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Ronan's report

Wednesday June 6th, 2007

I have few pet hates in photography - amongst them are blood on a fish (easy to wash off), fingers stuffed up into gills, rods held in the mouth of the angler, more fingers than fish, a beer can stuffed into a fish's mouth, but worst of all in my book is an angler who looks like he's just been told his girlfriend's run off with another woman.

I had a mate who would have done almost anything to get his picture in a fishing magazine and if he made it as a cover shot who knows where our friendship might have ended up. But in every shot I ever took of him holding a fish (and good fish too) he had the look of a man who was about to hang. When I asked him to smile, by the time I'd pressed the shutter, even at 250th of a second, his smile was gone it was so fleeting. A true smile is actually in the eyes, but some sort of happy facial expression goes along way towards conveying a feeling of joy about the sport - we are after all meant to be enjoying ourselves.

There's a few photographers tricks to getting someone to smile. Great people snappers have a string of one liners they can throw into almost any situation to elicit a happier facial expression from a subject who often just doesn't want to be there. Watching professional mainstream photographers like Dave Anderson at work with prima donna movie stars and celebs is a revelation - their capacity to wring some sort of an emotive performance out of a reluctant poser is what makes great images. Surely someone holding a beautiful fish they've just caught, (they're all great) on their day off fishing in the great outdoors shouldn't struggle to come up with a smile, and if they don't you'll find that shouting "Smile ya miserable bastard!" at them will get a grin that'll last for at least 3 frames.


p.s. Carlos is out doing work for the inquisition. Carlos, keep up the good work! ~Eric

Pic Of Day

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