Pose your sub­jects for epic out­door shots

Practical Photography (UK) - - Outdoor Adventure -

Candid Pho­tos can be pow­er­ful, but once you’ve reached your jour­ney’s end, you’ll have a lit­tle more time to play around with pos­ing your sub­jects. this will give you the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to cap­ture the ex­act shots you have in your mind’s eye. We pho­tographed these im­ages at the top of Fleetwith Pike, a small moun­tain in the lake district, but you don’t need to hike for hours to get amaz­ing shots – a quiet lake, a blus­tery stretch of coast­line or some pretty wood­land can all be fan­tas­tic back­drops for a posed shoot.

Use your en­vi­ron­ment

When you think of pos­ing a sub­ject, you may ini­tially have vi­sions of fash­ion shoots where the model is asked to strike a va­ri­ety of high-end poses. We’re not go­ing to ask you to force your friends into co­quet­tish pouts. What we’re talk­ing about is match­ing your sub­ject’s pose with the en­vi­ron­ment they’re stand­ing in. if you’ve set up camp in a field, grab a wide-an­gle shot of a friend look­ing into the dis­tance while stand­ing next to the tent. if you’re walk­ing through the woods, po­si­tion some­one in a clear­ing amid the trees. it’s all about work­ing in part­ner­ship with your en­vi­ron­ment to cap­ture the best pos­si­ble shot.

as we were at the top of the moun­tain, we took ad­van­tage of the stun­ning sun­set and placed our sub­jects so that they were against the colour­ful sky. We also used the tex­tured rocks as fore­ground in­ter­est, help­ing to im­merse the viewer in the im­age. We asked our sub­jects to slowly walk to­wards the cam­era, ex­ag­ger­at­ing their move­ments. While this may feel silly to them, over-pro­nounc­ing the way they walk and move is what will get you a great shot, as the viewer will be able to eas­ily see what’s go­ing on in the im­age. in terms of your cam­era set­tings, we’d rec­om­mend that you use a mid-to-wide aper­ture for these pho­tos. you’ll find that a mid-aper­ture, such as f/8, will give you a lit­tle more lee­way in terms of your zone of sharp­ness. if you’d like to in­cor­po­rate some out-of-fo­cus fore­ground in­ter­est like we did, or if you’re work­ing in darker con­di­tions, a wider aper­ture will cre­ate pleas­ing blur and give you a few more stops of light.

Cap­ture close-up shots

it’s not just full-body im­ages you can pose. you can also pho­to­graph close-ups that con­tinue the nar­ra­tive of your trip. as the theme of our shoot was a moun­tain hike, we cap­tured im­ages of our sub­jects read­ing a map, high-fiv­ing each other at the sum­mit and in­spect­ing gear. Point­ing can also make for a pho­to­genic stance in a range of sit­u­a­tions. these poses may very well feel cheesy to your friends at the time, but the pho­tos will look nat­u­ral and gen­uine. they’ll also be well-com­posed and free from un­wanted clut­ter, as you’ll have had the time to set up your shot prop­erly.

you need to match your sub­ject’s pose to the en­vi­ron­ment they’re in

as with the full-body pho­tos, the most im­por­tant thing is that you’re telling a story about the in­di­vid­ual ad­ven­ture you’re on. if you’re on a fish­ing trip, it wouldn’t make much sense for your friend to be read­ing a map, so ask them to pre­tend that they’re ty­ing a loop knot. or, if you’re camp­ing, ask some­one to pre­tend they’re ham­mer­ing in a tent peg.

For these smaller de­tail shots, you’ll want to com­bine a wide aper­ture with an ac­cu­rate fo­cus. Use your D-pad on the back of your cam­era to per­fectly po­si­tion your fo­cus point.

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