I have blurred her face a little.


This is not the image I set out to get. I think that is pretty obvious.


The image needed to be cropped but now looks a bit iffy and suspect.


I think Black and White makes the image appear more acceptable.


Small adjustments to colour filters changes the image further .


Increased blacks and added contrast to add some modesty.


What I want to know is, if I had a faster shutter speed and the image was sharper, which of these, if any, would you consider suitable for street photography?

In life there is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance. Only now have I come to realise that in photography there is also a fine line between art, capturing a moment (albeit accidental) and stepping onto, maybe even across that line that takes ones photography to a place where it could be considered by some as pervy rather than street photography.

Acceptable, Unacceptable, just a bit cheeky?




















  1. A dilemma here Jimmy. It is highly likely that anyone looking at your photo just after it was taken would regard it as an opportunistic ‘upskirt’ of the dubious variety. As I know you well, I know that this was not your intention. In street candids, I reckon it is always best to avoid any potential double meaning, or misinterpretation.
    Best wishes as always, Pete.

    1. I wonder if you’d think the same if we were not in the forty plus age bracket.

      I posted this on Facebook first so that I could get some feedback from friends. Interestingly it was only the men over 35 that had any concerns.

      No women objected to it.

      I’m thinking if I was 25 (ish) I would have made it B&W.
      35 (ish) I’d add the noir sort of look.

      I’m not going to use the image for my project but wanted to gauge how people fell about it.

      I wouldn’t want anyone thinking it was an iffy up skirt so thats why I posted the set.

      As always, thanks for taking the time to comment.


      1. I definitely agree that if it was a young trendy guy taking the photo, it would not have the same connotations. If I was around taking photos at the time, assumptions would have been made, I expect.
        (Especially if I had my beige rain mac on !)
        Cheers mate, Pete.

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