To Pose or Not To Pose? … that is the question being posed!

 So should your subject pose or not?

Does catching someone unaware make for a more natural, less contrived image?

I’m guessing that the jury is still out, and will be for a long time, on that one. To be honest I don’t really know myself. I certainly don’t like anything that looks too staged but then again a certain amount of “direction” may be needed to achieve the desired result.

I must admit that I very often have to settle for the natural look as whenever I seem to point a camera at people, or wildlife come to that, they get up and walk away! Perhaps it’s not because they don’t want their picture taken; they just don’t want it taken by me!

Burbage Valley Portrait

Anyway, this particular image highlights both points. The subject wasn’t posed in any way and, as you can tell from the look on his face, he wasn’t too happy about me taking the picture!

In fact the truth is he didn’t actually mind. I just happened to capture his expression just as he looked round.

It’s a shot of my friend Mark, taken in the Burbage Valley in Derbyshire on a quite miserable Sunday Morning in early February. We’d gone out to reconnoitre some potential climbing routes on the gritstone out crops for when the weather improves. So guide book in hand and with Chessie (Mark’s dog), we set off down the valley. The light wasn’t great to say the least so I hardly bothered to get the camera out; despite that fact that I’d brought three lenses, tripod, a couple of flashes and bits & pieces etc. So when we stopped for a quick snack & essential cup of tea, I just fired off a few shots to at least make me feel that I wasn’t carrying all that gear around for nothing!

As it turned out I did get a few “keepers” that day, some of which are on my website:, including a shot of Chessie who was stationary just long enough for me to capture a reasonable profile and she is one subject that will never sit & pose!


Published by pgtim

A UK amateur photographer.

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