Pose your subjects for epic outdoor shots
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.