In the first two parts of this story I talked about following a girl in a short skirt down a cobblestone street on a dreary Paris afternoon. I also described how her complicated, strappy shoes conspired to give our girl a “Shoe Blowout”. Which then led to the incredible bending upskirt pictures I’ll show you here.
Just to give you some idea how dark it was on this little side street this particular day, here is an unadjusted shot, exactly as my eyes and camera saw the whole scene. What a mess. So dark as to be almost unusable. Why oh why does stuff like this have to happen on a day that is soooo dark?
Some of you are probably sitting there in you padded leather chairs, relaxing behind your computers, and yelling “use the FLASH, stupid”. Am I right? Of course I am. And what, do you think I’m an idiot? Amos and I pioneered flash upskirtography in the digital age.
So, yeah, I had already thought of that myself. But here’s the problem. I’m at the edge of a narrow street, and there is absolutely nothing of touristic interest behind our subject unless you count that red motorcycle and I don’t. She’s with two guys, one of which is almost certainly her boyfriend (that would be Mr. GreenShirt), and the other of which is a whole lot bigger than I am. And I am totally against altercations with subjects and their entourages. And as (bad) luck would have it, both guys are looking in my direction. Also, there are a significant number of people walking up and down the street, and this shoe adjustment has already drawn some attention from other passers by.
Indeed, just grabbing these shots without the flash, I had already heard the usual chatter “Ohhh, look at that guy”, and “Look, he’s taking a picture of her ass.” The usual stuff. Invariably offended females exclaiming with indignity about my taking advantage of a situation like this. This type of attention is the main reason I prefer my normal method of playing stupid tourist at huge tourist attractions. You just never know what some offended woman or her significant other might do. We call then “tattletales”, and I’ve got a few stories about them too, but I digress.
So I quickly machine-gunned off 9-10 shots with various focal lengths without the flash, and then put the camera behind me. I contemplated the scene, knowing full well that without using the flash, the bending upskirt shots would be OK, thanks to Photoshop and modern noise reduction technology. But there is no substitute for light (that’s why they call it photography) and, to be truly spectacular, I needed to get a flash shot in.
She was still bending over working on her shoes and showing the world her ass and underwear. Finally, I did a Risky Business” flashback: “Joel, you wanna know something? Every now and then say, “What the fuck.” “What the fuck” gives you freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future. I became Joel, just said “what the fuck”, and turned so that my body covered the act of sliding the flash on to the camera. I preset a very moderate focal length, one that I knew there was little chance of the shot blurring due to camera shake. I knew that this was going to be a “one ping, one ping only” type of shot. One chance, one shot, one second. The world’s most difficult type of photography. In my mind, it is better to have fewer pixels that are in perfect, crisp focus, than to have more blurry pixels – something 99% of all people just do not understand. So 200mm, Image Stabilized was my tactical decision.
I turned, and put the camera to my eye. I felt like I was aiming a bazooka down a crowded city street, and hoping no one would notice. The camera was the size of a car. The lens was as long as a telephone pole. There was a flashing neon sign over my head with an arrow, exclaiming “Upskirt Panty Perv Alert” There was no way that I was going to get this shot unscathed. One or both of those guys had to come charging down the street and pound the crap out of me. I took a deep breath. Exhaled slowly. Half pressed the shutter. Autofocus locked on target easily, thanks to all those stripes (if only all girls were so helpful when selecting clothing). And pulled the trigger.
Ka-Boom, the shutter sounded like a gunshot on that quiet street, and the flash was like the landing lights of a 747 on final approach. I immediately dropped the camera to my side, removing and pocketing the flash in a single fluid motion. And hightailed it down the street until I was behind the enormous husband of a French woman who had been watching the whole scene unfold with great interest. Safe. Amazingly safe after getting one of the riskiest upskirt shots ever.
So here ya go, the one bending upskirt frame that shook the whole world. Or at least gave me the shakes while taking it.
As a humorous foot note to this whole adventure, the French woman actually asked me if she could see the upskirt shot. She wasn’t pissed off, or upset with my behavior, she was just astounded by the event she had just witnessed. It was almost as if she wanted to confirm that my camera had actually recorded what she thought she saw! One more reason why I love French women and why Paris is the happiest upskirt place in he world.